BALLARAT’S real estate market is expected to remain solid for the next six months, the head of the local Real Estate Institute of Victoria branch has predicted.
The comments from REIV Ballarat president John McMahon followed the release of new figures showing Ballarat recorded a 1.8 per cent increase in median house prices.
While the overall media price of a house in regional Victoria rose only slightly – 0.8 per cent in seasonally adjusted terms to $308,000 – prices in Ballarat recorded an increase of 1.8 per cent to $290,000, Bendigo a 1.6 per cent rise to $315,000 and Geelong a 3.8 per cent hike in the September quarter to $405,000.
Mr McMahon said while Geelong was impacted by the Melbourne housing market, Ballarat remained strong, with increased interest from young families, investors and retirees buying in the region.
He said while there had been a decline in house prices over recent years, signs of recovery were strong and house prices were back to those of two years ago.
“Ballarat experienced a cold, bleak winter and there was a long period before the federal election where a lot of people sat on their hands until they were sure of the predictability of the next federal government,” Mr McMahon said.
“Most (Ballarat) agents have recently seen a higher number of people at open houses, resulting in strong inquiries that flow through to sales.
“We have seen a significant increase in the number of inquiries from owner-occupiers from outside Ballarat, including those looking to invest here, young families looking to move away from Melbourne and into housing affordability and even seniors and retirees cashing in their Melbourne properties for a better quality lifestyle and infrastructure in Ballarat.”
REIV chief executive officer Enzo Raimondo said buyers were still attracted to the key regional centres of Geelong, Ballarat and Bendigo, with clearance rates averaging more than 80 per cent in all three centres this quarter.
“Geelong, Ballarat, and Bendigo have outperformed the broader regional market and remain at their peak prices after growth in this quarter,” Mr Raimondo said.
“Interest rates remain low and buyers are taking advantage of this with the chances of a further rate cut this year becoming less and less likely. There have also been a number of positive indicators in the state which has increased demand, primarily in the metropolitan market.”