Real estate hotspots continue to emerge in regional Victoria: Hotspotting's Terry Ryder

Real estate hotspots continue to emerge in regional Victoria: Hotspotting's Terry Ryder
Real estate hotspots continue to emerge in regional Victoria: Hotspotting's Terry Ryder

EXPERT OBSERVER

While media obsesses over big city markets where prices are falling, the nation’s hottest markets keep flying under the radar screens of all but the best-informed investors.

I’ve written a lot about Regional Victoria, which I regard as the nation’s strongest market, in terms of both busy sales activity and big price increases, as well as affordable prices and good rental yields.

Most property watchers will be aware of the strength of markets like Geelong, Ballarat and Bendigo, but new contenders keep popping up, many of them locations most people would know little about – or have never heard of.

During my most recent Live Q & A on social media, someone asked what I thought about the market in Warburton (pictured top). I had to admit I knew little about the town. But something is happening in Warburton, up in the Yarra Ranges 70km east of central Melbourne. Its median price has risen 17% in the past year to reach $485,000.

Locations with those kind of growth numbers are the norm, not the exception, in Regional Victoria right now. And new ones keep emerging, replacing the early movers as market leaders.

This is because some of the state’s regional markets have passed their peaks. Geelong, for example, has been one of the nation’s most prolific markets in the past two years, but sales activity is no longer growing. It now has more plateau markets than rising ones. 

Other regions where demand has passed its peak (but price growth remains high) include the LGAs of Cardinia (Pakenham, Officer, Bunyip and Emerald), Baw Baw (Warragul, Drouin and Trafalgar), Surf Coast (Anglesea, Apollo Bay and Torquay), Bass Coast (Cowes, Inverloch and Wonthaggi) and Macedon Ranges (Gisborne, Kyneton, Romsey and Woodend).

But new growth markets continue to occur across Victoria. 

At Portland in the far south-west of the state, quarterly sales have been trending steadily upwards for the past two years. With a median house price of $235,000, affordability is a strong attraction, as well as the seaside lifestyle and the noted fishing resource.

Also in the south-west, there’s rising activity in Warrnambool, with median prices up 7% in Koroit and 5% in Warrnambool, while in nearby Port Fairy the median house price has risen 26% to $630,000.

In the Central Goldfields, quarterly sales in Maryborough have increased from 48 to 55 to 71 in the past year and its median house price has grown 18% to $230,000.

In the Far East of the state, numerous locations have rising demand, including Bairnsdale and Lakes Entrance. The median price in Lakes Entrance has grown 13% to $325,000 in the past year, while Metung is up 7% to $375,000.

Other Regional Victoria markets with growing signs of uplift include Bright (up 17% to $575,000), Shepparton (up 5% to $275,000), Wangaratta (up 14% to $315,000) and Wodonga (up 3% to $350,000).

Another location that blipped on our radar screen recently, thanks to a client inquiry, is the town of Benalla, where the median house price has increased 10% in the past 12 months, but remains attractively cheap at $275,000. One of the big local drivers is a business which has won a major contract with Melbourne’s West Gate Tunnel project, creating 400 local jobs.

And then there’s Echuca. After watching this market chug along steadily for years, I’ve been forced to include it in the new edition of Top 5 Regional Victoria Hotspots - because, well, it can no longer be ignored.

Echuca is one of those strong regional centres which form the backbone of the nation in industries like agriculture, tourism and manufacturing – and while many people have heard of it, few have ever been there.

Hotspotting has often featured Echuca in The Price Predictor Index on the National Top 50 list of most consistent markets, as measured by quarterly sales volumes. Indeed, in one of our 2017 editions of the quarterly report, we named it the nation’s most consistent market.

And it keeps on keeping on, driven by a strong and diversified local economy, and steady growth. In the past 12 months, its median house price has lifted 16% to $365,000.

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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