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Top 10 regional property hotspots to watch in 2022

Stuart Marsh • Senior Producer

10 FEB, 2022 (

A generational shift towards remote working and the boom in near-city house prices has forced property buyers to expand their horizons to more regional locations.

With only occasional commutes into a CBD office, many potential buyers are weighing up the option of choosing lifestyle over location – prompting the boom in what were once considered fringe regional centres.

Ethos Urban demographer Chris McNeil believes fewer people required in city-based offices will see the expansion – and consequent house price rises – of locations within 200 kilometres of a capital city.

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"The greatest impact of the new work-from-home paradigm is likely to be an expansion of the commuter belt," Mr McNeil says.

"Although peri-urban living has become a popular alternative for many people over the past 20-30 years, an informal 100 kilometre rule has applied to most peri-urban dwellers as the distance they're prepared to travel to and from their workplace."

Mr McNeil said that while most coastal towns and regions that fit this definition "have been well and truly picked over already", there are several regional centres that offer infrastructure convenient for the occasional commuter such as high-speed rail.

In New South Wales, Mr McNeil believes the boom regions will be the Hunter Valley, the Snowy Mountains and the Inner Central West while many in Victoria will be attracted to key towns such as Shepparton, Wangaratta and Mansfield.

Other key value hotspots to watch include Toowoomba west of Brisbane and Tasmania's other major city in Launceston.

A full breakdown of Mr McNeil's top spots to watch can be seen below.

"The ability to work remotely however looks set to extend the area of appeal around each capital city; perhaps by up to 200 kilometres," Mr McNeil says.

"Not every town will appeal; people seeking a regional lifestyle will continue to be attracted to locations or regions that offer lifestyle appeal, are well connected by road and rail to the capital cities, and have well-established health, educational and cultural infrastructure."

Mr McNeil says while some of the locations he's listed have seen a boom in house prices, many have not yet been discovered by the long-distance commuter looking to squeeze more value and lifestyle out of their property purchase.

"Most of these regions are inland from their respective capital city. After all, most coastal towns and regions have been well and truly picked over already," Mr McNeill said.

"Most of the regions listed already has their converts and supporters and, in some cases, a surge in house prices, lot sales and building approvals has been evident over the past two years.

"For the most part however, these regions are not necessarily the area of central focus for capital city dwellers interested in a regional lifestyle."

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