Most active property market in Victoria is not in Melbourne: Terry Ryder

Most active property market in Victoria is not in Melbourne: Terry Ryder
Most active property market in Victoria is not in Melbourne: Terry Ryder

There’s a growing body of research data pointing investors towards the regions.

A recent CoreLogic report, which compiled a Top 50 list of locations where the value of home sales had grown the most over 12 months, found that 46 of the Top 50 were regional locations.

Other recent research highlighted the New South Wales regional areas where price growth is now greater than Sydney’s.

And a report from Brisbane researcher Simon Pressley has predicted that retiring baby boomers will boost regional markets by seeking out towns and cities that offer attractive affordability and good services.

In addition, a State Government report has highlighted regional cities in Victoria where major population growth is expected over the next 15 years.

All that – and a lot more that’s out there in the way of compelling data – is significant because a lot of the simplistic price information and commentary that’s published tells investors that the capital cities are always better than the regions for capital growth. 

This is usually generalised data which produces a single growth figure for the cities and a single growth figure for the regions. It’s quite misleading, because the regional sample includes myriad negative markets (such as resources-impacted towns and drought-affected areas) which drag down the regional average. 

That generalised figure doesn’t really tell us anything useful and shouldn’t dissuade investors from considering regional areas – which offer plenty including lower prices and higher yields.

Residex data suggests that Melbourne price growth has averaged 6.9 percent per year over the past decade and regional Victoria only 4.7 percent – but does that matter if you can find a regional centre growing at 8 percent a year?

Right now, the most active and buoyant market in Victoria is not in Melbourne – it's the regional city of Geelong just outside the capital.

A new report on future population growth provides a few clues as to where investors might look for growth in Victoria. Geelong is one of the key places highlighted, alongside Bendigo and Ballarat. 

I see all three regional centres as places worthy of consideration by investors. They all offer economic strength and diversity, affordable housing and good transport links to Melbourne, particularly since the completion of the regional rail link

And, according to the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, all three cities can look forward to strong population growth. 

The Victoria in Future report forecasts that the City of Greater Bendigo will grow 30 percent in the next 15 years, assuming current demographic, economic and social trends continue. 

According to the report, Bendigo can expect its population to grow from 110,000 in 2016 to 145,000 in 2031.

ABS figures show this will be the continuation of a trend, with the population rising from 93,000 in 2005 to 108,500 at June last year.

Greater Bendigo, Ballarat and Greater Geelong combined are expected to provide half of all regional growth to 2031. 

But the municipality likely to see the most dramatic increase is Mitchell Shire, which is forecast to more than double its population from 40,000 in 2016 to 81,500 in 2031. 

This will make it the fastest-growing area and the municipality with the second-largest growth in regional Victoria behind Greater Geelong. Mitchell Shire is a little north of Melbourne and includes towns such as Kilmore, Seymour, Broadford and Wallan.

Another LGA getting spill-over growth north of Melbourne is Macedon Ranges, which can expect its population to grow 25 percent over the next 15 years. Macedon Ranges towns have experienced major increases in median prices in the past 12 months, including 20 percent in Gisborne, 14 percent in Riddells Creek and 25 percent in Macedon.

It's further evidence that there is major capital growth to be found in the regions, if you look behind the generalised data.

Terry Ryder is the founder of hotspotting.com.au. You can email him or follow him on Twitter.

Terry Ryder

Terry Ryder

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

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Victoria Residential Market

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