Regional, fringe suburbs the ones to watch in 2021

January 4, 2021

Regional, fringe suburbs the ones to watch in 2021

January 4, 2021

Regional towns on urban fringes have seen unprecedented demand in online property searches this year, as buyers hone in on locations that help strike the winning work-life balance.

Data compiled by shows that homes in towns closer to major cities and regional hubs have been the biggest winners in the demand stakes in the past six months.

Some markets recorded astronomical growth in views per listing compared to the same period last year, despite the impact of this year’s global COVID-19 pandemic.

The statistics show that Glenning Valley, on the Central Coast of New South Wales, experienced a staggering 317% growth in views per listing in the six month period, compared to the same timeframe in 2019.

The rural town of Witta, on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, experienced a 295% jump in views per listing this year, while Rapid Creek, a northern suburb in Darwin, saw a 246% rise.

Views per listing for the township of Glenbrook in the Lower Blue Mountains, and Saratogaon the Central Coast, as well as the Queensland towns of Tanawha, Yandina Creek and Sheldon saw an increases of more than 200% in views per listing.

Witta home

This acreage retreat in Witta is on the market for $1,750,000. Picture:

Chief economist at Nerida Conisbee said there had been increased demand for properties in towns close to capital cities, including on the Central Coast, the Sunshine Coast as well as the Mornington Peninsula and Geelong in Victoria.

“Largely, as a result of COVID, this year has been marked by not just regional areas close to capital cities having lots of demand, but also far-flung areas as well,” Ms Conisbee said.

“What happened this year is that many people didn’t have to go into the office at all, so they could move to far-flung areas. But now people are having to come in a few times a week so living in these closer regional areas makes a lot more sense.

“Now that life is getting back to normal, they are moving a bit closer in but still really liking regional Australia. Living in a country town a bit closer is a compromise.”

The data is based on growth in demand for houses for sale on using views per listing over the past six months and comparing it to the same time period in 2019. To be included, suburbs must have a minimum of four listings a month.

Enquiries about regional homes ‘through the roof’

Central Coast agent Samantha Hardy, from Brand Property – Premier, said she had been swamped by enquiries on a property she recently listed at 51 Corona Lane, Glenning Valley.

“Enquiries I had on the property have gone through the roof,” Ms Hardy said. “I have personally never seen enquiries like that.

Agent Samantha Hardy has been inundated wth enquires about the home at 51 Corona Lane, Glenning Valley. Picture:

“I’m finding that the majority [of buyers] are from Sydney and they are basically all wanting to move out of Sydney because they can now work from home and have that lifestyle balance of being on the coast and not having to commute into Sydney to attend an office every single day. More people are looking after their family needs now.”

She said low stock levels had also driven up competition across the Central Coast.

Sunshine Coast agent Mark Henderson, from Blackall Range Real Estate – Maleny, said buyers had shown great interest in Witta, as the more affordable price points helped them get into the area.

“Everyone is attracted to the area, but the prices have gone up quite substantially, as has everywhere else in south-east Queensland.

“The thing about Witta is it’s close to Maleny, but it doesn’t have the price tag so it’s a very affordable option for people that want to be close to schools, close to Maleny, close to facilities. It’s a better price point than Maleny.

“The houses in Maleny itself are very expensive. In Witta, you get a good price, you’re close to town, it’s a nice family area.”

The character home at 29 Harch Road, Witta takes in the beautiful, rolling landscape. Picture:

Mr Henderson said there had been a concerted movement away from the big cities since the onset of COVID.

“Most of the people who come up here are from Brisbane and prior to COVID, Melbourne and Sydney. Now the borders are open, they’ll be up again especially over the holiday period,” he said.

“There’s beautiful rolling hills and it’s cooler than the coast.

“It’s a big wedding area and that’s why it was hit so badly by COVID. Now it’s coming back to life. People fall in love with the place and want to move here. They want to be close to town and the closest they can get for their budget seems to be Witta, so that’s probably why Wittta has done so well.”

Top End agent Simon Watts, from Real Estate Central – Darwin City, said properties in Rapid Creek did not come up for sale every day.

“It’s a fairly tightly-held suburb but when they do come on the market they attract great prices,” Mr Watts said.

This 4-bedroom Rapid Creek home is being marketed via an expression of interest campaign. Picture:

“The market has been going gangbusters here in the last three to six months. It’s like someone’s flipped the big green switch and it’s like they’ve turned the buyers on.

“After six years of going backwards, it’s certainly turned but how long it’s going to last is the million-dollar question because there’s not a lot behind it apart from the COVID movements and COVID money. It will be interesting to see how the confidence ticks on going in the next 12 months.”