nsw housing market top five regional hotspots exclusively revealed
Hotspotting has exclusively revealed the top five regional NSW hotspots for homebuyers and investors. Image: Canva.
  • These regional centres offer a compelling substitute to expensive Sydney property.
  • Some are well placed between Sydney and Canberra, providing good proximity to major cities.
  • Diverse local economies also bode well for these regional areas.

The Australian housing market’s regional counterparts are continuing to thrive post-pandemic. While the manic levels of growth and Covid-driven tree and sea change trends have since subsided, regional housing markets still retain a significant appeal for many Australians.

Hotspotting general manager, Tim Graham, told The Property Tribune that regional New South Wales (NSW), overall, showed steady improvement throughout last year and ended 2023 with a solid market, although admittedly not as strong as Sydney’s.

“The number of rising markets to be found in regional NSW has increased recently, which means it has started 2024 with good momentum in many locations,” said Graham.

“NSW is a big state and there are many different scenarios in play, with markets that are rising strongly, some that are seeing moderate growth, and others that are still struggling.”

Tim Graham, Hotspotting

Late last year, the PropTrack Home Price Index (HPI) found Australia’s combined regional prices hit a peak, with annual growth recorded at 2.06%, and a median value of $618,000.

Earlier this year, CoreLogic’s Regional Market Update found that Australia’s regional housing market growth surpassed the capitals, with a quarterly increase of 1.2% for the combined regions, compared to 1% for the combined capitals.

Last year, a report found that the flight to regional Australia was not just about becoming one with nature but looking for more affordable housing and a lower cost of living. A growing jobs market across regional centres meant solid career and job prospects, with remote working also remaining an option for those looking to retain roles in the major cities.

For the period the report covered, capital-to-regional migration rose by almost eight per cent, the third-highest uplift in people looking for a regional change in the past five years; indeed Sydney-siders accounted for the vast majority of those looking for somewhere beyond the big smoke.

Hotspotting director, Terry Ryder, told The Property Tribune that while some of the most high-profile NSW markets, like Byron Bay and the Central Coast, have not yet recovered from the correction phase in their property cycles, following the big uplift in 2020 and 2021, other precincts are doing much better.

“The strongest market in Regional NSW is formed by the City of Wollongong and neighbouring LGAs Shoalhaven and Shellharbour,” said Ryder.

“Those three municipalities comprise a growth cluster on the coast south of Sydney, where most of the individual suburbs and towns have positive trends with sales activity and prices.”

A great alternative to pricey Sydney

Hotspotting’s Terry Ryder told The Property Tribune one of the great strengths of regional NSW is that it provides affordable lifestyle alternatives to the super-expensive Sydney property market.

“Regional NSW, in many ways, provides something for everyone: some of Australia’s largest and most important regional cities, attractive sea change towns, appealing hill change enclaves, industrial centres, strong multi-purpose inland cities, lifestyle regions – and price ranges to suit most budgets,” said Ryder.

“Another of the regional NSW advantages is that its property markets are underpinned by one of the nation’s strongest economies.”

Terry Ryder, Hotspotting

“Part of that growth-state economy is a major program of big infrastructure developments, including the $31 billion Inland Rail Link, which has been energising the market along the construction route over the past two to three years.”

Hotspotting has exclusively revealed to The Property Tribune its top five regional New South Wales housing market hotspots, with the analysis considering sales activity, buyer demand, as well as major infrastructure projects and rental market metrics to determine where homebuyers and investors should be targeting.

Regional NSW’s top five property hotspots

  • Wollongong
  • Wagga Wagga
  • Orange
  • Tamworth
  • Goulburn

Many of these regional centres are home to vibrant and diverse hubs of activity. Local economies for these regional hubs typically included major tertiary education institutions, alongside a diverse mix that ranged from manufacturing to tourism, health to defence, logistics, and more.


Located two hours south of Sydney, Ryder said Wollongong has become a thriving city that offers much more than just its steel production, what the town was once known for.

“With a shift towards tourism, commerce, health, and education, as well as the rise of the shared services sector, Wollongong has successfully diversified its economy,” he said.

Wollongong was recently ranked the fourth most popular region for capital city residents, behind only the Gold Coast, the Sunshine Coast, and Greater Geelong, Ryder told The Property Tribune.

“To meet the growing demand, new apartments and house-and-land packages are being developed on the city’s outskirts,” he added.

Weekly asking property prices for Wollongong

Ryder also highlighted the thriving regional New South Wales rental market, telling The Property Tribune that prices are on the up, and vacancy rates are at record lows, making it particularly attractive to investors.

Rental yields for Wollongong

“In fact, the city has maintained a vacancy rate of below 3% for 15 years and currently has a vacancy rate of less than 1% in most of its suburbs,” he said.

Weekly asking rents for Wollongong

Wagga Wagga

Five hours southwest of Sydney or three hours west of Canberra, Wagga Wagga is gaining popularity due to its affordable lifestyle, access to employment opportunities in education, healthcare, and the defence force, as well as promising growth in the housing market, according to Hotspotting’s Tim Graham.

“With a consistent 10% increase in median house prices, impressive yields, and low vacancy rates, the region has attracted not only those looking to escape city congestion and high costs, but also a growing population of construction workers and first-homebuyers,” Graham told The Property Tribune.

“This strategic inland city with a $4.8 billion gross regional product and a committed $93 million Capital Works Program is not reliant on mining and has multiple economic drivers for sustained growth.” 

Tim Graham, Hotspotting

Graham said major developments, such as a new logistics hub and upgrades to military bases worth over $1 billion, are driving the positive momentum in the local economy, leading to a strong property market.

Weekly asking property prices for Wagga Wagga

“With housing prices at less than half of those in Sydney, the popularity of Wagga Wagga as a desirable location is expected to continue, with its thriving wine industry, sporting culture, and vibrant festival scene adding to its appeal,” he said.

Weekly asking property prices for Sydney


Three and a half hours west of Sydney, or a short hop from Bathurst, Ryder said Orange offers a tranquil countryside lifestyle with affordable housing and a diverse range of industries, making it a top investment location.

“This regional city has seen an influx of residents due to the Exodus to Affordable Lifestyle and COVID regional rush trends,” he said.

“As it evolves, Orange has emerged as a prominent hub in New South Wales.”

Terry Ryder, Hotspotting

“This charming city also boasts renowned wineries and a buzzing food scene, attracting visitors from Sydney for a weekend getaway.”

Orange is also home to a Charles Sturt University campus, a sprawling public hospital, and government offices.

Weekly asking property prices for Orange

“With a thriving agriculture and manufacturing industry, as well as a growing renewable energy zone, Orange provides ample employment opportunities,” said Ryder.

“The city’s housing market, with prices nearly half of Sydney’s, is further bolstered by its industry diversity.”

Rental yields for Orange

With its idyllic lifestyle and affordable market, Orange is a coveted destination for both investors and homebuyers looking to make a move to the regions, said Ryder.


Five hours north of Sydney, Tamworth is experiencing rapid growth with major infrastructure projects worth billions of dollars underway, according to Graham.

“The Tamworth Global Gateway Park, equipped with an intermodal freight hub, is expected to be a key contributor to the economy of New England,” he said.

“The city is also becoming a hub for renewable energy developments, with projects worth more than $10 billion in the works, including a Big Battery facility.

“With a diverse economy driven by industries like agriculture, mining, tourism, aviation, and healthcare, Tamworth is set for further growth with the planned opening of a University of New England campus in 2026.”

Weekly asking property prices for Tamworth

Graham said the city’s strong tourism and equine industries are also major economic drivers, boosted by renowned events like the Tamworth Country Music Festival.

Rental yields for Tamworth

“Its affordable cost of living, peaceful rural lifestyle, and well-established facilities make Tamworth an attractive destination for those looking to escape the hustle and bustle of major cities,” he said.

Weekly asking rents for Tamworth

“With a resilient property market that showed consistent or increasing sales during and after the pandemic, Tamworth’s appeal as a lucrative investment opportunity is expected to continue into 2024.”


Ryder said Goulburn’s property market has shown steady growth since early 2020 and is expected to continue its solid performance this year and beyond.

“Although the sales activity has slowed in recent years, Goulburn remains an attractive and affordable lifestyle market, particularly appealing to first-home buyers,” said Ryder.

Weekly asking property prices for Goulburn

“The region has recorded a consistent annual capital growth rate of 8%, making it a favourable option for both houses and units.”

Ryder said its location between Sydney and Canberra ensures Goulburn also benefits from the influx of buyers who have been priced out of these major city markets.

Weekly asking property prices for Canberra

“With affordable housing and ongoing developments to improve transport routes, the region has gained the attention of both owner-occupiers and investors,” he said.

“As a well-established regional centre, Goulburn has a strong and diverse local economy, driven by sectors such as healthcare, retail, construction, agriculture, and tourism.”

Stock on market for sale in Goulburn

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