The month in review: Regional VIC
By Herron Todd White
Key areas providing viable alternatives for those looking to build in Echuca or Moama include the old part of Moama and there have been several blocks located in East Echuca which have been purchased and redeveloped into units or single residences and to a lesser degree in central Echuca on account of the higher entry cost. The Echuca Moama bridge is a perennial talking point in shaping the look and feel of the various locations in both towns with the key feature being geographical proximity to the CBD. There have been several townhouse sales in Old Moama in the $480,000 to $520,000 bracket which set the top end of the range while demand for good quality units in central Echuca is generally firm.
East Warrnambool is an established residential area of Warrnambool, with development consisting of 1950s to 1980s built homes. This area is starting to become more popular and heading towards a gentrification era, with the key driving factors being the relatively affordable nature of the suburb and its proximity to the CBD, beach and Hopkins River. Most purchasers looking at an East Warrnambool location want to be able to buy at an affordable level and spend the money on either renovations or small developments, as there is no land in this area for larger residential developments. The five year outlook for this area of Warrnambool is strong with purchasers hopefully being able to increase their capital in time.
The strong history of Ballarat provides a sought after niche with period housing, particularly Victorian dwellings circa 1900. Areas likely to prosper from this niche market are Golden Point, Black Hill and Ballarat East. Period homes in these areas provide a stable investment outlook with driving factors that include affordability and proximity to the CBD, transport and sporting facilities as well as limited supply compared to the new estates on the city fringes with modern housing facing no limit in supply. These suburbs provide an inexpensive option for good quality period homes, close to the city centre and ripe for gentrification. Well renovated period homes fetch a premium within the Ballarat residential market. There is strong evidence of gentrification in Soldiers Hill with property quality and prices continually improving. With good quality renovations and the location of these suburbs, rising property values are likely in the future.
On the outer edges of Ballarat, Buninyong presents an opportunity with good local facilities and close proximity to Ballarat. Buninyong provides heritage properties with a rural township atmosphere and is becoming a sought after location because of these factors.
At present, Ballarat has seen little development of reclaimed spaces, such as factory conversions, due to a limited demand for apartment living in regional areas. It is unlikely the apartment market in conversions of this type would have high demand in the foreseeable future, however smaller scale buildings such as churches provide more of a lower density lifestyle choice for Ballarat.
Sale rentals have hit some of the highest returns in years. With strong industries and the RAAF base this is expected to be maintained. Traralgon land prices in popular estates are at very affordable values compared to three to five years ago. This area has consistent housing construction at affordable prices.
Warragul and Drouin estates are growing with more land available and values increasing. Increasing demand in this location is due to the close proximity to Melbourne.
Koo Wee Rup/Lang Lang
Koo Wee Rup and Lang Lang land values have increased in the past six to 12 months with construction demand strong and building prices very affordable. The reasons for the increasing demand include the area’s close proximity to Pakenham and being only 45 minutes to Melbourne.
Overall the Gippsland market is considered stable however some areas are gaining momentum.
While many of the dwellings constructed in Mildura’s early days were of a fairly basic standard, many have survived and continue to receive good buyer demand. These older dwellings are located within easy walking distance of Mildura’s town centre, dining and nightlife precinct and therefore appeal to both young professionals and older downsizers.
The better standard homes in Mildura are traditionally located west of Deakin Avenue, with the older character homes always well sought after.
Demand remains strong, particularly for properties with good street appeal. Values in these areas vary depending on the size of the land and residence and standard of external features, however they typically range between $300,000 and $500,000, with some unrenovated dwellings fetching lower prices.
In the past few years there has been improving demand for homes in some inner areas on the eastern side of Deakin Avenue, in those locations within one kilometre of the town centre. Homes in these areas are typically smaller and more affordable. Recent sales in these areas have generally been in the range of $180,000 to $280,000, with the cheaper end of this range being for dwellings that require renovation. There has been a gradual trend for the more basic dwellings in these areas to be either demolished or renovated, which has contributed to an improved profile. We expect that these areas will continue to receive good demand from budget conscious buyers who seek the convenience of living close to the town centre and are prepared to undertake some renovation work.