Thornton remains the Hunter's place to be after taking out the region's top spot in a recent national housing report.
More than $96 million in building approvals and a population growth of 7.7 per cent last financial year contributed to Thornton-Millers Forest topping the Hunter in Housing Industry Australia's Population & Residential Building Hotspots report 2019.
A hotspot is a local area where population growth exceeds the national rate (1.6 per cent in the year to June 2018) and where the value of residential building work approved is more than $50 million.
It's the second year in a row that Thornton-Millers Forest finished first in the Hunter and HIA Executive Director for Hunter Craig Jennion said the combined criteria meant the results weren't just a "flash in the pan".
"An area has to have a couple of good years behind it to make the list, not just lots of building approvals," he said.
"This is a really good result for Maitland in general.
"Maitland is a great little location. It has always been a very desirable location. It's almost the go-to LGA.
"There's a really good pipeline of land releases coming through at a good price."
Mr Jennion said while Thornton-Millers Forest was the standout, every other area in Maitland except one had a population increase of at least two per cent.
"There were certainly a few up and comers," he said.
Maitland LGA as a whole achieved 2.7 per cent population growth and had $276 million worth of building approvals.
The population of Central Maitland increased by 5.4 per cent with just under $34 million in new building approvals, while Maitland West's population went up by 2.3 per cent to match $38 million in building approvals.
The number of building approvals in Maitland North jumped more than 103 per cent in 12 months, from 64 in 2016/17 to 130 in 2017/18 while the population increased 2.3 per cent.
Mr Jennion said while Maitland East only achieved a one per cent population increase, it had $70 million in building approvals meaning the population should rise further in years to come.
"It's had it's growth spurt but it should come back in the next few years," he said.
Branxton-Greta-Pokolbin also performed well in the report, finishing third on the Hunter list with $75.3 million in building approvals and population growth of 4.2 per cent.
The locality that recorded the largest value of new housing approvals of any area in the Hunter was Newcastle-Cooks Hill with a whopping $239.3 million in building approvals.
This value placed it as one of only 17 locations in NSW that had in excess of $200 million in residential building work approved in 2017/18, and the only location outside of Sydney.
"This report again demonstrates the residential construction sector is underpinned by robust levels of new home building and increases in population," Mr Jennion said.
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