Regional VIC

The Smartline Report – June Edition

The month in review: Regional VIC

By Herron Todd White
June 2015

Murray Riverina
It’s a bit better than “steady as she goes” on the residential front in Echuca/Moama with some segments flat in the standard slightly older housing areas and some more modern dwellings tight on supply which is pushing up prices, particularly in Moama. The big shift in the past six months has been the increase in supply of land in Echuca and Moama and this has seen most of the building providers particularly busy as they look to keep up with building demand.

The Sale area in general continues to be steady, with well presented and well priced properties selling well. Low interest rates are also motivating buyers, in particular first home buyers in the $200,000 to $300,000 price bracket. The expansion of the Exxon Mobil gas plant at Longford continues to drive rental demand in the area, with asking rental prices increasing as a result. Agents in the smaller regional townships of Maffra and Stratford are also reporting increased buyer enquiry and higher sale prices than the previous quarter.

After a surprising increase in market activity over late 2014 into 2015, the market has slowed slightly with agents looking for listings. Prices remain steady with no major fluctuations in the past 12 months. Housing is seen as affordable. Building should increase in Traralgon with greater residential subdivisions available. The Sale rental market is relatively strong.

Overall prices are steady, so it might be a good time to invest!

Baw Baw Shire (Warragul/Drouin)
The Warragul/Drouin area saw an increase in sales in the first half of 2015. Waterford Rise and other developments in the area are selling at a steady rate however there has been no noticeable increase in
market values to date. The predominant buyer in this area is older or establishing families.

East Gippsland
The East Gippsland residential market continues to be subdued with demand and prices showing no signs of recovery. Having said that the most active markets for dwellings are $200,000 to $250,000 for new buyers and investors in Bairnsdale, Lakes Entrance and Paynesville.

The stock levels are reduced, however prices have yet to show signs of growth. Sales upwards of $300,000 in Bairnsdale are low in volume with the demand here probably being satisfied by new builds in the Shannon Waters and Eastwood developments. It looks like the market has yet to respond to the recent reductions in interest rates and with the lack of growth in values in the area it is uncertain when the dampened investor and second home buyer market sentiment will improve.

Phillip Island
Phillip Island comprises a number of small coastal townships comprising residential property for owner occupiers and holiday rentals. Agents have reported that the first half of 2015 has seen the most number of sales and an increase in enquiries for several years. This is yet to have a noticeable upward effect
on prices in this locality.

The most notable sale was a waterfront property in Sunderland Bay comprising a 640 square metre vacant lot with ocean views which is currently under offer for $535,000. Vacant land with ocean frontage or views is rare in this locality.

South Gippsland
The market has been steady in South Gippsland localities with an increase in both enquiries and sales. This is yet to result in an increase in market values. The best performing area in this locality is Inverloch which comprises an owner occupier market and a large, established holiday rental market.

The residential market in Mildura continues to move along at a brisk pace. Agents are reporting good levels of enquiry and marketing periods are relatively short. Values appear to have improved by around 5% to 10% in the past twelve months. The most active segment is owner occupiers looking for good standard homes in the $250,000 to $450,000 bracket. We have also seen strong demand for the limited number of subdivisions recently completed, with vacant lots typically selling for around 15% to 20% more than in 2013.

Rental vacancy rates remain at close to zero and combined with low interest rates, is resulting in an active investor market. Both owner occupiers and investors continue to show a preference for better standard homes and buyer activity remains slow in the sub $200,000 market.

The first half of the year is generally pretty busy in terms of real estate activity, with the number of homes being placed on the market generally slowing down as the weather cools.

Please note that information in this publication is subject to change without notice. Smartline assumes no responsibility for any errors, omissions or mistakes in this document. © Smartline Home Loans P/L 1999 – 2015. Australian Credit Licence Number 385325


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