The coronavirus pandemic is doing little to deter househunters from snapping up property in two regional South Australian locations.
Whyalla and Mount Gambier are among the country’s top 10 local government areas that have recorded the strongest price growth in the past three months (June to August), according to latest realestate.com.au data.
Whyalla came in fourth, notching 25 per cent growth to take its median house price to $174,000, while Mount Gambier came in seventh, with a 20 per cent increase to a median of $277,000.
Blights Real Estate director Gregg Utting said an increasing number of sales, particularly at a high price point, was responsible for the growth.
“There has been a good number of sales at the higher end of the market, which will skew some of the median price data,” he said.
“We’ve been in an improving market for a couple of years and a really strong market for the past four or five months.
“Listing numbers are down now, which creates more buyer demand as well.”
Mr Utting said most of the buyers were locals and they felt confident buying property now because the area hadn’t been too heavily impacted by COVID-19 like some others.
“I think there’s just a continued sense of optimism around the town,” he said.
In the South East, Ray White Mt Gambier principal Tahlia Gabrielli said local and interstate househunters were flocking to the region, which had bumped prices up.
She said more people were moving to the area because they were able to work from home as a result of COVID-19, while others were investing in the region because they believed bricks and mortar was a safer alternative to a term deposit.
“We’re actually achieving higher prices for properties because the demand is there – we’re listing properties and having multiple offers on it in the first week,” she said.
“There’s been much more demand and there’s less stock on the market, which is pushing prices up.”
Chief economist at realestate.com.au Nerida Conisbee said the national list was “overwhelmingly” dominated by regional areas.
“The shift in interest to the regions is one of the more fascinating – and positive – trends to come out of COVID-19 – and the high level of interest in regional Australia is now flowing through to short-term pricing growth,” she said.