The month in review: Regional VIC
By Herron Todd White
The residential market in Ballarat has performed in line with expectations during 2016. That is, the upper echelons and central suburbs have performed well while the lower market segments and new estates remained fairly static.
Lake Wendouree, Newington, Ballarat Central and Soldiers Hill have experienced strong demand and have shown some growth. Lake Wendouree in particular has experienced some notable sales and on the back of this success, the volume of houses being sold in the suburb has increased. The market shows a strong preference for larger allotments and period style housing, with these properties in very high demand. During 2016, a noticeable swing to auctioning properties has been evidenced in the hopes of capitalising on the strong demand in this area.
The lower echelons of the market such as Sebastopol and Wendouree have remained static with little growth evidenced. This is also true for the new estates to the south-west such as in Delacombe and Winter Valley, where supply still exceeds demand with many new estates still to come to the market.
The rental market has remained fairly static within Ballarat and agents have reported a softening in the market for lower quality stock. This lower quality segment of the rental market has been affected by the increased volume of unit developments offering newer, better quality rentals for tenants.
Overall, 2016 has seen the Ballarat housing market perform as expected with no surprises. It has continued to provide a stable market with the central suburbs performing well.
The Horsham residential market has remained static over the past 12 months, unable to get around the subdued demand and lack of market confidence. The market has been slow across all sectors (house, unit and vacant land) recording lower than average volumes of sales. House median prices have continued to hold around $250,000 to $300,000 with a high percentage of these sales being purchased by owner-occupiers. Unit prices are tending to demonstrate a two tier market with units of an inferior location and quality ranging from $150,000 to $175,000 and units of a superior quality and location ranging from $250,000 to $300,000. The rural residential market has also remained stable with a small volume of sales recorded.
Even in sluggish residential market conditions, Horsham has been able to record a high residential sale of $695,000 of a detached circa 2005 two storey residential dwelling on the fringe of Horsham’s commercial precinct which appears to have been purchased as an investment.
The residential property market within Warrnambool has remained stagnant in the majority of classes. As predicted earlier in the year, Central Warrnambool has proved to be on the rise with properties spending less time on the market. This is due to the number of buyers currently active within this space wanting to buy within this area. Properties within Central Warrnambool can be purchased from $350,000 to upwards of a million dollars. This is largely determined on the current state of repair and proximity to key amenities including the CBD, hospital and beach. There have been several examples of central properties selling in excess of vendor expectations. In saying this, high end properties located within this area are still spending more time on the market due to the limited number of purchasers in the price bracket ($700,000 to $1 million).
North Warrnambool, Dennington and West Warrnambool have remained relatively stagnant in comparison to Central Warrnambool due to the oversupply of vacant land within these areas.
A key residential sale this year was 530 Hopkins Point Road, Allansford which sold for $1.63 million after previously selling in 2010 for $1.35 million. This sale created interest among the prestige purchasers within the Warrnambool area due to the tightly held market along Hopkins Point Road.