Hunter's soaring property prices defy trend

THE Hunter's property market is predicted to be among the best performers in Australia over the next eight years, with values forecast to rise on average by more than 10 per cent a year in some suburbs.

The resources boom, increasing incomes, a shortage of new stock, skyrocketing rents, interest rate cuts and relative affordability compared to Sydney are tipped to underpin new price benchmarks.

Read more: Medowie a tranquil hot spot

Leading property analysts told the Newcastle Herald the region was expected to defy market trends, with prices set to soar within the next five years.

Despite the overall weak forecasts and conservative outlook for this year and leading into next, analysts agree the long-term outlook for the Hunter is as one of the nation's forerunners for capital growth.

Residex, a property information firm that collates data on real estate markets throughout Australia, listed 17 Hunter suburbs as among the best for capital growth in NSW in its latest report.

The report, provided exclusively to The Newcastle Herald, lists 14 Hunter suburbs among the top 50 in NSW for budget property buys. Budget suburbs are those with a median house price of $500,000 or under.

Hotspotting.com.au director Terry Ryder, who has been following housing trends for more than 25 years, said the Hunter was the best market in NSW and among the top 10 in Australia.

Housing Industry Association chief economist Harley Dale agreed the Hunter was the state's "shining light".

Residex chief executive John Edwards said "all the statistics" pointed to a significant spike in some Hunter suburb prices within the next five years.

In comparison, he said the Sydney market was "not going to go very far at all".

"When statistics tell you something is going to happen, you can bet it will."

Suburbs listed as among the best included Medowie, Anna Bay, Stockton, New Lambton, Swansea and Whitebridge.

He said the best suburbs were not along the coast, rather in Cessnock and Maitland local government areas.

Muswellbrook was also tipped to out-perform the general property market in coming years.

Though the national market was declining, double-digit growth in some areas in the Hunter could be considered conservative.

"Unfortunately, a lot of the time, the last people to realise the potential of an area are sometimes the people living in it," Mr Edwards said.

Hunter Valley Research Foundation director Simon Deeming disagrees with the predictions of a looming property boom.

Mr Deeming said the region's property market was suffering "a nasty hangover from the party" of the last boom.

He said prices were "going nowhere fast" and he struggled to understand the logic behind such large predictions.

Real Estate Institute Newcastle Hunter divisional chairman Wayne Stewart said national investment companies were directing people to buy in the Hunter.

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