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Roaring Regions – Top 10 Affordable Regional Areas 2022

With housing affordability a pressing issue, regional areas became the most attractive option in 2021, with buyers capitalising on lower median property prices and utilising flexible remote working conditions introduced amidst COVID-19.

The regional areas in this report are very attractive for first home buyers as all chosen councils/areas recorded median house prices below $550,000. The Australian dream of property ownership still exists, with regional areas leading the way in affordability and liveability.

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Over the past 12 months to the December quarter of 2021, the weighted average Australian median house price increased by 25.0% to $1,021,710. In the same period, median family weekly income also grew by 5.3%. But this is nowhere near median house price growth, thus the proportion of family income needed to meet loan repayments increased to 37.0% and the home loan affordability index decreased by -10.6%.

First home buyers were the winners of 2020 thanks to a multitude of Federal Government incentives and a historically low cash rate. The winds have changed course slightly, with first home buyer activity declining by 18.3% between the December quarters of 2020 and 2021. This was driven by a surge in property price growth in the past 12 months to a level that outpriced first home buyers, and the end of historically low fixed interest rates by some financial institutions.

Five selection criteria were used to select the top 10 regional areas:

  • Affordability – the Local Government Area (LGA) has a median house price below the calculated maximum affordable property sale price, which is the state average loan + 20% (assumed deposit for an approved mortgage home loan).
  • Property trends – to ensure statistical reliability, the LGA considered must have 20 transactions or more in 2020 and 2021, with positive median house price growth within that time period.
  • Investment – to ensure conducive investment opportunities, the LGA will have an on-par or higher rental yield than its capital city, as well as an on-par or lower vacancy rate compared to its capital city.
  • Project development – the LGA will have a high estimated value for future project development, with a higher concentration of commercial and infrastructure projects to ensure a positive economic outlook.
  • Unemployment rate – as of the September quarter of 2021, the LGA will have an on-par or lower unemployment rate than the state average, to ensure there is local job growth.

Download the report below to find out which ‘Roaring Regions’ made it into the top 10 for 2022.