The gold rush city had the Midas touch when it comes to house prices in 2018, according to the Real Estate Institute of Victoria.
Wendouree and Golden Point both launched into the top 10 for house price growth during last year. Placing fourth, behind Loch Sport, Wonthaggi and Maryborough, Wendouree had a 25.7 per cent jump in median sale prices, with Golden Point clocking up a 21.3 per cent increase across 2018.
And in October to December, Golden Point experienced a 11.6 per cent increase in house price, the highest anywhere in regional Victoria over three months.
Biggin & Scott Ballarat real estate agent Francesca Nicol said the dramatic increases in Wendouree and Golden Point were because “they’re the only places Melbourne buyers can find period homes in the $300,000 to $400,000 range”.
“Once upon a time that suburb was Soldiers Hill, and now they’re seeing what they get one suburb over for dramatically cheaper,” she said.
“For them, travelling between suburbs can take 30 or 40 minutes in Melbourne, so an extra seven minutes in Ballarat is just laughable.”
Only 66 kilometres north of Ballarat, the city of Maryborough had the third highest jump in house prices in the state, with a 26.6 per cent increase across 2018 to a median price of $250,000.
Melbourne’s median house price increased 1.4 per cent to $826,500, despite what the REIV called “’low confidence, sluggish auction clearance rates and a 20 per cent reduction in residential property sales in the past 12 months’.
Anything north of Eureka Street and the Brown Hill corridor is a massive growth opportunity ... people walk through and see amazing value.Biggin & Scott real estate agent Francesca Nicol
REIV president Robyn Waters said results for Regional Victoria had been strong when compared to inner Melbourne, with buyers looking to snap up more affordable options.
“Our latest data showed some surprise quarterly increases in inland Victoria with Golden Point, Irymple and Daylesford all achieving an uplift of more than nine per cent,” she said.
“The 2.5 per cent increase in the median (regional) house price for the December quarter was the second strongest for the year, in contrast to Metropolitan Melbourne which had its weakest quarter.”
Across 2018, regional Victoria experienced a 5.5 per cent increase in the median house price to $400,000, up from $379,000.
Ms Nicol said most investors “want period homes” in Ballarat, with two Magpie Street properties in Golden Point selling for more than $600,000 in their first weekends on show.
She said it was “retirees and downzisers” looking at those houses, where high quality renovations, heating and views across the city come for a comparative bargain.
“Ballarat people don’t tend to rate views, but if you come from Melbourne or a capital city, you pay a 10 per cent premium for a view. They look our city through different eyes.
“For the migration to Wendouree, I assume that would be a lot more investor driven, but certainly around Ballarat Grammar, people seem to buy to live there.”