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.
Taken in isolation the situation in Cowra is even better with growth of 7.4 per cent in house prices and 12.8 per cent in unit prices according to Kate McVicar of Ray White Real Estate.
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).
In Cowra the median value of houses at the end of March was $255,000 and units $141,000.
The increases 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.
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 a point Ms McVicar agrees with.
“People see value in moving to Cowra from Sydney, Newcastle and Woolongong, both as owner occupiers and as investors,” Ms McVicar said.
Mr Kusher added, 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,” he said.
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.”
CoreLogic head of research Tim Lawless said regional prices were hitting new heights and fFirst home buyer activity peaked in November.