PRD’s Roaring Regions report has identified the 10 most affordable regional locations across the nation for those looking to achieve the great Australian dream of home ownership beyond metro and capital cities. 

To determine which regional locations made the cut, locations are based upon five eligibility criteria including affordability, property trends, investment, project development and unemployment rate. 

Further, all 10 regions identified by PRD have a median house price of under $600,000 to December 2022, approximately 30% lower than Melbourne and around half of Sydney’s median house price. 

The lower median house price on offer across regional locations has benefited home loan affordability, with PRD detailing Queensland recorded an index of 24.5 points, proving it to be the friendliest state for buyers currently above the Australian average. 

Top 10 affordable regional areas in 2023

Location

Median House Price

Median Unit Price

Estimated value of developments in 2023

Unemployment rate

The Whitsundays, QLD

$460,000

$320,500

$1.4 Billion 

2.8%

Mackay, QLD

$440,000

$285,000

$511.9 Million

2.7%

Charters Towers, QLD

$260,000

$215,000

$864.7 Million

3.0%

Federation, NSW

$405,000

$372,000

$1.02 Billion

2.7%

Dubbo, NSW

$495,000

$230,000

$887.7 Million

3.3%

Lithgow City, NSW

$500,000

$250,000

$824.6 Million

2.9%

Greater Bendigo, VIC

$585,000

$410,000

$828.7 Million

4.2%

Greater Shepparton, VIC

$455,000

$335,000

$113.7 Million

3.3%

Ballarat, VIC

$595,000

$405,000

$488.1 Million

3.8%

Central Coast, TAS

$515,000

$122,500

$27.1 Million

6.0%

Source: PRD Roaring Regions: Top 10 Affordable Regional Areas 2023 Report.

Are regional areas still appealing?

PRD Chief Economist Dr Asti Mardiasmo said regional locations as a whole tick a lot of boxes for home buyers and investors – especially if you are a first time investor. 

“Regional areas are more affordable than capital cities and have much better investment indicators (i.e higher rental yield/lower vacancy rates), which creates a potent mix for attractive investments,” Dr Mardiasmo told Savings.com.au. 

“Furthermore, during COVID-19 it was the regional areas that held resilient, both in terms of economic growth and property prices, as they were not as impacted as much by international shocks (i.e international students, migration, goods and services). 

“Therefore regional areas have ‘proven their worth’ so to speak. Regional areas also have a tendency to have less planned supply than capital cities, which creates a higher safeguard to your rental income and capital growth.”

For those looking to escape the hustle and bustle of a capital city, Dr Mardiasmo notes buyers do not have to sacrifice quality of life for a move to the regions. 

“Regional locations can mean away from the hustle and bustle of the city, while still having a great quality of life in terms of job availability, lifestyle (cafes, restaurants), a more ‘relaxed pace’ of life, as well as having that ‘tight knit familial’ feel,” she said. 


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