Regional NSW house prices surge

REGIONAL NSW property prices are enjoying a healthy boost; some stronger than others.

The latest breakdown of price data from Domain reveals a surprising array of fortunes for regional areas, with strong growth recorded along the eastern seaboard, but negative growth in areas of western NSW.

Domain's national snapshot shows median house prices increased by 2.2% over the March quarter, reaching a new record high of $801,204 which represents a 10.2% annual increase.

"Overall, national house price growth has been solid this quarter," Domain chief economist Dr Andrew Wilson said.

"While each Australian state and regional market is unique, the national house price growth helps give an overall picture of the market, despite a consistent 'two speed economy' in many areas."

With some incredibly strong performances in regional NSW, including the Clarence, Tweed and Wollongong which recorded annual price growth of between 13% and 20%, the figures suggest demand in capital cities may be prompting buyers to look elsewhere to enter the market.

"Regional markets are seeing growth as more Australians across the board consider the affordability and lifestyle advantages of moving outside the capital centres," Dr Wilson said.

Coffs Harbour's median house price increased by 2% in the March quarter to $459,000; the region's annual performance grew by 5%.

"Coffs Harbour has had another quarter of steady price growth, indicating that market activity will remain solid throughout the year," Dr Wilson said.

Coffs Harbour's current strong demand and low supply of homes is expected to see a continued surge in prices during the next quarter.

The Clarence Valley's increase in infrastructure projects helped it record 4.9% growth in median house prices in the March quarter to $376,500; this follows a sharp annual increase of 15.8%.

New developments and infrastructure were also a factor in price gains in the Richmond Valley, where prices increased during the quarter by 16.4%, to bring the national growth rate to 5.5%

Lismore recorded just 0.3% growth in the three months to March, but its annual growth stands at a healthy 5.7%; Ballina's annual growth in median house prices is 5.8% following a 2.4% rise in the March quarter.

The strongest annual growth recorded across regional NSW was Wollongong with 19.3%.



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