Our nightly news is regularly filled with doom and gloom stories about the property market.  Sure, the Sydney market is going through a decline, the sale prices and weekly clearance rates confirm this, but our own market is on a very different trajectory. Why?

Well, metropolitan and regional markets are influenced by different factors and one major driver is housing affordability. With the majority of New South Wales’ residents hugging the coast, particularly in and around Sydney, supply and demand becomes a defining feature. Housing prices escalate to a height that forces many to reassess their current housing position, or locks others, particularly first home buyers, out of the market altogether. As a result, diverse groups of property seekers are forced to look further afield.

While initially disconcerting for many current and aspiring homeowners, the upside is that several regional markets have benefited. As Sydney’s traditional urban housing market decentralizes, our state government has, along with local Councils invested heavily in infrastructure in the Hunter region. With improved infrastructure comes market appeal, not only for the commercial sector, but also for potential residents attracted by increased job opportunities in an area with an appealing lifestyle, but significantly lower cost of living than Sydney.  It’s a no-brainer really. I mean, when your dollar buys so much more, why wouldn’t you want a relaxed, friendly, safe lifestyle with all the benefits of city living but without the enormous costs.

So how solid is the Hunter?  Well, all areas have experienced significant growth over the past three years. Stroud for example has a median house price of $395,000 translating to 7.2% annual growth for a 3 bedroom home, unachievable in Sydney’s market where the average house price is a whopping $840,000 and increasingly crippling mortgages are taking their toll.  Additionally, with Sydney’s roads considered ‘parking lots’ either side of the traditional peak hours, the 60 minute commute between Stroud and Newcastle is very manageable indeed.

Another area of steady growth is Gloucester with an average house price of $270,000, which translates to 3.2% annual growth.  With a relaxed rural lifestyle, strong sense of community and central location to the commercially vibrant regional hubs of Tamworth, the Mid-North Coast and Newcastle, Gloucester offers many attractive reasons to call the town home. 

With its river location and close proximity to the Myall Lakes and Mid-North Coast Beaches, Bulahdelah is living up to the industry prediction as a growth hot spot – and the market has acted accordingly.  With a median sales price of $318,000 realising 8.1% annual growth and with easy highway access south to Newcastle, west to Gloucester and north to Coffs Harbour, Bulahdelah’s attractiveness is undeniable. Property owners thinking of listing should definitely take the plunge.

A little further south in Dungog, market growth for the past year is 2.3% based on a median price of $292,000.  With its proximity to Maitland, Raymond Terrace and Newcastle, the latter via the reliable CountryLink rail service, Dungog has become a very popular commuter town, allowing residents to secure work in major commercial and industrial hubs and return home to an enjoyable country lifestyle.

Additionally, rental markets are strong across all areas providing appealing return prospects for investors. Stroud is generating weekly rental returns of approximately $345 delivering a median annual yield of 4.7%, while Gloucester boasts $300 per week generating a 5.8% annual yield. Dungog’s weekly rental of $345 delivers a very pleasing rental yield of 6.1%, while at Bulahdelah, investors can reap $330 per week in rental income translating to a yield of 5.4%. 

Whether you are looking to move to, or within the Hunter market, there is a lot to be positive about.  R and R Property currently need more listings to service our large number of buyers from Newcastle, Sydney and the Central Coast, eager to purchase across all areas of the Hunter.  So, if you’ve held off listing, don’t hold off any longer.  Contact the R and R Property team today for a no-cost, obligation-free market appraisal.  The time to list your property has never been better.