Regional house prices in Richmond Tweed, Illawarra, Shoalhaven and the Southern Highlands have plummeted on the back of rising debt and natural disaster, according to a new report. Corelogic, a provider of property data and analytics, released its quarterly Regional Market Update examining Australia's largest non-capital city regions. It found 18 out of 25 regions saw an overall decline in house prices for the year to April 2023. Richmond Tweed on the far north coast of NSW was the worst hit, according to the report. Houses in the region surged 51 per cent during the pandemic only to fall by 24.2 per cent over the past year. Richmond Tweed saw a -39.9 per cent fall in annual sales, the largest recorded decline in the report and the region had the highest rates of vendor discounts at -7.9 per cent. The report said the region's relatively high price tag, rising cost of debt and lingering impacts of the 2022 flood likely led to the downturn. The Southern Highlands, Shoalhaven and Illawarra in NSW recorded the next largest annual declines in house values after the Richmond Tweed region. Housing values in the Southern Highlands and Shoalhaven dropped by 16 per cent and by 13.7 per cent in Illawarra in the past year. Houses in the Southern Highlands and Shoalhaven region spent the longest time on market in Australia at 79 days, the report said. CoreLogic Australia economist Kaytlin Ezzy said "it was not surprising that some of the largest annual declines were recorded across several of the country's most expensive regional lifestyle markets". "These markets were among the largest beneficiaries of regional migration through the COVID induced upswing," she said. "As a result, [they] became significantly more sensitive to the rising cost of debt and the normalisation in regional migration trends," she said. But Ms Ezzy said regional Australia's fortunes could be changing again, the last three months leading to April saw positive growth in some markets. "Although mild, the positive growth seen over the three months to April may suggest we have moved through the trough in value declines and signals the start of a recovery phase across the regional markets," she said. IN OTHER NEWS: Houses in South Australia's south-east remain the best performing regional market growing 10.8 per cent in the 12 months to April 2023. Corelogic said Kangaroo Island, the Fleurieu Peninsula and the Limestone Coast are among the booming regions. NSW's New England and North West regions were the next strongest property markets with Bunbury in Western Australia. Houses in Toowoomba were snapped up quickly. They spent the shortest time on market at 21 days.