Regional living has received plenty of coverage from the Melbourne media during the COVID outbreak. Stories of “mass migration” to our major regional centres give the impression that the opportunities to either invest or be an owner-occupier are limited.
Besides Greater Geelong, Ballarat is our largest and closest major regional city. Ballarat offers excellent infrastructure and is well-serviced with first-rate transport, hospitals, industry, education, the arts, and sporting facilities.
Melbourne’s proximity is one of the main attractions, only 1 hour and 23 minutes by rail or road.
But interestingly, the press hype may leave potential investors or new residents with second thoughts, so a Ballarat agent we work with shared some valuable insights.
- The influx of “city folks” he feels is not as significant as the press states.
- Stock levels are improving slightly, but there is still a demand shortage.
- Some excellent properties are coming on the market now.
- He sees growth in the eastern Melbourne side of Ballarat and around Wendouree.
- Local buyers are still dominant, but city buyers are pushing up prices through the sale process – but they are not necessarily prevailing.
- By Melbourne price standards, there are some excellent examples of 3 bedroom mid-century homes selling for $375-$575k on good-sized land blocks.
- Prices have risen, and whilst rental yields have come down, Ballarat is still achieving a reasonable return compared with Melbourne.
- There is still strong demand for rental properties; this agent estimates just a 1.3% vacancy rates – so rental yields may increase as a result.
His summary is interesting – the influx of Melbourne investor/buyers is not as prevalent as the press’s impression. But he feels the Melbourne investor’s interest is pushing up prices that locals must and do meet.
Our thoughts are that Ballarat still offers significant investment or living potential with good demand, growth prospects and a solid rental market.
Call us at ela Property Advocates to discuss investing in regional cities and help you make good property decisions. Call Guy Angwin 0412 022 998 or Geoff Briscoe 0419 740 351. Web: www.elapropertyadvocates.com.