Regional VIC October 2017

The month in review: Regional VIC

By Herron Todd White
October 2017

Echuca Property Review

The local trends have seen something of a divergence in product between those who are able to utilise large scale builders for an incredibly economic product based on existing designs compared to those who are able or prepared to invest additional capital for individualised designs constructed by local builders.

Interestingly first home buyers appear to be trending away from older stock which can be renovated in preference for larger, more modern residences which can be constructed at affordable prices given the current interest rate environment.

By way of interpreting the market, several pockets appear to be prepared to pay for the extra bells and whistles for high end homes while the traditional mortgage belt segment is also trading well on account of tight supply partially dragging the older stock up in value.

Horsham Property Review

Horsham rural city and surrounds is comprised of residential homes established mainly in the 1960s and 1970s. These residences are mainly standard 3-bedrooms and 1-bathroom on an average 800 square metre block. With the population growth in recent years however, Horsham has seen the supply of established homes available for purchase decrease and a number of new subdivisions developed with new homes being built.

These new subdivisions have a large presence of homes being built through companies such as GJ Gardiner, JG King and Hotondo Homes, as these are the most affordable for the Horsham area whilst still providing young families the opportunity to be able to build their dream homes without the huge price tag. The new homes being built are mainly 4-bedrooms, 2-bathrooms and a double lock up garage. People are looking for more space for their families,

Whilst building a home is an affordable option for some, another popular option within the region is to buy an established home and renovate, inspired by the numerous renovation shows on television. Whilst being centrally located in Horsham is more popular for most residents there are also many opting to venture to the perimeters of Horsham to purchase a small acreage block to either build their own home or buy something that has already been established.

Mildura Property Review

Most recent construction in Mildura has involved conventional 3- or 4-bedroom brick veneer dwellings, usually on lots of around 650 to 750 square metres. Most subdivisions also tend to feature one townhouse complex, containing between six and ten lots of around 400 square metres in size. Land sizes have definitely shrunk in the past ten years, driven not by demand but by the need for developers to find an extra bit of profit margin.

Smaller land sizes mean that it can be hard to also fit in a shed, pool etc and so more affluent buyers, particularly those with young families, often prefer to live in one of the rural residential subdivisions scattered throughout a five to ten kilometre radius of Mildura. These subdivisions mostly have land sizes of between 2,000 and 4,000 square metres and tend to have more substantial dwellings. The popularity of these larger properties waned during the last drought (mid to late 2000s) when water rationing made it hard to keep gardens thriving, however in more recent times this has been less of an issue and demand is once again strong.

As we have previously noted, Mildura is a sponge city, drawing people from a 300 kilometre radius. This is particularly true for retirees, who see Mildura as having a favourable climate, good medical facilities and excellent air transport (direct flights to three capital cities). This demographic has a variety of housing needs, with some choosing smaller homes closer to the Mildura CBD and some preferring larger homes in rural residential surroundings.

One noticeable change in new construction over the past 25 years is the move away from 2-bedroom units. Whereas many of the units built prior to 1990 contained 2-bedrooms, very few 2-bedroom units are now built, with buyers showing a strong preference for accommodation with 3-bedrooms and ideally also having 2-bathrooms. Buyers also have a strong preference for detached housing and very few developments with attached walls have been constructed in the past 20 years.

Most builders and home owners show traditional thinking when it comes to building materials and floor plans and we have subdivisions which contain very uniform housing as a result. It is likely that this will not change quickly, however we expect that in time, buyers will become more selective when it comes to building orientation and energy efficiency. Our forebears always sited their homes with a north facing orientation when possible, however the advent of reverse cycle air conditioning resulted in many home buyers no longer thinking about this. The increasing cost of electricity is expected to make buyers more conscious of the benefits of houses which require less energy to maintain a comfortable temperature.

Warrnambool Property Review

Warrnambool’s housing style has evolved from early federation period style homes of stone and weatherboard construction to more modern brick veneer and light weight cladding designed homes.

With Central Warrnambool being largely fully established, residential dwellings are generally situated on mid to large sized parcels of land ranging from 650 to 1,200 square metres. The dwellings that occupy this space are constructed generally from weatherboard, conite and sandstone construction and range in style, with the most represented style being the Victorian dwelling, for which purchasers have always been prepared to pay a premium.

From the late 1970s to the modern era, the majority of dwellings being built within the middle and outer circles of Warrnambool have comprised predominantly brick veneer dwellings. The trend in these homes has evolved from a 3-bedroom, single bathroom dwelling, which generally had an attached single garage to a 4-bedroom, 2-bathroom dwelling with an attached double garage.

Unit living has remained the secondary asset class within Warrnambool with this market largely occupied by down sizers and investors. There is a trend arising in Warrnambool for more ecofriendly developments with owner-occupiers paying more attention to sustainable living and utilising materials more complementary to the surrounding environment.

Speak with a Victoria Mortgage Broker today.

Share on:

DISCLAIMER: The information contained in this article is correct at the time of publishing and is subject to change. It is intended to be of a general nature only. It has been prepared without taking into account any person’s objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on this information, Smartline recommends that you consider whether it is appropriate for your circumstances. Smartline recommends that you seek independent legal, financial, and taxation advice before acting on any information in this article.