Regional markets' investment opportunities

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Often overshadowed by the larger capital city housing markets, the regional areas of Australia can also present good investment opportunities, said RP Data.

The housing data provider highlighted the Hunter region of NSW, Barwon in Victoria, the Gold Coast of Queensland, Outer Adelaide in South Australia, the South West of Western Australia and Launceston in Tasmania as being areas that offer solid investment opportunities.

Most regional areas had significantly lower median prices than the nearby capital cities, with the Gold Coast proving the only exception.

"Each of the regions borders a capital city, so it is understandable that more and more people are viewing these more affordable housing markets as an alternative to living within the capital city metro area," said RP Data in its report.

The regional areas offer both a less hectic place to live for commuters and a home for the many regional-based workers.

The Hunter area was highlighted for its affordability, with a median of $310,000, nearly half that of Sydney. So too was Outer Adelaide, with a median of $325,000, and almost $90,000 less than the faster growing median prices in Adelaide.

In Barwon, RP Data noted prices have fallen just 0.2% over the last 12 months, compared to a 2.1% drop in Melbourne over the same period.

The Gold Coast is known as having one of the fastest growing populations in the country, with around 500,000 residents already. The South West region of Western Australia was also noted as the fastest growing WA region outside of Perth, while also being more affordable by about $130,000, based on a median of $345,000.

In Launceston, the local council area is actually larger than that of Hobart, said RP Data, but house prices are about $80,000 lower than the capital, at about $220,000.

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