best regional real estate markets in australia 2023
Bunbury was a standout performer for non-capital city markets in Australia. Image: Canva.
  • Bunbury came out on top with some of the best characteristics.
  • Two WA and two Queensland regions made the list.
  • The analysis considered 14 key metrics.

Western Australia’s Bunbury has taken the crown as the best non-capital city property market in Australia, according to new Suburbtrends analysis.

Taking 14 key metrics into account, the analysis includes consideration of rental affordability, a maximum 200-kilometre distance from the capital, a maximum $750,000 budget, and a minimum 4.5% yield.

Suburbtrends considered several SA4 regions, including Ballarat, Bendigo, Gold Coast, Bunbury, Sunshine Coast, Newcastle and Lake Macquarie, Mandurah, Central Coast, Geelong, and Illawarra.

Top four regional property markets

  1. Bunbury,
  2. Sunshine Coast,
  3. Gold Coast, and
  4. Mandurah.

Only four locations made the cut, with Suburbtrends founder, Kent Lardner, noting that assessing some criteria was a challenge.

“Shortlisting suburbs based on rental affordability was a complex task. With household income allocating more than 30% towards rent in most suburbs, this challenge extends beyond renters to investors looking for areas where the local economy can truly benefit from affordable rents and disposable income.”

More broadly, Lardner noted that the research, “… offers a multifaceted perspective on the current state of the Australian property market in these key non-capital locations. It’s a snapshot that reveals trends, opportunities, and challenges, providing practical guidance for both investors and homebuyers.”

Region comparison

Metric Top ranked SA4 Bunbury Mandurah Gold Coast Sunshine Coast
Most suburbs making the cut (Count) Bunbury 12 4 11 3
Most listings available (Count) Bunbury 350 101 208 38
Most house options (Count of suburb with houses) Bunbury 12 2 2 0
Best median yield (Median) Bunbury 6.2% 5.6% 5.5% 4.85%
Best vacancy rate (Median) Gold Coast 0.89% 1.43% 0.88% 2.16%
Best rental affordability (Median) Gold Coast 31.96% 31.10% 30.45% 31.81%
Highest income (Median) Gold Coast $1,552 $1,670 $1,957 $1,729
Fully owned (Median) Sunshine Coast 30.96% 36.64% 16.95% 37.31%
Highest socio-economic ranking (Median) Sunshine Coast 3.5 4.5 7 8
3 month price growth (Median) Mandurah +1.86% +2.34% +0.89% -1.39%
6 month price growth (Median) Mandurah +4.28% 4.49% 1.61% -4.29%
Inventory level now (Median) Sunshine Coast 2.48 153 1.75 1.57
Inventory level-3 month change (Median) Sunshine Coast -0.48 -0.10 -0.4 -0.57

Source: Suburbtrends.


The gateway to WA’s South West region scored four, one of only two regions to do so. Working in the city’s favour was the large number of suburbs that met the selection criteria, and a healthy yield of 6.2%.

The report also highlighted a diverse economy, excellent lifestyle and amenities, along with good connectivity to the state capital of Perth. While traditionally a port city, Bunbury’s economy also includes tourism, retail, and health services.

“Bunbury stood out in our analysis, not just for its gateway status to the South West region but for the balance it offers between liveability and investment appeal. Its unique characteristics align well with our criteria, making it a significant highlight in our shortlist,” said Lardner.

Bunbury’s three best suburbs, according to the report, included:

  • Binningup (Houses),
  • College Grove (Houses), and
  • South Bunbury (Houses).

Top three Bunbury suburbs

Suburb Houses available Median price Rental median Yield Detached houses Rent affordability Average weekly household income Family households Socio-economic ranking
Binningup 7 $499,000 $550 7.94% 99.20% 31.36% $1,754 71.63% 4
College Grove 4 $492,000 $510 5.89% 100% 26.86% $1,899 78.79% 5
South Bunbury 49 $465,000 $480 5.43% 74.94% 33.38% $1,438 61.99% 4

Source: Suburbtrends.

Sunshine Coast

Also scoring four, the Queensland location leads in areas that suggest a mature and stable property market.

The Sunshine Coast has the highest percentage of fully owned properties, the highest socio-economic ranking, and tops the inventory metrics.

The Sunshine Coast’s three best suburbs were:

  • Wurtulla (Units),
  • Buderim (Units), and
  • Minyama (Units).

Top three Sunshine Coast suburbs

Suburb Units available Median price Yield Rent affordability Average weekly household income Family Households Socio-economic ranking
Wurtulla 4 $645,000 4.71% 30.16% $1,741 75.37% 6
Buderim 27 $585,000 4.85% 31.81% $1,729 72.99% 8
Minyama 7 $570,000 4.97% 32.05% $1,716 71.91% 8

Source: Suburbtrends.

Gold Coast

Scoring three, the Gold Coast had the best vacancy rate, best rental affordability, and highest median income among the shortlisted locations.

“These figures underline Gold Coast’s appeal for renters and investors focusing on rental income and relative affordability,” said the report.

The top three suburbs on the Gold Coast were:

  • Bundall (Units),
  • Willow Vale (Houses), and
  • Broadbeach Waters (Units).
Suburb Property type Units/Houses available Median price Yield Rent affordability Average weekly household income Family households Socio-economic ranking
Bundall Units 12 $557,000 5.76% 31.68% $1,957 74.90% 9
Willow Vale Houses 6 $664,580 5.12% 30.46% $2,134 87.20% 8
Broadbeach Waters Units 7 $719,000 4.73% 31.37% $2,072 71.55% 10

Source: Suburbtrends.


Rounding out the top four is Western Australia’s Mandurah, which was distinguished by strong price growth, leading in both the three-month and six-month price growth categories.

“This region’s upward trend in property values may attract those looking for capital appreciation, despite trailing in other aspects such as housing options,” noted the report.

The top three suburbs in Mandurah include:

  • Halls Head (Units),
  • Meadow Springs (Houses), and
  • Halls Head (Houses).
Suburb Property type Units/Houses available Median price Yield Rent affordability Average weekly household income Family households Socio-economic ranking
Halls Head Units 8 $400,000 6.91% 29.66% $1,686 76.85% 5
Meadow Springs Houses 23 $484,500 5.62% 32.65% $1,654 76.53% 4
Halls Head Houses 64 $565,600 4.84% 32.03% $1,686 76.85% 5

Source: Suburbtrends.

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