The Central West is now the second fastest area in NSW and the fifth fastest across Australia for housing price growth.
Data from analysts CoreLogic show the value of properties in the Central West, covering the area from Lithgow to Orange and Cowra, rose by 6.7 per cent in the year to the end of May.
People are attracted to lifestyle in the region, particularly in OrangeCameron Kusher, CoreLogic head of research
The median value of houses in the region is now $322,413 (up from $301,243 a year ago) and units are $277,141 (up from $246,948).
The Central West was narrowly beaten into top spot in NSW by the Southern Highlands/Shoalhaven region which had a growth rate just 0.1 per cent higher.
And the Central West bucked the national trend which saw values across Australia drop for the first time in six years.
Housing prices in Sydney fell by 4.2 per cent in the same time Central West values went up.
Hobart was the fastest growing area of Australia with real estate values up by 12.7 per cent over the year.
CoreLogic head of research Australia Cameron Kusher said the figures covered the value of all properties in Australia – not just those sold in the year.
He said the Central West was appealing to Sydney residents.
“People are attracted to lifestyle in the region, particularly in Orange,” he said.
“The cost of living is much lower than Sydney, and also than areas like Newcastle and Wollongong.
“People have made a lot of money out of their properties in Sydney.”
Mr Kusher said technology was also making country living more attractive.
“People are becoming more accepting of people telecommuting, working from home,” he said.
The report also found the mining industry was having less influence on housing values.
“Regional housing trends are also now seeing less drag from the mining regions,” it said.
“Although the weakest performing areas are generally still linked to the mining and resources industry, the declining trend has eased or even levelled across many of these markets.”
Orange real estate agent Chris Gryllis said the growth was being created by a range of people from first home buyers to investors from Sydney.
“The buyers come from all walks of life, he said.
“The prices reflect the wealth and prosperity of the region.
“A lot of people see Orange as a sound city to invest in.”
Mr Gryllis, who runs Chris Gryllis Real Estate, said the region’s health infrastructure, gold mining and its food and wine industries were attracting people to move to the region.
He said it was unknown how long the growth in housing values would continue.
“Will it be sustainable for a long time, it hardly ever goes downhill,” he said.
CoreLogic head of research Tim Lawless said regional prices were hitting new heights.
“Dwelling values [are] consistently rising, albeit at a much lower pace relative to the growth seen in Sydney and Melbourne over the previous growth phase,” he said.
“Dwelling values outside of the capital cities nudged 0.2 per cent higher over the month to reach a new record high in May.”
Mr Lawless said the fall in Sydney and Melbourne prices was mainly happening at the high end of the market.
He said he did not expect capital city prices to rebound in the next few months.
Mr Lawless also said demand from first home buyers who benefited from government stamp duty concessions was easing.
“First home buyer activity peaked in November last year,” he said.