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March 1, 2024 by ash

Wide Bay sees the greatest growth in property prices in Australia due to its beaches and hot weather

  • As population growth and a lack of homes push up prices in regional Queensland, property values are surging. 
  • Locals say Wide Bay’s beaches, hot weather, and “bang for your buck” properties are particularly attractive. 
  • Property analysts predict the trend will continue.

One coastal region in Queensland is experiencing the most rapid growth in property prices.

In the past five years, property prices in Wide Bay, which includes Bundaberg, Hervey Bay, and Maryborough, have risen between 65-75 percent.

Wide Bay has an “incredibly exciting set of ingredients,” said property analyst Simon Pressley.

A big draw for someone looking to relocate from a big, congested city, such as Sydney or Melbourne, is the cost of housing combined with the lifestyle.

I would argue that it has the best weather in the country.

It’s an economic story, a lifestyle story, and a shortage of housing supply story.”

How does the drawcard work?

According to locals, the boom is due to the region’s beaches, good weather, and large backyards.

After putting two houses on the market in recent years, Bundaberg builder Jake Chappel has experienced growth at work and in his personal life.

It was nice to be on the selling side, he said.

“I feel sorry for the young people who are buying now. But I do not believe [prices] will go down any time soon.

It was probably cheap land and cheap properties at the beginning.

“The climate is usually good. It’s a bit hot right now, but it’s usually pretty comfortable and liveable.”.

As compared to the [Gold and Sunshine] coasts and Brisbane, we have great beaches, great people, and reasonable prices.”

  • Beaches, good weather, and big backyards are credited with the boon. (ABC Wide Bay: Johanna Marie)

Growth in the market

Over the past five years, Bundaberg’s property values have increased nearly 75 percent to a median value of nearly $480,000, according to CoreLogic’s report.

A jump of more than 67 per cent had occurred at Hervey Bay to over $615,000, while a jump of almost 66 per cent had occurred at Maryborough to almost $395,000.

With a median value of more than $965,000, the Sunshine Coast has overtaken the Gold Coast region for the highest median value in regional Queensland.

Tim Lawless, head of research at CoreLogic, attributed the high prices to Queensland’s strong population growth.

“We’re also seeing an ongoing trend in internal migration rates where more people are looking for regional housing or being driven to the regions due to job growth or affordable housing.”

Mr Lawless, however, said that high property prices were not good news for everybody.

According to him, home owners have built up quite a bit of equity across the market.

On the other hand, affordability is becoming more difficult for those who do not own a home.

“Household incomes haven’t risen near that amount.”

Preparing to pay a premium

The data didn’t surprise veteran Gold Coast real estate agent David Hamilton.

In his work, he has seen those numbers reflected and does not expect the market to slow down anytime soon.

“The big jump was in COVID years. It’s going to keep going up,” he said.

There has been an increase in interstate arrivals cashing in on the Gold Coast market, which he believes is adding to the already tight market.

Byron Bay, Sutherland Shire, or the eastern suburbs of Sydney are no different from us, Mr Hamilton said.

People want to live here and walk to the beach, and they are willing to pay a premium for it.”