Three of the best and cheapest locations with growth prospects: Terry Ryder

Three of the best and cheapest locations with growth prospects: Terry Ryder
Three of the best and cheapest locations with growth prospects: Terry Ryder

Real estate abounds with myths and misconceptions and there are few bigger than this furphy: you always get the best growth in the “prime” areas.

That old chestnut has always been false but commentators still repeat it, particularly those who make their living from selling real estate in the millionaire suburbs.

The top end of town in both Melbourne and Sydney have seen good growth in recent years, but over the longer-term they’re not the market leaders.

In Melbourne, the prime market is headed by suburbs like Toorak (median price $4.7 million) and Canterbury (a tick under $3 million). Toorak’s 10-year growth average is 5.9 percent a year, which is pretty ordinary, while Canterbury averages 6.8 percent. By contrast, the previously-stigmatized Sunshine suburbs in the western suburbs all average above 10 percent a year, while humble Thomastown and Lalor up in the northern fringes of the Melbourne Metro area average better than 9 percent.

There are many similar examples to be found across Sydney and Melbourne.

It’s good news for real estate consumers, most of whom can’t afford the swanky suburbs and are simply looking for locations where the prices are attainable and the growth prospects are strong.

Fortunately, there are plenty of options around Australia.

Right now, the most buoyant markets – as well as the ones with the best future prospects – are generally the more affordable ones.

While the average price performance for Sydney and Melbourne is now a little in the negative, it’s mostly happening in the expensive areas, while the more affordable outer-ring markets are still delivering some growth.

Our strongest capital city market right now is the cheapest one, Hobart.

The capital cities with the best prospects moving forward are those which offer a lot more affordable options than Sydney or Melbourne – namely, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth.

And in terms of the markets that are showing the greatest activity and highest price growth right now – they’re mostly regional centres, where prices are a lot more attractive than their capital cities.

Geelong has thrived partly because of the price comparison with Melbourne and Newcastle has surged thanks in part to its pricing compared to Sydney.

For these and other reasons, the most popular reports at Hotspotting include the ones we call Cheapies with Prospects. We have a city edition and a regional edition.

Each edition has five locations worth considering and here I’m focusing on three of them, to illustrate why cheaper areas with good growth drivers are worthy of attention from real estate consumers.

Ipswich City

Not many capital cities offer suburbs with median house prices below $300,000 but Brisbane does. You’re most likely to find them in Ipswich City (pictured above) in the south-west of the Greater Brisbane area – although suburbs with medians in the $300,000s are more common.

So the area offers plenty of “Cheapies” but the key words are “With Prospects”, and Ipswich City offers plenty of potential for growth.

It has good infrastructure, transport links, amenities and major job nodes, helped by the evolution of master-planned communities like Springfield. 

A key factor in identifying hotspots is what’s coming up in the near future and this is what puts Ipswich firmly on our radar screen: there is big spending on infrastructure, like the ongoing expansion of the RAAF Base at Amberley, and major new jobs nodes, like the one being created by the $5 billion Defence contract recently announced.

City of Marion

The South Australian economy is steadily improving and prospects for Adelaide property markets are rising. 

I like the City of Marion because it’s middle market by Adelaide standards but its price levels are below the bottom end of Sydney and Melbourne.

Several suburbs have median house prices in the $300,000s though there are more in the $400,000s. The LGA is handy to the Adelaide CBD, with good transport links, and has multiple growth drivers, including Flinders University, the nearby Flinders medical precinct and the strongly-emerging Tonsley precinct created from the former Mitsubishi car plant.


Regional Australia abounds with growth markets at the moment and many of them have attractive prices.

Ballarat in Victoria stands out because it’s a strong, growing regional city with great links to its capital city, but at a fraction of the price.

There are growing numbers of Melbourne residents prowling Ballarat looking for affordable properties with attractive rental yields, amid a thriving local economy.

There are suburbs with median house prices in the mid-$200,000s and others in the low-to-mid-$300,000s. Yields in the 4.5 to 5.5 percent range are on offer.

Several locations have recorded double-digit price growth in the past 12 months.

The most popular suburbs, in terms of sales numbers, are Wendouree and Sebastopol, both of which have a median price of $260,000.

Terry Ryder is the founder of

Terry Ryder

Terry Ryder

Terry Ryder is the founder of

Terry Ryder Prospect

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