The next property hotspots will be found in leafy, low-rise inner suburbs of Brisbane and Adelaide with period homes on large blocks of land, plentiful amenities and great transport. So say property consultants who add that Sydney and Melbourne's real estate gains are running out of puff after solid compound increases for nearly eight years. Meridian Australia and Property Performance Advisory (PPA), consultancies that advise time-poor professionals on building residential property portfolios, base their analysis on a mix of national price trends, economic prospects, changing buyer demand and street smarts. Former mining boom cities like Perth and Darwin are still under pressure from over- supply, rising unemployment and falling incomes and could take years to recover, they say.

The criteria used by Meridian and PPA for their recommendations include land size the value of the dwelling compared to the property on which it is built proximity to amenities such as public transport and shops prospects of value-enhancing infrastructure projects like hospitals or freeways and recent price movements. longer-term trends are provided by B S Shrapnel, well-known for its insights into the building and construction industry.