Think Australia's regional house price growth is out of control? Spare a thought for the Canadians

Take a virtual trip around the world and see how Australia's regional house prices stack up. Photo: Shutterstock
Take a virtual trip around the world and see how Australia's regional house prices stack up. Photo: Shutterstock

Price growth in Australia's regions may be at all time high, but the phenomenon isn't unique to this country.

The worldwide move towards work-from-home arrangements, as well as the desire for more space in an age when social distancing is paramount, has meant that countries as disparate as New Zealand and Canada have been experiencing the same trend.

Australia's regions recorded a staggering 19.6 per cent median house price growth in the 12 months to July, 2021. Markets including Richmond-Tweed, which encompass popular lifestyle hotspot Byron Bay, have experienced even higher levels of growth.

While it will likely provide little comfort to those struggling to break into the fast-moving regional market in Australia, spare a thought for those trying to buy in Canada's regions, where house prices in some towns rose by more than 70 per cent during 2020.

New Zealand

The land of the long white cloud... and really expensive real estate. Photo: Shutterstock

The land of the long white cloud... and really expensive real estate. Photo: Shutterstock

Auckland's skyrocketing house prices are hardly a new phenomenon - the city has long ranked among the most expensive in the world for homebuyers. But the trend is not just restricted to the country's largest city. Prices outside of Auckland grew at a rate of 23.3 per cent in the 12 months to July 2021, according to the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand.

While that overall figure is eclipsed by the 28 per cent growth rate experienced in Auckland, several regional districts recorded even higher returns.

Median prices in the Marlborough region, located in the northeast of the South Island and with a population of 50,200, rose 41.5 per cent in the year to July 2021 to sit at $NZ672,000 ($642,000).

In Hawke's Bay, on the east coast of the North Island, prices grew by 32.7 per cent over the same period. The media house price in the region, known for its wineries, is currently $NZ730,000 ($697,000).

The New Zealand reserve bank last week announced plans to tighten mortgage lending criteria in response to the country's rapidly escalating house prices, including reducing the number of loans made to owner-occupiers with a deposit of less than 20 per cent.

Canada

Small towns outside of Toronto, Canada have seen huge price increases in the past year. Photo: Shutterstock

Small towns outside of Toronto, Canada have seen huge price increases in the past year. Photo: Shutterstock

Switching to the Northern Hemisphere, Canada has recorded an increase in house prices at a national level similar to those witnessed in Australia.

The RPS House Price Index (HPI), published by real estate company Real Property Solutions, reported that prices rose 19.4 per cent in the year to June to sit at $CA733,950 ($797,000). The index measures prices in 3,500 cities and towns across Canada.

But rises have been far higher in smaller towns outside of Canada's major cities, with Reuters reporting earlier this year that some towns had seen price gains of more than 75 per cent in 12 months.

Reuters reported that in Prince Edward County, which has a population of 24,735 and is located around 200 kilometresfromToronto, prices had increased by 78.5 per cent on the year prior, with an average price of $CA740,112 ($803,000) in April.

In Collingwood, also in Ontario, prices rose by 65 per cent, while in Nelson, British Columbia, they were up 46 per cent, according to data from the Canada Real Estate Association and local real estate boards.

France

Rural properties in France have been selling in greater numbers, and for higher prices, during the pandemic. Photo: Shutterstock

Rural properties in France have been selling in greater numbers, and for higher prices, during the pandemic. Photo: Shutterstock

Rural France has long been a holiday favourite among European travellers, but it appears that the pandemic has many keen to make a permanent move.

News channel France 24 reported in May that a record number of country homes were sold in 2020. All up, the FnSafer association, which handles rural property sales, brokered 111,930 purchases last year, a 6.6 per cent increase on 2019's figures.

Transactions involving properties with at least five hectares of land attached 23.5 billion euros ($37.5 billion), a 12.1-percent increase over the year.

English-language news site The Connexion reported this month that chateaux sales had also been booming of late, following years of a flat market.

UK

Prices in Cornwall, England have been on the rise. Photo: Shutterstock

Prices in Cornwall, England have been on the rise. Photo: Shutterstock

Taken as a whole, the UK's growth in regional house prices is shadowed by what has been experienced in Australia.

Agency Knight Frank tracks prices in the UK's 'country market', where average values increased by 3.7 per cent in the three months to June 2021. That was the strongest rate of quarterly growth in 15 years, according to Knight Frank. Annual price growth is a 10.5 per cent - the highest since 2007.

But, taking a deeper dive, there are some 'hotspots' which have recorded levels of growth akin to that in Australia.

Real estate portal Right Move reports that interest in coastal areas has increased signficantly since 2019, with properties in coastal areas being snapped up 20 days faster, within 51 days. Enquiries for coastal properties on the site from city-based buyers has also increased 115 per cent since 2019.

Prices in Helensburgh, Dunbartonshire have risen by 27 per cent since 2019, and are currently selling for an average price of £236,209 ($445,000).

Padstow, Cornwall has seen prices increase by 24 per cent to £624,896 ($1.18 million).

This story Around the world: How Australia's regional house prices compare first appeared on Newcastle Herald.