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Markets soften. Buyers look to regional areas

Housing prices in major cities may be softening, but the lifestyle and affordability of regional areas are still a major drawcard for buyers, fuelling the growth in regional centres.

Recent lending restrictions and a record increase in housing supply has played a role in the softening of house prices in some of Australia’s major cities. And although each city across Australia is being affected differently, in some markets we are already seeing house prices slip and investors retreating. But growth in regional areas is still on the up.

CoreLogic data states that in the past 12 months home values in the combined capital cities have fallen by 0.3 per cent, while regional values are up 2.4 per cent in NSW and VIC areas. This includes markets like Geelong in VIC and the Southern Highlands in NSW.

Buyers are continuing to look to regional markets for the lifestyle, be it coastal or hinterland, because in comparison to many of the major cities, regional areas are still more affordable, especially for first home buyers. As more infrastructure and resources are being put into these regional hubs, this trend may continue for some time.