The regional and peri-urban revolution in Victorian land markets: Oliver Hume

The regional and peri-urban revolution in Victorian land markets: Oliver Hume
The regional and peri-urban revolution in Victorian land markets: Oliver Hume

EXPERT OBSERVER

As Melbourne’s record population growth continues unabated, so too does a property revolution in the urban-regional perimeter surrounding the city.

Recent years has seen Victoria’s regional and peri-urban markets evolve to be increasingly similar to the rest of metropolitan Melbourne, with trends observed in the city becoming more pronounced on its perimeter as a range of factors reshape market relationships.

These include population growth, declines in affordability, changing patterns of employment, new infrastructure and the level of maturity (or how established a market is).

By comparing price and land size trends in metropolitan Melbourne and several key regional and peri-urban markets (including those in the Greater Geelong, Surf Coast, Moorabool and Baw Baw municipalities), we can identify current and emerging trends that can provide developers and property buyers with superior insights.

Recent data suggests that over the past few years there has been a significant change in the relativities between prices and sizes across different land markets with prices generally rising faster in metropolitan and large regional cities, while reductions in land sizes generally were greater in peri-urban markets.

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The regional and peri-urban revolution in Victorian land markets: Oliver Hume

For example, median prices rose strongly in metropolitan Melbourne (57 per cent) and Greater Geelong (51 per cent) over the period 2014 to 2019.

In Geelong’s case (and the Surf Coast to an extent), strong price growth has been driven by increased integration with Melbourne’s western region (especially the Wyndham and Melton municipalities) and significant improvements in transport connectivity between Melbourne and Geelong.

Peri-urban and regional locations such as the Moorabool (mostly Bacchus Marsh) and Baw Baw (mostly Warragul) municipalities experienced lower, but still significant, price growth of 38 per cent and 34 per cent respectively relative to metropolitan. 

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The regional and peri-urban revolution in Victorian land markets: Oliver Hume

Price growth for peri-urban areas was also higher than traditionally has been the case due primarily to these locations’ increased integration with metropolitan Melbourne and higher population growth.

Although forecasting prices is difficult, we could expect price growth of at least this magnitude, if not higher, in the future as these locations becoming increasingly integrated with Melbourne.

In markets with generally larger lots (especially peri-urban areas which are also less mature and established), the adjustment process has been via a relatively sharper reduction in land sizes (compared to prices).

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The regional and peri-urban revolution in Victorian land markets: Oliver Hume

For example, the median lot size declined by 18 per cent in Moorabool and 19 per cent in Baw Baw from 2014 to 2019.  This was greater than the decline observed in metropolitan Melbourne, Greater Geelong and the Surf Coast.

Looking ahead, we expect to see further reductions in lot sizes across all markets, with peri-urban markets potentially seeing the greatest decrease as markets converge.

However, while the fundamentals are in place for continued land price increases in key metropolitan and regional city markets over the medium to long-term, peri-urban markets might also exhibit greater price growth than they have in past as they converge with other markets.

George Bougias is the national head of research at Oliver Hume.

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Melbourne Residential Land

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