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Regional areas outpacing property growth in Sydney

Major cities in Australia have provided the property market with its hotspots in recent years - but this trend could be shifting. 

According to the latest Australian Residential Review from Knight Frank, covering July 2016, residential areas are outpacing cities in terms of growth in the property market. 

The Blue Mountains, Wollongong and the Central Coast were identified as regions of particularly strong performance. 

Prices of houses in the Greater Sydney region increased by 12.2 per cent over the 12 months to the first quarter of 2016. 

However, growth for the Blue Mountains, the Central Coast and Wollongong jumped by 17.8 per cent, 15 per cent and 13.6 per cent respectively.

Some of the contributing factors to this trend are increased employment and the close proximity of these areas to the heightened construction activity of Sydney's north-west and south-west growth corridors. 

Population rises are also credited with making a contribution to price increases - and Michelle Ciesielski, director of residential research for Australia at Knight Frank, said affordability is another main driver. 

Speaking to Domain, she commented: "Residential markets located on the periphery of capital cities respond to heated property prices by providing a more affordable option for those priced-out of the more traditional metropolitan markets."

Ms Ciesielski added that satellite towns have also proven attractive, as they offer reasonable proximity to a city centre by rail or road, while set against a more picturesque backdrop. 

Domain Group chief economist Andrew Wilson noted that many properties in the Blue Mountains are still available at lower price points than $600,000 - and this, in part, makes it among the more affordable areas close to Sydney. 

"It's a decision between affording to live in Sydney or drive two hours to work and people are choosing the commute," he remarked. 

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