5 best suburbs in Regional South Australia to invest in 2021-22

Find out which suburbs Regional South Australia made the top five list in Canstar’s Rising Stars Australian Property Market Report powered by Hotspotting.

Regional South Australia has been performing very well in the past year. In the sea changes towns south of Adelaide, annual growth in median house prices includes 15.6% in Encounter Bay, 12.2% in Hayborough, 25.4% in McCracken, 17.8% in Port Elliot and 12.3% in Victor Harbor. That cluster, a natural target for city buyers seeking a more relaxed and affordable lifestyle, represents a boom market by any measure.

Among the other towns of Regional South Australia, Berri is up 21%, Middleton is up 21.7% and Robe is up 19.5%.

There is also evidence of recovery in the regional centre of Whyalla, where the local economy and property market are volatile because of the city’s strong dependence on the highly cyclical resources sector.

Other key regional centres including Port Lincoln, Murray Bridge and Mount Gambier, have also grown in the past 12 months.


Port Augusta
Port Augusta, South Australia. Image source: Alex Cimbal/Shutterstock.com

The 5 best suburbs in Regional South Australia to invest in

  • Encounter Bay
  • Mount Gambier
  • Murray Bridge
  • Kadina
  • Port Augusta

One major national trend that is reflected in Regional South Australia markets is the ‘Exodus to Affordable Lifestyle’, notably in the Victor Harbor area and in the towns of the Copper Coast.

The towns in the Victor Harbor area south of Adelaide have been targeted by lifestyle buyers, resulting in a significant price uplift. Port Elliot, Hayborough, McCracken and Victor Harbor itself have all experienced notable growth in the past year, helped by their proximity to Adelaide and their attractive price levels. Sales activity in Encounter Bay (median price $435,000) has steadily increased over the past four quarters and prices have responded, notably in the most recent quarter. Further growth is expected in this market.

At Murray Bridge east of Adelaide, sales activity has tripled in the past 12 months and prices are inevitably rising. Vacancies are near zero, with a consequent impact on residential rentals, with yields well above 5%. Murray Bridge, a little east of Adelaide, sits alongside the Murray River and is an important regional centre for surrounding agriculture.

It’s a similar scenario in the key regional city of Mount Gambier at the Victorian border. Sales activity is double the levels of a year ago, ultra-low vacancies are putting upward pressure on rentals and prices are now rising, notably in the latest quarter. The median house price is $280,000. High rental yields of 5.5% are an attraction for investors.

Buyer demand focused on the Copper Coast towns has risen in the past year, notably in Kadina where there’s virtually nothing available for rent and yields are high. The increase in the median house price to $270,000 in the latest quarter is considerably higher than the annual growth, showing the impact of recent buying activity.

Port Augusta is a strategically located town where the previous dominance of coal-fired power stations is being superseded by major new alternative energy developments, some of them costing $500 million or more. Low vacancies are pressuring rentals in a town where the median rental yield is 9%. The uplift in sales activity is pushing up the median house price from its current low base of $145,000.

The 5 best suburbs in Regional South Australia to invest in

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Suburb Median house price 1-yr growth 10-yr average
annual growth (%pa)
Vacancy rate Median
rental yield
Encounter Bay $435,000 15.6% 2.3% 1.9% 5.1%
Mount Gambier $280,000 6.9% 1.7% 0.4% 5.5%
Murray Bridge $245,000 9.3% 1.0% 0.2% 5.4%
Kadina $270,000 4.8% 2.4% 0.0% 5.4%
Port Augusta $145,000 -3.3% -2.7% 0.3% 9.0%

Sources: Median price, growth and rental yield: CoreLogic data sourced from yourinvestmentpropertymag.com.au dated 1 August 2021. Vacancy rates: SQM Research as at September 2021.

Cover image source: myphotobank.com.au/Shutterstock.com

Terry is the founder and Managing Director of hotspotting.com.au, which he created in 2006 to help investors find the best places to buy. Terry has been a specialist researcher and writer on Australian residential property in a career spanning four decades. During that time he has published four books.



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