A Wendouree Parade sale has set a new benchmark for the Ballarat region, pushing property price levels to a new benchmark.
Wendouree Parade, with its stately homes and impressive lake frontage location and views, has historically been a tightly-held area but as more property is released to the market they are commanding sale prices in the millions.
Real estate agents are equally jubilant as property continues the upward price trend of other regional centres.
Recent property deals that have topped the market include the $4.1 million sale of 424 Wendouree Parade, a 2306 sq m block with two houses that sold privately; another Wendouree Parade residence that sold for $2.8 million in February, and a Victorian period home at 205 Mill St, Lake Wendouree, that sold for $1.95 million in April through Buxton’s.
The 424 Wendouree Parade residence that fronts onto Lake Wendouree sold in 2009 for $1.475m, but has since been extensively renovated.
It was a finalist in the City of Ballarat’s heritage awards where, judges paid tribute to the owners for “retaining the original design of the Californian bungalow and extending it into a stunning modern family home,despite (having) no heritage overlay controls applying on their property.”
Buxton Ballarat director Peter Burley said in 17 years, he had not seen the market as strong as it is at present, at all levels.
“There’s a lot of out-of-town investment, not only from Melbourne but also interstate buyers. I recently sold to a fellow from Auckland. Ballarat is on the map internationally ... we have buyers from China as well.”
Mr Burley said the biggest increases had been “pushed dramatically because of the Melbourne influence”.
“Over the last 12 months, we have sold 456 homes and 40 per cent of those sales have been to Melbourne buyers. There are a lot of young families pushed out of the market in Melbourne who are buying, but also older people who are selling up [in Melbourne] for $1.5 to $2 million, moving to Ballarat, buying a really nice home for $500,00 to $600,000 and putting a million in the bank.”
“Now there are plenty of properties selling at that level (in the millions), so it’s now more the norm than a rare occurrence.”
Caine director Damian Caine has been in Ballarat since 1988 and said the city had been overlooked for years but buyers were now realizing what it had to offer.
“Ballarat still has affordable properties at the entry level … you can still start at $160,000 for an investment property, whereas Bendigo and Warnambool – the other Victorian regional centres - have a higher price starting point.
“At the other end of the spectrum, properties in Bendigo are topping out at $2.5m, whereas in Ballarat it’s $4 million.
“There have been numerous sales in the mid $2.5 to $3 million and we are probably going to see more sales up to $4 million and above ... there is one on the market currently for $4.5m to $5m on Lake Wendouree.”
“And when you look at the view of the lake, the beautiful outlook, I think people have been missing what’s on offer here ... good schools and hospitals, a range of specialists. It is still seen by many as a country town,” Mr Caine said.
“Someone said the other day it took him an hour to get from Toorak to the Westgate Bridge (in Melbourne) and an hour to Ballarat; why wouldn’t you live in Ballarat?”
Neil Jens from Red Circle real Estate Ballarat, agrees. “The market is about as good as I’ve seen it.”
“A lot of people are sick of the traffic and are buying to live here, but it’s strong for investors too because the investment return here is higher.
“People used to see Ballarat as ‘that cold place’ but now they see historic Sturt Street and the lake, the great schools and medical facilities. It’s been a long time coming,” he said.