Equity-rich Sydney and Melbourne homeowners may help boost Australia's coastal lifestyle markets.
Iconic lifestyle markets such as the Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast and Cairns have started to bounce back and record strong housing market conditions after ongoing weakness between 2008 and 2014, according to research by property analytics firm CoreLogic RP Data.
CoreLogic research analyst Cameron Kusher says some areas are starting to show growth although regional housing markets are a mixed bag.
"Newcastle, Wollongong, the Richmond-Tweed region in northern NSW, the Gold Coast, the Sunshine Coast and Cairns are probably the most notable regional markets where we're seeing some decent levels of capital growth at the moment," Kusher said.
Buyers priced out of the Sydney market are looking to Newcastle and Wollongong while the other areas experiencing growth are benefiting from interest in lifestyle properties, particularly from equity-rich Sydney and Melbourne homeowners.
"Because those markets have been pretty flat since 2008 there's some decent buying opportunities particularly for people in Sydney and Melbourne who have seen the value of their homes rise so much," Kusher said.
The problem in a lot of regional areas was retirees were not moving there, which had been a key driver in the past, and a lack of job creation.
Housing Industry Association senior economist Shane Garrett said areas in regional Western Australia, such as Karratha and Port Hedland, and some parts of northern Queensland, such as around Townsville and Mackay, have been badly affected by the mining downturn.
Mr Garrett said regions dependent on tourism were benefiting from the lower Australian dollar.