An independent real estate analyst has identified Armidale as a growth investment market.
Terry Ryder has been a specialist researcher and writer on Australian residential property for the last four decades.
"Our Summer 2020-21 survey revealed that many towns and suburbs in Australia have maintained strong markets, charted by increasing numbers of sales of houses or units, despite the impacts of Covid-19," Mr Ryder said.
According to Mr Ryder's 'Price Predictor Index' report, Armidale is a 'rising' market with a median house price of $350,000 and unit price of $245,000.
Mr Ryder said while Sydney had a record 93 growth markets in this quarterly survey, regional NSW had more, with 116. The previous best years in regional NSW were 70 growth locations in a mid- 2018 survey and 77 late in 2019.
"The year of the pandemic has been a very good advertisement for residential property as an asset class," he said.
"Our analysis of sales activity and prices in capital cities and regional markets across Australia has revealed a series of highly positive outcomes.
"Many jurisdictions have had the best results on sales trends we have seen in the six years we have been conducting our quarterly surveys, including regional NSW, Sydney, Perth, regional Queensland and regional WA."
The results show evidence of the 'exodus to affordable lifestyle' trend, which is sweeping the nation, with growth markets right across the state according to Mr Ryder.
"Growth markets are sprinkled throughout the regional areas of the state and across different price ranges," he said.
"In terms of price performance, regional NSW has done well in the past 12 months but in particular in the latest quarter.
"Two-thirds of locations across regional NSW have recorded growth in their median house prices in the past 12 months, but eight out ten have recorded an uplift in the most recent quarter.
"This indicates that the regional areas of the state have had an uplift in price-performance recently, with the 'exodus to affordable lifestyle' trenda major influence.
"The growth momentum has now spread further afield, with strength evident in markets like Armidale, Inverell, Orange, Bathurst, Dubbo, Tamworth, Coffs Harbour, Port Macquarie, Albury and Wagga Wagga," he said.
"The strategic cities of Tamworth and Wagga Wagga both have five suburbs with rising sales activity."
The report lists North Tamworth with a median house price of $365,000, West Tamworth with a median house price of $260,000, and South Tamworth with a median house price of $250,000 and all are ranked as rising markets.
However, not all markets are on the rise, according to Mr Ryder's analysis.
Glen Innes has a median house price of $195,000 and is ranked as a declining market in his report, while Moree with a median house price of $190,000 is ranked as a 'plateau' market.
A former journalist, Mr Ryder was property editor of both The Courier Mail and Australian Financial Review before starting his own real estate research business 20 years ago.
He has also published four books on the real estate industry - Confessions of a Real Estate Agent, Buyer Beware, Property Smart and Real Estate Without Agents.
Last month he released his Summer 20/21 Price Predictor Index for 2021.