2018 proved to be a tumultuous year for many parts of the Australian property market. Hobart property values grew by a staggering 9.3%, while Sydney and Melbourne both experienced their largest falls since 2011.
But no matter how volatile the big picture seems, the reality is more prosaic. In every market, some areas do better than others, and savvy buyers would do well to focus on those.
We’ve zoomed in on the best performing suburbs by percentage gain in 2018, based on data to January 2019. They span five states and vary from affordable regional towns to inner city lifestyle spots.
1. Leabrook, SA
Leafy Leabrook in Adelaide’s affluent inner-eastern suburbs posted a staggering 86.4% gain in the past year. With a median price of $1,875,000, Leabrook is unlikely to appeal to bargain hunters, but the lifestyle on offer is unparalleled. It boasts abundant green space and a family friendly atmosphere, but is close enough to the CBD for a very easy commute.
2. Muirhead, NT
Muirhead is a relatively new suburb of Darwin,. It’s characterised by modern developments and townhouses, with multiple new builds driving growth of 49.7%. Aimed especially at families, the developments have been carefully planned to include green spaces and community hubs. Median house price is $617,500.
3. Garfield, VIC
Nestled in the lush Gippsland region of Victoria, Garfield offers country vibes while being only 69km from the Melbourne CBD. Median house prices sit at $537,000, with entry level options available. With strong 42.4% growth in 2018, it would appear that the secret is out.
4. Pontville, TAS
26km north of Hobart, pretty Pontville is benefiting from rising Hobart house prices. At a median house price of $535,000 it’s only $100,000 cheaper than its city cousin, but you’re more likely to find property with some acreage attached. Growth was a solid 41.7%.
5. Unley Park, SA
Adelaide’s inner-east is having a good year, with Unley Park clocking in at 41% and a median house price of $2,165,000. That’s a significant price in a city where the median house price is only $455,000. Unley Park offers a mix of exclusive character homes and modern townhouses in a sought after spot that’s walkable to the CBD.
6. Clyde North, VIC
55km from the Melbourne CBD, Clyde North is a relatively new suburb with a strong following amongst first home buyers. With plenty of new development driving growth of 41%, and a median sale price of $592,000, it’s one to watch.
7. Queenscliff, NSW
With a median house price of $3,545,000, exclusive Queenscliff on Sydney’s north shore is all about lifestyle. Strong demand has seen it grow 37.9% in the past 12 months, and it remains a sellers’ market given tight supply.
8. Middle Swan, WA
This classic Perth suburb has grown 32.5% in the past year, a strong result in the largely static market. With a median house price of $425,000, it offers older homes and large blocks in the Perth foothills, making it appealing to developers as well as first home buyers.
9. Burswood, WA
In contrast to Middle Swan, Burswood is an inner city suburb with a price tag to match. The median house price here is $975,000, with growth of 34.7%, meaning it’s likely to tip over the million dollar mark very soon. Burswood hosts the Crown Casino, with lifestyle options and access to the Swan River as additional selling points.
10. Empire Bay, NSW
This Central Coast holiday town has had a strong showing this year, with 34.5% growth taking the median house price to $940,000. Sea changers and holiday makers alike will enjoy the proximity to Sydney (85km), leafy streets and ferry service.
While strong growth during 2018 isn’t an iron clad guarantee that it will continue in 2019, this collection does demonstrate that growth has several drivers. From inner city lifestyle to coastal towns and country idylls, the strongest growth drivers in 2018 are many and varied. Always do due diligence before buying.