top 10 australian local government areas for growth
Image: Canva.
  • Western Australia and Queensland were stand out performers
  • Regional Australia also featured strongly
  • Stirling was among the best in Australia

Australia’s housing market may be bouncing back as data from across the board is indicating house prices are slowly moving up.

Last week, The Property Tribune reported on figures from PropTrack and CoreLogic, both showing increases in their respective housing value or price indices.

While a rise in house prices was recorded across the nation, the individual towns and cities were not so consistent.

The smaller cities and key regions dominated the growth, according to Hotspotting’s Autumn 2023 report, with the report also highlighting Western Australia and Queensland as standout performers for the Hotspotting Top 100 Supercharged Suburbs.

The Hotspotting Price Predictor Index for Autumn 2023 also whittled down Australia’s best-performing municipalities, sometimes referred to as councils or local government areas (LGA). The mix included four in the capital cities and six in regional areas, with six of them in Western Australia and Queensland.

Top 10 municipalities in Australia

  1. Ballarat, Victoria
  2. Canning, Western Australia
  3. Gladstone, Queensland
  4. Kalgoorlie, Western Australia
  5. Mackay, Queensland
  6. Palmerston, Northern Territory
  7. Salisbury, South Australia
  8. Stirling, Western Australia
  9. Townsville, Queensland
  10. Wollongong, New South Wales

Source: Hotspotting Autumn Price Predictor Index 2023. Note: By alphabetical order.

Stirling puts in a sterling result

The City of Stirling was considered Hotspotting’s National Growth Star, with Hotspotting Director Terry Ryder noting the LGA, “… seems to perform well in all kinds of markets because of its location, transport links, shopping facilities, educational amenities, and lifestyle features, including extensive parkland, golf courses, and beaches.

“Stirling was our National Growth Star in our Winter 2018 edition, and it re-appears as the No.1 performing market within Perth, which is currently the nation’s strongest market,” said Ryder.

Terry Ryder
Terry Ryder. Image supplied.

The municipality comprises 30 suburbs and spans an area of around 100 square kilometres according to the City of Stirling website. The LGA is home to Balcatta, Balga, Carine, Churchlands, Coolbinia, Dianella, Doubleview, Glendalough, Gwelup, Hamersley, Inglewood, Innaloo, Joondanna, Karrinyup, Menora, Mirrabooka, Mount Lawley, Nollamara, North Beach, Osborne Park, Scarborough, Stirling, Trigg, Tuart Hill, Watermans Bay, Wembley, Wembley Downs, Westminster, Woodlands, and Yokine.

“The Stirling LGA also appeals because it offers a range of price points, from suburbs in the $300,000s and $400,000s to suburbs with median house prices above $1 million.”

Ballarat, Victoria

Regional Victoria may be considered by some as a great alternative to Melbourne, with Ryder observing:

“The ‘big three’ of Regional Victoria – Geelong, Ballarat, and Bendigo – have been producing high price growth for the past four to five years and continue to attract significant buyer demand because of their strong local economies and affordability relative to Melbourne.”

“Ballarat in particular is holding up strongly in the face of downturn pressures. Of the 19 suburbs in our analysis, nine are classified as rising markets and four as consistency markets – with none rated as declining markets, a solid performance in the current climate.”

Canning, Western Australia

Located south of the river, the City of Canning was part of the top 10 municipalities.

“The City of Canning is typical of the affordable precincts which are doing well: it has six rising markets and two consistency areas among the nine suburbs in the report,” said Ryder.  “Suburbs with growing demand include Cannington (median house price $435,000) and Lynwood ($460,000).”

Gladstone, Queensland

Some regional centres are still showing strong signs of growth, with the larger and more iconic names starting to see reduced activity.

“The big markets on the Gold Coast and the Sunshine Coast reached their cyclical peaks about 18 months ago and have been winding down since,” said Ryder.

“But other regional centres still have strong markets, including Gladstone. Of the 14 Gladstone locations in our analysis, 10 are classified as either rising or consistency markets, confirming that this important regional economy and export port is continuing its recovery from a patchy past.”

Kalgoorlie, Western Australia

The region centre some 600 kilometres east of Perth may be seeing a bit of a property price gold rush despite the wider WA regional market moderating.

“Rather surprisingly, perhaps, the iconic mining community of Kalgoorlie-Boulder 600km east of Perth now has the strongest market in Regional WA, with all five suburbs in our analysis classified as rising markets,” said Ryder.

“Quarterly sales in Boulder (median house price $270,000) over the past three years have shown how steadily buyer demand has grown. Its median price has lifted 18 per cent in the past year, but remains affordable below $300,000.”

Mackay, Queensland

The regions continue to dominate the top 10 list, with this Central Queensland location showing strength.

“In Mackay, 12 of the 16 suburbs in our analysis have rising or consistent sales activity. The rising suburbs – including Blacks Beach, Mt Pleasant, Rural View, Bucasia and West Mackay – all have median house prices in the $400,000s or, in the case of Mackay and North Mackay, the $300,000s,” said Ryder.

“This level of affordability, as well as a strong local economy, is driving the uplift in buyer demand.”

Palmerston, Northern Territory

The often overlooked northern capital maintained good sales activity with only slight moderation while there were wider concerns in Australia’s biggest cities, said Ryder.

“Our analysis indicates there is ongoing strength in the Darwin, Palmerston and Litchfield LGAs, which jointly comprise Greater Darwin,” said Ryder.

“The stand-out is the City of Palmerston, which has previously featured in our National Top 10, as has the City of Darwin.

“In the Palmerston LGA, seven of the 11 suburbs have rising sales activity and three others are consistency markets – including Bakewell where quarterly sales have been rising over the past three years.”

Salisbury, South Australia

It is the sixth quarter running that Salisbury has made the Hotspotting Top 10 list.

“The Salisbury LGA, which forms a strong precinct with the City of Playford in the city’s affordable north, has 16 suburbs in our report: eight are classified as rising markets and five others are consistency markets,” said Ryder.

“Given that most of these suburbs have median house prices in the $400,000s, this is clearly an area targeted for its affordability.

“The rising markets include Para Hills West, where quarterly sales over the past 12 months have been rising.”

Townsville, Queensland

According to Ryder, the city commonly regarded as the capital of North Queensland benefits from a robust and varied local economy, which serves as the foundation for a real estate market that is strengthened by the city’s appealing affordability, lifestyle, and capacity to generate employment opportunities.

“Of the 26 Townsville suburbs included in our analysis, 15 are currently classified as rising markets and seven are consistency markets,” said Ryder.

“Four of them are included on our National Top 100 list of Supercharged Suburbs – Burdell (median house price $415,000), Hermit Park ($440,000), Idalia ($545,000) and Mt Louisa ($410,000).”

Wollongong, New South Wales

Located at the northern end of New South Wales’ south coast, the regional location is one of the few not to see a decline.

Ryder said many iconic markets such as Byron Bay, the Central Coast and the Southern Highlands saw downward movement, but the City of Wollongong continues to be the state’s strongest regional market.

“Of the 15 Wollongong suburbs in our analysis, 10 are classified as rising or consistency markets – a marginal deterioration on the previous quarter when Wollongong also made our Top 10 list,” said Ryder.

“Growth suburbs include Koonawarra ($700,000), Corrimal ($1,070,000), Balgownie ($1,205,000) and Mangerton ($1,345,000), while suburbs attracting consistent buyer demand include Berkeley ($730,000), Dapto ($780,000) and Fairy Meadow ($1,150,000).”

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