As part of our commitment to help everyday Australians make educated decisions for their financial future, we regularly report on different locations considered to have potential for positive investment property outcomes.
Our property market insights are based on independent analysis of economic reports from some of Australia’s top research houses, plus local market data sourced from a wide range of industry contacts.
One of those sources, Hotspotting.com.au, recently released data on what it considers to be Australia’s ‘boomtowns’, and we will look at these locations individually over the coming months.
The first town we’re shining the spotlight on is Wagga Wagga, in NSW’s Riverina region, and for good reason.
Hotspotting.com.au has named Wagga Wagga the number one boomtown in Australia for 2016.
“[Hotspotting’s] preference in selecting Boom Towns is to focus on regional centres which have an economic life before and beyond the resources boom.
These are locations with diverse economies which are not solely dependent on a single industry for their prosperity. They are rounded economies for which any boost from the resources sector is a bonus.”
Wagga Wagga is a major regional centre located halfway between Sydney and Melbourne, home to over 65,000 people. The town was awarded Australia’s most family-friendly city in 2014 by Suncorp Bank and is amongst New South Wales’ most popular first-home buyer destinations.
Stable economy with growth in defence, education and health
Wagga Wagga benefits from being a supplier of education and health services to the greater Riverina region. The Charles Sturt University and Riverina Institute of TAFE campuses account for over 10% of the region’s GDP, and provide services for over 3,000 students.
The economic impacts of education are set to continue expanding, as both Charles Sturt University and the University of New South Wales are bidding to open $40 million+ medical schools in the district. The Wagga Wagga Rural Referral Hospital is the largest in the Riverina and has just finalised a $450 million redevelopment, increasing its capacity by 60 beds.
The town also provides essential amenities and services for the Australian Defence Force personnel posted at the bases of Kapooka and Forest Hill, both of which are only 10 minutes from the CBD. The ADF presence is clearly evident in Wagga Wagga, which houses just under 10% of New South Wales’ defence force employees, and relies on defence as its sixth largest employer. Both of these bases are set to undergo a combined $1 billion of upgrades over the next 20 years, significantly increasing their capacity and benefits to the region.
State of Wagga Wagga’s property market
This strong positioning in essential services has proven beneficial for the Wagga Wagga property market, as it has shown impressive resilience over the past decade. Property values in the region have only contracted three times since the beginning of the millennium.
Importantly, most market indicators have shown very positive signs over the last two years. Investments are yielding well over 5% in some suburbs, and annual sales increased by 25% in 2015, indicating a high level of demand for the town’s property. This has resulted in positive price growth for five of the region’s six major suburbs.
The future of Wagga Wagga appears to be one of stability. Investment in the region’s foundational industries appears strong and its positioning as an essential services provider to the Defence Force and greater Riverina region will protect the economy for the foreseeable future.
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