Bathurst's in the Fast 50

BATHURST has been named in the top 50 investment locations for 2012.

According to the inaugural Fast 50 report from Smart Property Investment, Bathurst is emerging as one of the best investment locations in Australia.

Judges rated the city highly due to its diverse local economy which will underpin property values into the future.

Property expert and Fast 50 contributor Margaret Lomas said she had long believed Bathurst was a solid investment prospect.

“This suburb has been on my list for a year now – and it’s staying there,” Ms Lomas said.

“The strong educational base, diverse industry and proximity to Orange, plus the health and mining spin-off from that town, make for great buying right now.”

The best buys exist in suburbs like Kelso, Ms Lomas said, with buy-in prices around $200,000 and rental yields of 6.5 per cent.

The Fast 50 hotspots were selected based on a range of key metrics, including population growth, demand for housing, income levels, employment, vacancy rates, previous capital growth and current gross rental yields.

The report’s contributors included Ms Lomas, leading property economist Dr Andrew Wilson, property research specialist Louis Christopher, property columnist Terry Ryder, property mentor Helen Collier-Kogtevs, independent mortgage broker and buyer’s agent Todd Hunter and director of NextHotSpot Luke Berry.

NSW dominated the Fast 50 list, with 18 suburbs listed as hot spots.

Mudgee and Goulburn were other regional centres to be rated highly.

Mayor Greg Westman said the Fast 50 listing was good news for Bathurst.

“Bathurst remains the fastest growing centre in inland NSW,” he said.

“Ensuring that Bathurst is an attractive place to invest is an important priority for council.

“We continue to talk to a range of businesses in a bid to bring new employment to our region and support the growth we are currently enjoying.”