Regional Queensland's top five property hotpots

With an influx of internal migration to regional centres, API columnist Terry Ryder has identified Queensland's five property investment hotspots.

Historic buildings in Kingaroy, Queensland.
Kingaroy has cheap land, low vacancies and increasing rents, making it attractive for investors. (Image source:

Australians are continuing to wave goodbye to capital cities and move to the regions in the hunt for a more affordable and easier lifestyle.

The latest Australian Bureau of Statistics figures show that in the September quarter of 2023 48,721 residents left greater capital city areas for other regions.

This internal migration, people moving from one part of Australia to another, continues to be a major driver in real estate markets across the nation.

While it picked up pace during the pandemic when workers realised, they could work remotely from anywhere in Australia, it’s a trend that has existed or a while.

I call it the Exodus to Affordable Lifestyle, with large numbers of people relocating from the biggest cities to regional areas in pursuit of a different lifestyle at cheaper prices.

It was not a trend generated by the Covid lockdowns. It has been happening for much longer than that and it continues to be a significant force.

Queensland a migration magnet

Queensland has long been, and remains, one of the nation’s chief beneficiaries of this mass movement of people in search of affordability and lifestyle, powered by technology that has enabled more and more people to work remotely.

This has impacted real estate markets across the state, from the Gold Coast at the NSW border up to Townsville and Cairns in North Queensland.

Our latest analysis ranks Queensland’s as the regional market with the strongest prospects for 2024. It has solid sales activity, short-term price growth and infrastructure spending, all of which make it a market to watch.

The combination of its solid performance across a range of measures gives substance to the expectation that regional Queensland markets will be among the nation’s outperformers in 2024.

My top five picks for the regional Queensland market in 2024 are:

Gold Coast

Transaction numbers are rising in numerous suburbs on the Gold Coast and both residential and commercial developments are on the upswing. It has a growing population and stabilised economy independent of tourism, which adds to its appeal. Rents are rising and vacancies are dropping.


Gladstone is a thriving regional centre with a booming economy driven by billions of dollars in infrastructure projects and a growing alternative energy industry. This growth has led to an increase in job opportunities, driving up property demand and prices. Despite this, house prices in Gladstone remain largely affordable, ranging from $300,000 to $400,000, with growing rents providing reasonable returns for investors.


Kingaroy offers affordable living and business opportunities with great potential for growth. The area has cheap land, low vacancies and increasing rents, making it attractive for investors, homebuyers and businesses. Just two hours from Brisbane, Kingaroy is primed for significant development.


Townsville has a diverse economy, coastal lifestyle, and strong job market with affordable property prices. The city saw a boost from the Covid-driven move to regional areas and lifestyle changes, resulting in robust property sales and rising prices continuing into 2024. Key economic drivers include the largest regional hospital, expanding with a $530 million investment, and the Australian Defence Force's largest army barracks expecting more personnel.


Gympie’s property market remains robust, ranking as one of Queensland's top performers. The town’s affordability, lifestyle near the Sunshine Coast, and steady price growth continue to attract both owner-occupiers and investors. Proximity to the thriving Sunshine Coast economy and upgraded highway links contribute to Gympie’s appeal. It has affordable house prices and low vacancy rates.

Article Q&A

Where should property investors buy in regional Queensland?

API columnist Terry Ryder identified his top five regional Queensland property investor prospects as the Gold Coast, Gladstone, Kingaroy, Townsville and Gympie.

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