Regional NSW

The Smartline Report – July Edition

The month in review: Regional NSW

By Herron Todd White
July 2015

Southern Highlands

The market in the Southern Highlands is currently increasing.

Under $500,000 in Bowral will obtain mainly semimodern or modern townhouses at around $450,000 to $500,000. In East Bowral, which comprises semimodern project homes, an investor could just pick up a 4-bedroom home that needs some work in the $480,000 to $500,000 range. Rentals are in the range of $450 to $550 per week. In Moss Vale and Mittagong, a modern project style home can still be purchased in the $450,000 to $500,000 range.

Southern Tablelands

The Southern Tablelands offers more choices and affordability to potential investors with lower price entry levels than the Highlands. Goulburn, with a population of around 24,000 has a steady workforce and is a popular country holiday destination.

Depending on dwelling, land size and the quality of the home, you could purchase a new or modern home for between $390,000 and $500,000 and rent it out for between $400 and $500 per week. For capital growth, an investor could purchase an older style dwelling for between $250,000 and $350,000 and renovate.

Another option in Goulburn for the savvy investor would be to purchase multiple residential units or townhouse or villa properties for between $150,000 and $250,000 each and rent them out for between $200 to $300 per week. An investor could purchase two or three of these properties for under half a million. This market has shown good capital growth over the past few years and is now steady. Rental levels in Goulburn have reduced slightly over the past 12 months.

Compared to last year, our value levels have increased by 10% in the Highlands and remained steady in the Tablelands. We would consider reinvesting into these properties. Value and rental markets have improved in our region.

NSW Mid North Coast

This month we consider the best property options that half a million dollars will buy you on the Mid North Coast.

While that lazy half a million may be easier to obtain at the moment, it certainly doesn’t go as far as it did last year with opportunities becoming harder to find.

On the mid north coast during the latter part of 2014 we noted an increase in demand and values for residential properties. This was also reflected in house prices peaking in October/November (as shown below). However the market has continued to rise albeit at a slower rate over the past few months.


Sourced from RP Data

Rental economy has remained strong fuelled by high current demands and increasing rents. This has seen returns for residential properties escalating at a higher rate than the increasing value rate of the dwelling especially in the low to medium price range.

Therefore taking the above into consideration we consider the following investments areas the best for a lazy half a million:

  • Good quality villas or lower end villa complexes, consisting of two villas sold as in one line have been popular with investors producing an almost positively geared return and would be a good area for investment.
  • Three to four bedroom older homes in the eastern side of Port Macquarie, around the $450,00 to $550,00, are also producing good returns in most instances and combined with excellent potential for future capital growth, is another area of good investment.
  • House and land packages in the outer and western regions of Port Macquarie and nearby towns and villages can be purchased for between $450,000 and $550,000. With the construction of the Charles Sturt University Campus, these areas are also showing positive signs of good rental rentals which should increase in the future.

On the mid north coast, the major centre of Port Macquarie has the highest rates for capital growth and rental returns at present. The smaller regional and coastal towns and villages are also showing increases in growth and rental returns and consideration should also be given to similar types of properties, as mentioned above, in Forster, Lake Cathie, Bonny Hills and Laurieton for investment opportunities.

NSW Central Coast

The NSW central coast property market has experienced a substantial increase in values over the past year and this keeps us in line with many markets. With the increasing demand seen over the past year, those with a lazy $500,000 just don’t appear to be getting all that much in comparison to this time last year.

Values vary considerably across our region and an almost unprecedented level of demand in the sub $500,000 market has been seen of late. This results in prices pushed above and beyond both the owner’s and agent’s expectations. Increasing values means those with dreams of being near the transport hubs, better suburbs or near beachside destinations will need on average $600,000 to $650,000 to secure entry level beachside properties and closer to $600,000 for the other locations. Thus the lazy $500,000 just won’t cut it if the dream of owning a dwelling is on the agenda.

But with planning and quick action, $500,000 buyers can generally pick up a standard 3- to 4-bedroom, single storey project home in the newer and developing residential estates of Wadalba, Hamlyn Terrace and Woongarrah and their surrounding suburbs. These areas have been known for their affordability and with developing infrastructure we predict that the region will continue to grow over time. Residential development within the area is considered strong, with developers barely keeping up with the demand and selling off 300 square metres of land for approximately $220,000. Lots of double that size could be purchased for the same price just months ago.

For those who prefer the southern central coast lifestyle, property around Gosford, Wyoming, Narara and Niagara Park area is considered the most affordable. An average 3-bedroom single storey, 30 to 40 year old home with a garage can be purchased anywhere in the mid $400,000s to $500,000 range, with the odd larger 4-bedroom property being sold for just under $500,000. Although these houses are much older than those being sold for similar prices at the northern end of the central coast, these areas are more centrally located with train stations, schools, hospitals and the beach just a short drive away. Additionally, these suburbs are becoming more and more popular for Sydney commuters due to their short distance to the M1 and affordability in comparison to the current Sydney house prices.

For those who prefer a busier atmosphere and less maintenance, units in and round the Gosford area can be purchased anywhere from $300,000 to $500,000. But beware of jumping too soon as there are a large number of units approved and waiting for commencement and the construction of too many units in a short period will only result in an oversupply situation. This is a situation seen in the last bull market with a long recovery period resulting from it.

Tradies, builders, investors or those who fancy a renovator’s delight may be able to snap up the occasional bargain in the more prestige southern central coast region closer to the water and beaches for a lazy $500,000 or less. These rundown properties are considered to attract a niche market where labour costs can be substituted with the purchaser’s skill. Such is the case in The Peninsula areas of the coast such as Umina Beach, Woy Woy and Ettalong Beach where the demand and popularity of these areas has been nothing short of spectacular and where properties thought to be reasonably good value around the $500,000 mark now are well into the $600,000s. The sustainability of these markets at these levels remains to be seen, but we would be very cautious and expect them to show up on the lender’s red flag list at some stage.

Those with a lazy $500,000 to spend could also cast an eye over the sleeper suburbs. We include some sections of Kincumber, Empire Bay and Erina among them along with Budgewoi, Blue Haven, Buff Point, Summerland Point and Gwandalan.


Half a million is a significant price point in the local area. The vast majority of residential sales are below this mark. This is true for new and established dwellings. Builders recognise this and the majority of spec homes are between $400,000 and $500,000, although the number of new homes nudging the half million dollar cost to construct has increased over the past year as interest rates have fallen and people have become more willing to upgrade the size and standard of a build. With an average house block in a new estate selling for around $160,000, this leaves $340,000 for the improvements. Given local building costs this can equate to a 250 square metre 4-bedroom 2-bathroom brick veneer dwelling to turnkey standard.

In the established market a price up to $500,000 does not preclude a buyer from a central location. A case in point is 289 George Street, Bathurst. This is a rendered double brick circa 1930s dwelling refurbished and extended in the late 1990s to create a 4-bedroom, 2-bathroom dwelling on a 926 square metre block. It is located within 10 minutes walking distance of town. The recent sale price was $470,000.


289 George Street, Bathurst

In the rural residential market, $500,000 is the starting point for a property of average quality a few kilometres out of town. Anything less and it is likely that the dwelling is compact or dated, the block is of below average quality or the property is located over 20 kilometres from town. Closer to town in Orange, two hectare lot subdivisions are selling from $380,000 to $420,000 per block. Once developed it’s expected they would fetch above our target of $500,000, but not a bad option to land bank with an eye for land value to hit half a million in the medium term.


The Dubbo residential property market is continuing to climb with recent figures released by Australian Property Monitors (APM) showing a total of 636 house sales in the 12 months to 31 March 2015. The median price for houses in Dubbo is now $320,000 and $240,000 for units.

With this in mind, $500,000 will still buy a good quality family home in Dubbo. Some recent sales around this price range include:

15 Cobbity Avenue, Dubbo – $495,000, 24 March 2015

A brand new 4-bedroom, 2-bathroom brick veneer dwelling with 2-car built-in garage. Living areas or 210 square metres and land area of 833 square metres. Turn key package.

20 Pine Knoll Drive, Dubbo – $501,555, 4 December 2014

A circa 1980, 5-bedroom, 3-bathroom, rendered brick dwelling with 2-car attached carport and 1-car built-in garage. Living areas of 237 square metres. Ancillary improvements include a patterned concrete driveway, decomposed granite driveway, partially enclosed yard of mixed construction, paved paths, established landscaping, sprinkler system, solar heated fibreglass inground pool with paved surrounds and statutory pool fencing, clothes line, garden shed, mail box and retaining walls. Land Area of 4,000 square metres.

6R Debeaufort Drive, Dubbo – $514,000, 18 November 2014

A circa 1995, 4-bedroom, 2-bathroom, brick veneer dwelling with 2-car detached garage. Ancillary improvements include above ground pool with statutory pool fencing and renovated kitchen. Land Area 2.48 hectares.

218 Darling Street, Dubbo – $495,000, 23 September 2014

A circa 1940, 5-bedroom, 2-bathroom, brick veneer dwelling with 1-car detached garage. Living area of 199 square metres. Ancillary improvements include paved driveway; full boundary fencing of mixed construction; paved paths; moderate landscaping; fibreglass inground pool with paved surrounds and statutory pool fencing; clothes line, mail box. Land area of 948 square metres. Renovated kitchen and bathroom.

While $500,000 will still go a long way, there have been some amazing sales in the past 12 months with the highest residential dwelling sale at $890,000 in June 2014. The property is a high quality 5-bedroom, 3-bathroom residence with golf course frontage, comprising 392 square metres of living and almost 60 squares under roof, an 11 metre in-ground pool, extensive landscaping and a high quality fitout throughout. Land Area of 1,020 square metres.

The highest sale for a rural residential lifestyle property in the past 12 months is $1,425,000 in October 2014 for a prestigious property located at The Angle Estate which comprises 7.86 hectares of land with Macquarie River frontage.


The Tamworth 2014/2015 financial year to date indicates a median residential house price of $312,000. New estates, renovated period homes and large lot residential homes attract the mid million value. Renovated period homes in East Tamworth appear to be the safest buy with higher capital growth. Newer residential estates in Hillvue, North Tamworth and Calala offer low maintenance new modern homes with good neighbourhood appeal. Moore Creek and Kingswood are large lot residential estates on the edge of town also attracting the mid million.

Values in the mid million make up approximately 30% of the Tamworth residential market and are considered at the higher end of the market. Values in this bracket have remained steady throughout the past 12 months, with this trend likely to continue into the next financial year.

Please note that information in this publication is subject to change without notice. Smartline assumes no responsibility for any errors, omissions or mistakes in this document. © Smartline Home Loans P/L 1999 – 2015. Australian Credit Licence Number 385325


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DISCLAIMER: The information contained in this article is correct at the time of publishing and is subject to change. It is intended to be of a general nature only. It has been prepared without taking into account any person’s objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on this information, Smartline recommends that you consider whether it is appropriate for your circumstances. Smartline recommends that you seek independent legal, financial, and taxation advice before acting on any information in this article.