Regional Victoria remains stand-out market, but sales activity drops: Hotspotting's Terry Ryder

Regional Victoria remains stand-out market, but sales activity drops: Hotspotting's Terry Ryder
Regional Victoria remains stand-out market, but sales activity drops: Hotspotting's Terry Ryder

EXPERT OBSERVER

Regional Victoria remains a stand-out market on price performance, although the two latest quarterly surveys conducted by Hotspotting indicate that sales activity overall is not as strong as 2018. 

Some of the key markets have passed their peaks in terms of buyer demand, although other locations are now rising.

In our Winter survey of sales activity, we have identified 22 markets with rising buyer demand, down from 29 in the Autumn survey and a significant reduction on the 51 in the Summer survey. This is primarily because the two growth leaders of the past couple of years, Geelong and Ballarat (pictured above), have passed their peaks in terms of sales activity.

Other recent growth markets appear to have moderated also, including Cardinia Shire on the south-eastern fringe of Melbourne, where Pakenham and Officer have recorded a significant decline from the previous peak levels of sales activity. But new growth markets are appearing.

We have previously declared Regional Victoria to be the strongest market in the nation. Most of the growth markets that have inspired that assessment have been locations within commutable distance of the Melbourne metropolitan area. Now growth markets are being found in locations more distant from the state capital, including Wodonga, Wangaratta, Port Fairy and Portland.

But the No.1 market continues to be Bendigo. It has overtaken Geelong and Ballarat, based on the number of suburbs with rising sales activity.

Bendigo now has eight suburbs with increasing demand, as well as numerous others with steady sales performance. Growth suburbs include Golden Square, Kangaroo Flat, Kennington, Long Gully, Maiden Gully, White Hills and North Bendigo. Quarterly sales in the suburb of Epsom have grown from 20-25 two years ago to 35-40 more recently. Its median house price ($355,000) is typical of pricing in Bendigo, one of the strongest regional cities of Victoria.

Wangaratta (median house price $315,000) has emerged as a market where sales demand has grown steadily over the past two years. Quarterly sales have risen from 80-85 two years ago to around 120 more recently. Its median price has risen 13% in the past 12 months.

Further north at the NSW border, Wodonga (median $340,000) presents as a solid market with growing strength.

In the western areas of the state, both Port Fairy and Portland have had steady increases in quarterly sales. Portland’s quarterly sales pattern of 33, 41, 45, 48, 48, 52, 76, 86, 77, 79, 95, 90 and 101indicates a market that has grown steadily over the past three years, with its median price up 5% to $240,000 in the past 12 months. Port Fairy’s median has increased 7% to $600,000 in the past year.

Geelong has been Victoria’s strongest real estate market in recent years. However, our Winter survey has found only two rising suburbs in terms of sales activity but 20 plateau suburbs, which means sales have tapered off below the former peak levels. There’s a similar trend in Ballarat: it has two rising suburbs, but 11 plateau suburbs and six consistency markets.

Despite being passed their peaks in terms of buyer demand, both Geelong and Ballarat are still delivering significant price growth: 17 suburbs of the City of Greater Geelong and nine in the Ballarat LGA have had double-digit growth in their median house prices in the past year.

A number of Regional Victoria markets have had median price growth above 20% in the past 12 months. Five of them are Geelong suburbs – Indented Head, Mt Duneed, Newcomb, St Leonards and Whittington. Big growth has also occurred in Mt Pleasant and Wendouree, suburbs of Ballarat, as well as Cowes and Wonthaggi in the Bass Coast LGA. 

But the No.1 location in Regional Victoria for annual median price growth is Loch Sport in the Wellington LGA, up 30% in the past 12 months.

Four towns in the Macedon Ranges LGA had recorded double-digit increases in their median house prices, including Woodend which rose 21%. But our Winter survey confirms that this area has peaked in terms of sales activity. It’s a similar story with the Mitchell LGA, where towns like Beveridge, Broadford, Kilmore, Seymour and Wallan have attracted strong buyer interest in the past two years.

Overall, Regional Victoria has been an outstanding performer on price growth, arguably the best in the nation, in the past 12 months. We have analysed price performance for 140 towns and suburbs and found that 89% have median house prices higher than a year ago. Two-thirds of Regional Victoria locations have risen by more than 5%. 

Terry Ryder is the founder of hotspotting.com.au

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Terry Ryder

Terry Ryder

Terry Ryder is the founder of hotspotting.com.au.

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Terry Ryder Regional Victoria

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