Property News, Insights & Education

    What were the Top 10 Best Performing Suburbs in Australia in 2023

    • CoreLogic’s Property Value tool shows the best price growth for houses over the past year has been in Sydney’s outer suburbs, Townsville, Perth and Regional WA
    • Adelaide is the standout city for unit price growth, according to Property Value
    • Using different metrics and automated algorithms, PropTrack says Perth and Regional WA are the standouts, while CoreLogic puts houses in Perth, and units in Brisbane’s south-eastern suburbs at the top of its annual home price growth lists

    By the end of November 2023, the median price of properties in Australia had increased by 7% on prices at the same time the previous year.   

     

    Of course, that’s an average figure.

     

    Australia is, in fact, a country of more than 15,000 individual suburbs.

     

    So what were the best-performing areas in 2023?

     

    The short answer is - it depends.

     

    Choose your metrics

     

    People buying a property will consider different metrics when it comes to the value “performance” of suburbs.

     

    Home buyers will make their decisions based on location, price and lifestyle, while investors may consider location, price, rental returns, yields, cash flow prospects, price growth and risk.

     

    Let’s look at things that matter to both home buyers and investors - location and price. 

     

    And let’s narrow that down to the areas that have seen the greatest price growth over the past 12 months. 

     

    Real estate is being constantly bought and sold, so we also have to nominate a firm date on which we looked at the data, as it could change if we had looked even a few days earlier or later.

     

    For the purpose of this exercise, let’s nominate Friday the 15th of December 2023.

     

    And the winner...

     

    If we turn to CoreLogic’s Property Value database (used by banks, real estate agents, mortgage brokers and professional valuers), it shows that the Aussie suburb that has seen the greatest median price growth for houses over the last 12 months is not in the harbourside areas of Sydney or Melbourne mansion-rich Toorak, but rather in unglamorous Andamooka in outback South Australia.

     

    The website “Aussie Towns” describes it as a “wild opal mining town in the desert between Roxby Downs and Lake Torrens”.

     

    “All around are cones of white soil where miners, like gophers, have been burrowing for gems.”

     

    CoreLogic says the median house price is currently only $68,000 in Andamooka, but that is a whopping 172.0% more than on the 15th of December 2022.

     

    In fact, if you look at the top ten places for year-on-year growth in house prices in Australia, 7 are in remote areas where there’s plenty of work, but a chronic housing shortage - often because of their very remoteness - and this has forced up the price of what shelter there is.

     

    All of the 7, except Halifax in north Queensland, have a median price of less than $260,000.

     

    So given these (Andamooka SA, Ungarie NSW, Eidsvold QLD, Augathella QLD, Halifax QLD, Morgan SA and Dowerin WA) are in remote “boom or bust” locations where prices could suddenly fall through the floor if the opals run out or the local mine shuts down, let’s look deeper into the data to get a clearer picture of where there’s outstanding growth performance in urbanised areas of Australia.

      

    The real winner…

     

    Using that metric, the winner is Claymore, located in Campbelltown on Sydney’s southwestern outskirts.

     

    The median sale price of $945,000 is a 101.1% increase from what it was a year ago.

     

    Next are Townsville City QLD (68.2% price increase), Menangle Park NSW (64.5%), Robinson - a suburb of Albany in WA’s south (62.4%) and Wyee on the NSW Central Coast (62.1%).

     

    houses_Dec_22_23

     

    What about units?

     

    According to Property Value by CoreLogic, the suburb of Australia with the greatest Median Sale Price Change over the past year is Burnie on Tasmania’s northwest coast.

     

    The median price is listed as an astonishing $2,765,000.

     

    And the year-on-year price change as a percentage?

     

    662.8%!

     

    Given that the average HOUSE price in Burnie is only $475,000, and that has only increased by 10.35% over the past 12 months, there’s clearly something weird with the data.

     

    If you also check recent sales on Realeastate.com.au, the most paid for an apartment in Burnie was $900,000 back in May 2022, and over the last 2 years, most sold apartments have been in the $175,000 to $350,000 range.

     

    Moving down the list, a 63.2% jump in the median apartment price to just $155,000 in the tiny hamlet of Preston Beach (population: 268) 120 km south of Perth rings alarm bells as well.    

     

    So, let’s screen out those two outliers.

     

    And the real winner for units?

     

    Adelaide.

     

    No less than 5 of the top ten suburbs for outstanding growth are in the South Australian capital, topped by Everard Park in the inner southwest, which has seen a huge 86.3% jump in the median unit price to $580,000.

     

    The south-eastern Melbourne suburb of Gardenvale (60.8% price increase), Belrose on Sydney’s Northern Beaches (58.1%), Harlaxton in the Queensland city of Toowoomba (56.4%), South Hedland in WA’s north (55.8%) and Woodvale in Perth’s northern suburbs (55.7%) are the other five top suburbs.

     

    units_Dec_22_23

     

    What do other data providers say?

     

    REA Group’s PropTrack recently published its own list of the top-performing suburbs in 2023.

     

    However, it’s impossible to make a straight comparison with CoreLogic’s Property Value, as PropTrack bundles together houses and units and uses what’s called an AVM or automated valuation model.

     

    It’s unclear what the inputs for this model are, with PropTrack only describing it as “an algorithm that combines unique proprietary signals with advanced predictive modelling to provide an instant residential property valuation estimate with a level of confidence.”

     

    PropTrack also divides its dataset between capital cities and regions.

     

    So here are PropTrack’s best-performing capital city suburbs:

     

    capital_Dec_22_23

     

    Here are their best-performing regional suburbs:

     

    regional_Dec_22_23

     

    As you can see, both their cities and regional lists are dominated by properties at the affordable end of the market in Perth and Regional Western Australia.

     

    Interestingly for its official end-of-year “Best of the Best 2023” report, CoreLogic also calculates the best-performing suburbs for Median Sales value using an automated valuation model, rather than its Property Value tool.

     

    It says this is “A measure of the median (50th percentile) estimated sales value of all properties based on the hedonic imputation method, irrespective of whether it transacted or not.”

     

    Unlike PropTrack, houses and units are separated. 

     

    Capital City houses:

     

    capital_city_houses_Dec_22_23

     

    Capital City apartments:

     

    capital_city_houses(2)_Dec_22_23

     

    Regional Australia houses:

     

    regional_houses_Dec_22_23

     

    Regional Australia units:

     

    regional_apartments_Dec_22_23 (1)

     

    The takeaway

     

    As I said at the start, where you find the best property performance for 2023 depends on your metrics.

     

    But if you compare the data above, you can pretty safely say that if you had bought a house or a unit late last year at the affordable end of the market in Perth, Adelaide, Regional WA, Regional Queensland, Regional SA or certain parts of Regional NSW, you would be celebrating your wise investment choice. 

     

    Likewise, if you bought a house in a new estate on Sydney’s outskirts late last year or an apartment in Brisbane’s south-eastern suburbs, you will also probably be smiling.