Over the three months to January, the median dwelling price across the combined regional markets rose 1.2% according to CoreLogic, higher than the combined capitals.

The Significant Urban Areas (SUAs) with the strongest quarterly growth were Albany (up 7.7%) and Bunbury (up 6.2%), both coastal spots in Western Australia.

Of the eight SUAs that saw double digit annual growth from January '23, two were in WA, including Bunbury where dwelling values rose 15.8% through the year.

The other six were in Queensland, most notably Bundaberg and Rockhampton (both up 12.0%), and CoreLogic Research Director Tim Lawless said it's unsurprising these states have the strongest regional markets.

"[Queensland and WA] have a diverse economic base and are generally supported by a mixture of agriculture, tourism, ports and mining," he said.

"They're the only states with a positive rate of interstate migration that helps support housing demand and they're relatively affordable markets."

Perth and Brisbane continue to be among the strongest performing capitals, with many analysts predicting these two cities will continue to see growth even as prices moderate elsewhere.

Brisbane suburbs to watch in 2024

Time to invest in WA?

Anyone with even a passing interest in Australian property will have taken note of Perth's recent performance.

As of 31 January 2024, CoreLogic puts Perth's annual price growth at 16.7%, with listings available for an average of just 12 days, lower than any SUA in the country.

This demand has seemingly started to spill out into the areas surrounding Perth, with Bunbury among several areas that analysts have told Savings.com.au could be set for a big year.

Rockingham, Mandurah and Busselton are some of the other spots tipped by WA property analysts.

Australia's fastest growing regional markets

Of the ten regional markets where the median property price grew most from January '23 to '24, only Murray Bridge (SA) was outside of Queensland or Western Australia.

Perth (up 16.7%) and Brisbane (up 14.9%) have still outperformed most (all in Perth's case) of the regional hotspots over the past year.

However, quarterly growth for the likes of Bunbury and Albany was higher (Perth rose 4.9% while Brisbane was up 3.2% over the three months to January).

Ten SUAs with the biggest annual price increase

Median price Quarterly Growth Annual growth
Bunbury (WA) $532,054 6.2% 15.8%
Rockhampton (QLD) $409,814 2.3% 12.0%
Bundaberg (QLD) $479,739 1.5% 12.0%
Airlie Beach (QLD) $634,251 2.5% 11.4%
Gold Coast (QLD) $928,498 2.0% 11.3%
Albany (WA) $529,980 7.7% 11.2%
Warwick (QLD)  $405,613 4.5% 11.0%
Townsville (QLD) $416,966 4.7% 10.1%
Esperance (WA $438,295 2.7% 9.9%
Murray Bridge (SA) $393,306 3.3% 9.7%

Where are prices falling?

There were 23 non-capital SUAs where prices have declined since January '23.

The biggest decline was Portland, on the Southern Coast of Victoria, where prices dropped 9.4% through the year.

Another nine Victoria suburbs saw annual price drops, eight from NSW, four from Tasmania and Alice Springs from the NT.

Launceston and Devonport, two of the Tasmanian fallers, also saw the highest quarterly decline (-2.3% and -2.0% respectively).

Ten biggest annual price declines

Median price Quarterly Growth Annual growth
Portland (VIC) $395,214 2.1% -9.4%
Mudgee (NSW) $649,712 -0.5% -5.9%
Batemans Bay (NSW) $723,936 -0.3% -5.8%
Alice Springs (NT) $434,907 -0.7% -5.1%
Griffith (NSW) $465,541 -0.2% -4.2%
Ballarat (VIC) $550,542 - -1.6% -4.1%
Orange (NSW) $619,997 -1.7% -3.7%
Devonport (TAS) $438,445 -2.0% -3.5%
Byron Bay (NSW) $1,884,927 2.3% -3.3%
Armidale (NSW) $442,559 0.3% -3.2%

Image by Maximillian Conacher on Unsplash

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