Top suburbs to buy property in 2024


There are no property booms in sight for 2024 but we expect slow and steady growth in most cities and regional areas.

Here, we look at the standout locations in each state.

Plus, nail or fail? We look back at our 2023 predictions.

canterbury bankstown property outlook 2024

New South Wales

Standout location: Canterbury-Bankstown

In the summer edition of the Price Predictor Index, Hotspotting ranked the Canterbury-Bankstown LGA as 'the national growth star', the strongest municipality in Australia for real estate performance.

Among the leading suburbs are Bass Hill (median house price $1.1 million) and Condell Park (median price $1.2 million for houses and $785,000 for units).

2023 reviewed: City of Wollongong

We singled out Wollongong last year because buyers were seeking an affordable lifestyle close to the capital city and Wollongong ticked many boxes.

It ended 2023 as the strongest rising market in regional NSW and many suburbs recorded good price growth, headed by Figtree (up 18%) and Mangerton (up 14%).

Sydney began 2024 as one of the nation's leading growth markets. In 2023, it recovered from the 2022 downturn, with sales activity growing stronger as the year evolved, which translated into 12% price rises for houses and 8% for apartments, according to CoreLogic.

Hotspotting's analysis in the summer 2023-24 edition of the Price Predictor Index finds that 84% of Sydney suburbs have positive trends with sales activity, a forward indicator of price growth.

There are rising markets right across the Greater Sydney area, from the CBD and inner west to Penrith and Liverpool.

Inner-city precincts dominated because apartments have rising demand, with buyers motivated by location, lifestyle and affordability relative to houses in the same area (apartments are often less than half the price).

Middle market areas also stand out, notably the municipalities of Canterbury-Bankstown, Parramatta, Georges River and Ryde.

Heading west there are markets with growing momentum in the Blacktown, Liverpool and Penrith regions.

Regional NSW also experienced a revival in 2023, though not as emphatically as Sydney, with some of the iconic sea change locations still in the doldrums, notably Byron Bay and the Central Coast.

Byron Bay, in particular, overshot realistic value in the Covid boom and its median house price has dropped 20% in the past year.

The strongest regional market is Wollongong (see left) and its near neighbours Shoalhaven and Shellharbour, while Newcastle is also well into a revival phase.

Smaller regional cities with renewed energy include Orange, Ballina, Goulburn, Tweed Heads, Port Macquarie and Nowra.

melbourne property outlook 2024


Standout location: Melbourne City

The City of Melbourne LGA is at the forefront of a national trend of rising demand for well-located and affordable apartments and ranks as one of the strongest markets in the nation.

Buoyant markets include Melbourne CBD (median unit price $410,000); Carlton (median prices $1.45 million for houses and $340,000 for units); and South Yarra (median prices $2.13 million and $583,000). 

2023 reviewed: City of Hume

We noted last year that a lot of Melbourne's population growth was spilling into the northern fringe, and Hume was one area where buyer demand remained strong. As with most of Greater Melbourne, late in 2023 suburbs began to recover from price decline.

Melbourne evolved from a struggling market to a boom spot in the second half of 2023 and is a national leader on growth momentum.

Almost half of the suburbs in Greater Melbourne now have rising sales volumes and 87% of them have positive trends in their markets. This represents a massive transformation from the situation at the start of 2023.

This return to a market characterised by high buyer demand is seen right across the Greater Melbourne area, with the exception of the Mornington Peninsula.

The City of Melbourne, which includes the Melbourne CBD and near-city suburbs, is thriving, but so too are middle Melbourne precincts, such as the Whitehorse and Monash local government areas, as well as outer-ring areas, such as the City of Casey in the south-east, Wyndham in the south-west, Melton in the west and Whittlesea on the northern fringe of Greater Melbourne.

The regional Victoria market has continued to improve, although it's not rising as dramatically as Melbourne has recently. Geelong continues to be a market leader, with most of its suburbs having positive trends in sales activity and prices. Leading performers are Armstrong Creek (median house price $680,000), and Charlemont ($616,000).

Bendigo has an equally positive market, led by suburbs such as Eaglehawk (median house price $515,000). Ballarat is a little less bullish. The Mitchell LGA, on the northern outskirts of Greater Melbourne, continues to attract buyers from the capital city. All Mitchell Shire towns have growing demand.

gold coast property outlook 2024


Standout location: Gold Coast

There has been a dramatic surge in buyer activity in regional Queensland, and the Gold Coast is at the forefront of the revival.

Growth markets include Benowa (median prices $1.5 million for houses and $730,000 for units), Broadbeach Waters (medians $2.01 million and $715,000), Burleigh Waters ($1.37 million and $660,000), Merrimac ($820,000 and $600,000).

2023 reviewed: Townsville

A year ago we said the dynamic North Queensland city of Townsville had all the credentials for a big year - and there were growth suburbs in 2023 right throughout the city, led by Nelly Bay (up 13% in 12 months), West End (up 18%) and Currajong (up 10%).

The Greater Brisbane market has gone to another level in its recent recovery, following a major surge in buyer demand in the second half of 2023, with 85% of suburbs on the rise. Earlier in the year, many suburbs had declining activity but by year end there were none.

All sectors of the Greater Brisbane market are performing, with the inner precinct emerging increasingly as a leader. Most of the suburbs clustered around the Brisbane CBD have busy markets - a trend evident in all the major cities of Australia, with more buyers opting for apartments.

The Brisbane north precinct is pumping strongly and the neighbouring Moreton Bay region is equally busy, with many buyers seeking affordable options. Similarly, Logan City in the south and Ipswich City in the south-west have also responded to the theme of strong recovery.

There has been a dramatic surge in buyer activity in regional Queensland, converting the recovery observed in mid-2023 into a notable up-cycle.

Some of the key regional centres are now booming markets, while others are in the recovery phase and heading in that direction.

Very few have yet to get on board with the trend of positive markets, with just 13 locations across Regional Queensland classified as declining markets by the Price Predictor Index.

The Gold Coast is leading the regional Queensland revival and the Sunshine Coast is on the recovery path but less advanced than the Gold Coast.

Other regional cities well advanced in the return to growth markets include Cairns and Gladstone.

bunbury western australia property outlook 2024

Western Australia

Standout location: Bunbury 

While the Perth market was showing signs of fading late in 2023, the City of Bunbury was heading in the opposite direction.

The commercial heart of WA's booming south-west region, Bunbury offers an attractive seaside lifestyle and affordable housing, which accounts for it having a population growth rate well above the national average. Most suburbs have median house prices below $500,000.

2023 reviewed: City of Armadale

We said a year ago that the Armadale LGA in the far south of Greater Perth offered value for money - and in 2023 it was a nation-leading market. Many suburbs had double-digit price growth, including Camillo (17%), Brookdale (14%), Harrisdale (12%) and Armadale (12%).

Late in 2023, the Perth property market showed the first signs of tapering off, after three years of rising sales activity and prices.

Perth ended 2023 as the No.1 city on annual price growth, but it's unlikely to retain that status in 2024.

In recent years, Perth has been on a different path from the major east coast cities. Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane all declined in 2022, but Perth continued to rise. It was a national leader throughout 2023, with the big eastern cities heading into recovery as the year evolved.

Now 2024 looks like a year led by  the biggest cities, while Perth will be fading somewhat. In the second half of 2023, there was a notable drop-off in sales activity across Greater Perth, usually the first sign that a boom is coming to an end.

A decade ago, a Perth property boom (related to the extraordinary resources boom at that time) was followed by six years of price decline. That won't happen this time, as the WA and Perth economies are stronger and more diversified these days. But we are unlikely to see double-digit price growth in Perth in 2024.

Regional WA has been a standout for the past couple of years and some of the key regional centres are likely to outperform Perth in 2024. South of the capital city, Mandurah and Bunbury have growth markets, both offering an affordable lifestyle, while north of Perth the regional city of Geraldton looks to have a vibrant future.

mount gambier south australia property outlook 2024

South Australia

Standout location: Mount Gambier

This is one of the largest regional centres in South Australia, offering affordable housing, lifestyle opportunities and employment growth in a vibrant regional economy.

With a median house price of $390,000 (up 9% in 2023) and yields above 5%, Mount Gambier is a location worth considering.

2023 reviewed: City of Salisbury

Our comment last year was: "With affordability the driving force in real estate and affordable Adelaide one of the leading markets nationally, the northern suburbs of the city are attracting growing demand". In 2023 every City of Salisbury suburb had double-digit price growth, with some up 20%. 

Adelaide is the nation's No. 1 market for consistency. While the bigger cities have had ups and downs over recent years, Adelaide navigated 2022 without any problems and chugged on steadily in 2023.

The city is underpinned by one of Australia's strongest economies (ranked No. 2 in the October 2023 edition of State of the States by CommSec) and attracts buyers because it's considerably cheaper than the bigger cities.

It also has the most persistently low vacancy rates in capital city Australia: the national vacancy rate was just 1.1% in November (SQM Research), but Adelaide was less than half the national level at 0.5%.

It's expected to be a solid, steady market in 2024, but not a booming one - with good performance spread across Greater Adelaide, but most notably in the bottom end areas and parts of the middle market. 

The cheaper areas, including the Playford and Salisbury LGAs in the northern suburbs, continue to attract demand, while middle areas such as the Campbelltown, Port Adelaide Enfield and Tea Tree Gully municipalities provide a blend of quality and affordability.

Regional South Australia is always overlooked in national discussions about real estate, but it continues to be one of Australia's best performers. In 2023, the median house price for regional SA rose 10% (only Sydney, Perth and Brisbane did better).

Affordable regional centres such as Mount Gambier and Murray Bridge have good prospects, while the towns of the Copper Coast have busy markets and lifestyle locations such as Victor Harbor 
and Port Elliot continue to attract buyers out of Adelaide.

clarence hobart property outlook 2024


Standout location: Clarence LGA 

The suburb of Geilston Bay (median house price $750,000) is one of the few locations in Hobart and regional Tasmania with a rising market in terms of sales activity. 

In a generally lukewarm Hobart market past its previous peak, the City of Clarence and suburbs such as Geilston Bay offer the best chance of some growth in 2024.

2023 reviewed: Hobart

We said a year ago: "Given Hobart no longer offers the affordability that inspired its boom, the market has passed its peak in terms of sales activity and prices stagnated in 2022 ... Hobart is unlikely to produce significant price growth in 2023". 

In fact, Hobart's median house price dropped around 1% in 2023.

The Tasmanian property market ended 2023 with sales activity moderating and prices weak.

The rise of Hobart - and regional Tasmania markets led by Launceston - started four or five years ago, as the State's economy steadily improved. Eventually, Tasmania was ranked the No. 1 economy in the nation by CommSec's State of the States report.

But by 2022, the State's boom had peaked and in the October 2023 edition of State of the States, Tasmania was ranked sixth among the eight States and Territories.

Hobart prices remained stagnant in 2023 and rents are no longer growing. Vacancies, while still tight, are double the levels of a year ago.

Most Hobart suburbs experienced decreases in their median house prices in 2023, with several falling by more than 10%.

With sales activity solid but not vibrant at the end of the year, it's difficult to see 2024 being a growth year for the Tasmanian capital.

A key factor is that Hobart, traditionally the cheapest of the capital cities, no longer has that price differential, being more expensive than Perth and Darwin and similar to Adelaide.

In addition, PropTrack figures published in December showed listings of homes for sale had lifted 23% in 12 months.

While the Hobart market is lukewarm entering 2024, regional Tasmania is generally cold.

Most regional locations have negative trends in sales activity and prices have fallen in many locations.

In Launceston, for many years one of regional Australia's best performers, prices dropped in many suburbs in 2023.

act property outlook 2024


Standout location: Kingston

The summer 2023-24 edition of the Price Predictor Index found only one suburb in Canberra worthy of the 'rising' classification - inner-city Kingston.

Canberra is an expensive city, and the second most pricey real estate market after Sydney. But Kingston's apartment market had a median price of $655,000, according to CoreLogic.

2023 reviewed: Canberra

We said a year ago: "Steadiness is the hallmark of the ACT property market and there's no reason why 2023 will be any different, with prices likely to show minor increases throughout the coming year".

Canberra's median house price rose 1.0% in 2023, according to CoreLogic, compared to the national average of 8.3%.

Canberra has long been renowned for its consistency and steadiness as a property market, but in 2023 it sullied its reputation.

By year end it was ranked as the weakest market jurisdiction in the nation by a considerable margin. 

The summer 2023-24 edition of the Price Predictor Index commented: "Canberra continues to be Australia's weakest property market, bereft of any signs of life or energy, contrary to trends elsewhere across the nation. While many other cities have vibrant markets, the national capital is mired in the mediocrity of the politicians who reside there."

While many of the capital cities had markets that got stronger and stronger in 2023, Canberra went in the opposite direction, weakening noticeably as the year wore on. Declining sales activity was a characteristic of most of the national capital's suburbs, with the inner-city apartment enclave of Kingston the only exception.

This steady decline in sales activity has been happening in Canberra for the past 18 months, with no signs of improvement.

It hasn't helped that the ACT has a weak economy, ranked second last among the States and Territories by CommSec's State of the States report.

darwin nt property outlook 2024

Northern Territory

Standout location: Darwin City

Central Darwin, where apartments rule, has experienced an uplift in buyer demand recently. Darwin City (median unit price $435,000) and nearby Parap (median unit price $385,000) have the affordability that is attracting buyers.

For investors, Darwin overall has the highest gross rental yields in capital city Australia (6% for houses and 7.3% for units)

2023 reviewed: Darwin

We said a year ago: "Darwin is likely to produce solid but moderate growth in 2023". The final outcome was a little less than that: its median house price fell by 0.8% and its median unit price by 0.4%. The Darwin market was reasonably steady in 2023, but didn't develop any forward momentum.

Darwin, like Canberra, is hampered by an underlying Territory economy that is under-performing national and its own historical standards.

The Northern Territory has the bottom-ranked economy in the nation. There has been relatively little construction work happening, dwelling commencements have been below average, and there's been poor retail spending and little economic growth.

There are few major infrastructure projects to energise the economy and create jobs. It's difficult for the Darwin property market to perform against that backdrop.

It did have a fairly vibrant market against national trends in 2022 (when we called it the "unheralded hero of the Australian property market"), but it fell away in 2023, also against national trends.

Towards the end of 2023, there was a glimmer of improvement in the Darwin market, but it remained mediocre by national standards - and well below the levels it reached in 2021 and 2022, when most locations had rising sales activity, boosted in part by government spending.

Darwin enters 2024 with the second weakest market among the major jurisdictions of Australia, after Canberra.

The only sectors showing a glimmer of energy are the inner-city suburbs where apartments dominate - and some of the affordable suburbs of the Palmerston LGA, such as Gray (median house price $400,000), Gunn ($505,000) and Zuccoli ($540,000).

Alice Springs, the only property market of substance in the Territory outside Darwin, continues to struggle, although there are signs of life in the suburbs of Gillen and Araluen.

For more property tips, including CoreLogic's top 50 locations for 2024, order your copy of the February 2024 issue of Money! Plus, next week we'll bring you five standout shares for 2024!

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Terry Ryder is the creator and owner of Hotspotting, which helps identify emerging property markets. He has three decades of experience as a researcher and commentator.
Robyn Caldwell
February 21, 2024 10.52pm

Terry, just letting you know no politicians reside in Canberra, they travel there to from their homes across our fine land to meet.

Also, it's ridiculous to compare Canberras economy to other states, it's really just a big country town. Canberra still has the second most expensive property market in the Country and GDP per capita is $110066 compared to NSW which is $94295 (from ABS data).