Canberra's strong price growth extends to neighbouring cities: Hotspotting's Terry Ryder

Canberra's strong price growth extends to neighbouring cities: Hotspotting's Terry Ryder
Canberra's strong price growth extends to neighbouring cities: Hotspotting's Terry Ryder

Canberra has recently joined the biggest cities with strong price growth, if you can believe the numbers.

As is the case with all our capital cities, the level of growth in Canberra house prices depends on which research source you favour.

The latest figure from the Australian Bureau of Statistics records annual growth of 6.6 percent, while the Real Estate Institute of Australia says 5.1 percent. But Domain, SQM Research and CoreLogic, using their various mysterious methodologies, all have Canberra house prices (on average) rising by more than 10 percent in the past 12 months.

The uplift in price growth in the national capital is quite recent. Unlike Sydney three hours up the highway, Canberra has not been pumping for the past 3-4 years. It went through a period of malaise when the Federal Government downsized the public service and the market was also impacted by an oversupply of apartments.

Canberra has got those negative symptoms out of its system and appears to be growing again. Certainly that aligns with my analysis of sales activity, which have been elevated in the past two years.

But what really stands out for me is the uplift in activity and prices in New South Wales locations close to Canberra.

The proximity of Queanbeyan (now part of the newly-formed Queanbeyan-Palerang Regional Council area) to the nation’s capital is certainly helping local property markets.

The region has strong population growth, unemployment is low and new housing estates are under construction – helped by Queanbeyan’s affordability relative to Canberra, with median prices for both houses and units generally below those in the national capital.

Canberra prices are kept artificially high by the tight control of land releases and general dwelling supply by the ACT Government. But Queanbeyan, while closer to central Canberra than many ACT suburbs, is in NSW and has cheaper prices. Many of its suburbs have median house prices in the $400,000s while Queanbeyan, Queanbeyan East and Crestwood all have median unit prices in the $200,000s – something that’s difficult to find within the ACT.

Property sales activity in Queanbeyan increased in 2015 and 2016, leading it to become a standout region for growth, as identified in the Autumn edition of the Price Predictor Index published by Hotspotting.

Good rental yields are another attraction, with several suburbs having median yields around 5 percent for houses and 6 percent for units.

Goulburn, about 80km from Canberra, also benefits from being close to the national capital and having much cheaper house prices. It’s a growth market, partly because of local events, partly its proximity to Canberra and partly a Ripple Effect from Sydney’s growth market.

Sales activity has been rising steadily in the past 18 months and this has generated solid growth in Goulburn’s median house price (up 7% to about $350,000 in the past 12 months).

Goulburn (the LGA’s population is around 30,000) has long been a solid regional centre servicing the Southern Tablelands area of NSW near the ACT border.

Long-term, it will benefit from its location in the growth corridor linking Canberra with Sydney – with growing numbers living in affordable Goulburn and working in Canberra.

It would also be a key beneficiary of plans for high-speed rail links between Canberra and Sydney, if that grand plan ever happens.

Goulburn has more diversity to its economy than your standard regional centre, with a big wind farm industry, the presence of the NSW Police College and also the Goulburn Correctional Centre.

Terry Ryder is the founder of You can email him or follow him on Twitter.

Terry Ryder

Terry Ryder

Terry Ryder is the founder of

Canberra Price Growth

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