FIRST home buyers in the regional NSW market are targeting suburbs within commuting distance of Sydney or within driving distance of a regional airport.
According to new data from proptech firm InfoTrack, who specialise in legal and conveyancing technology, generally speaking first home buyers in this market are looking for areas that offer one of these two features.
“The data indicates there is plenty of action and some refreshing standouts to speak about. Our May and June data tells us that the hottest suburbs are still those outer western suburbs of Sydney like Austral and Marsden Park. However, in the regions there is a lot more variety in the types of suburbs that first-home buyers are going for,” said John Ahern, CEO of InfoTrack.
Hamlyn Terrace was the most sought after location for NSW first home buyers over FY21, sitting 113km north of Sydney and 72km from Newcastle.
With a median three-bedroom house price of $540,000, Hamlyn Terrace offers buyers access to the nearby Wyong Hospital and Tuggerah Lake.
Wagga Wagga is the next most popular suburb, despite sitting 459km from Sydney, it boasts a well-serviced airport with a short flight time to the capital of around one hour.
The median three-bedroom house price in Wagga Wagga is also significantly lower than the preceding suburb, at $435,000 and typically includes ample land in that price.
The Greater Gosford area takes the number three spot, located on the Central Coast around halfway between Sydney and Newcastle, just 85km from Sydney, with a median three-bedroom house price of $575,000.
“Also on the Central Coast, Gosford is further south and closer to Sydney than Hamlyn Terrace – and it’s a bit more expensive too – but that’s likely due to its proximity to the city,” said Ahern.
Dubbo, Bathurst and Tamworth followed, respectively located 390km, 200km and 414km from Sydney and priced at $350,000, $425,000 and $386,000 for a three-bedroom house.
The data also found that Wagga, Dubbo and Tamworth all outranked the middle to outer ring Sydney suburbs of Blacktown and Penrith with first home buyers.
“Now these are true regional areas that don’t need proximity to Sydney because they have formed their own regional centres. All three have major hospitals and airports, plus Dubbo and Bathurst offer easy access to on-campus universities too,” added Ahern.
Rounding out the top ten were Rutherford, Cameron Park, Albury and Wallsend, sitting 179km, 155km, 554km and 159km respectively from Sydney, with a three-bedroom medium house price at a respective $418,000, $525,000, $620,000 and $530,000.
InfoTrack attributes the high levels of interest in these areas, not just to the 2020 acceleration of the treechange trend, but these areas offering first home buyers more space for less, with the median house price in Sydney at $994,298 compared to regional NSW’s $586,982.
Additionally, first home buyer schemes and incentives are able to stretch far further in a regional area than in Greater Sydney.
“These home buyer schemes are often capped on purchase price and unfortunately those price caps are too easily reached in Sydney so first-home buyers are looking for options elsewhere. They also encourage first-time purchasers to take up home and land packages and one way to do that is to head to the regions where there’s more space,” concluded Ahern.