April 2012

Would you like to know where Australia's frontrunners are for booming population growth and healthy construction figures? Read on for a rundown of the country’s population and building growth hotspots.

Construction levels and population growth are seen as two key indicators of a healthy property market. Thankfully, the Housing Industry Association (HIA) and JELD-WEN have put together a list of the country’s top performing regions on both counts.

The report, Population & Residential Building Hotspots, has delved into the figures for all of the country’s statistical local areas (SLAs), and has identified those ‘hotspots’ that match two key criteria:

  • The 2010/11 population growth rate must be in excess of the national growth rate (which was 1.4% over the year to June 2011).
  • The value of residential building work approved in that SLA must be in excess of: $100 million for SLA’s in New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland and Western Australia; $50 million for SLA’s in South Australia; $20 million for SLA’s in Tasmania, the Northern Territory, and the ACT.

So where are Australia’s building and population hotspots? (Scroll down to see the list.)

Source: HIA–JELD-WEN Population & Residential Building Hotspots

Perhaps surprisingly, number one in the list is the Canberra City SLA, whose annual population growth rate of 39.6% in particular outstrips the rest of the top 20 by some margin. Add to this what the report describes as the area’s “apartment boom” and the Canberra City SLA is a clear winner. With the Federal Government making cutbacks in an effort to deliver its promised budget surplus by 2012/13, however, Canberra City’s top billing may not last for long.

A couple of Victoria's growth corridors to the north and south west of the Melbourne CBD take out the next two spots, and in terms of representation in the top 20 Victoria comes up trumps with nine SLAs in the list. This is an outcome “reflective of Victoria realising much of its residential construction potential”, says the report, with new housing starts having hit a record high in 2009/10 “and was not much below that record again in 2010/11”.

Western Australia takes out five of the top 20 hotspot places, followed by Queensland (3), the ACT (2) and the Northern Territoty (1). New South Wales failed to make the top 20, but the report notes that the “former high flyer” of Canada Bay just misses out at number 21.

“The other two absentees from the top 20 national Hotspots list were Tasmania and South Australia, which was not unexpected given that in 2010/11 these two were the slowest growing states in Australia in terms of population growth,” adds the report.

“Looking forward, our outlook for new home building suggests we may see a change in the mix of the top twenty Hotspots over the next two or so years. Specifically, with an expectation that Victorian home starts will continue to ease we may see Western Australia, Queensland and NSW pick up a few extra positions between them. In other words, we may see the composition of the Top 20 Hotspots become a bit more balanced across the larger jurisdictions.”

Read on for a state-by-state breakdown of the country’s top population and building hotspots:

Source: HIA–JELD-WEN Population & Residential Building Hotspots

Visit the where to buy now section of our property investment forum for more hotspot chat.

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