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Buyers can feast on hot pockets

Victoria's property market could be on the verge of bouncing back as suburban pockets finally show signs of life.

Footscray, Mentone and Ballarat have topped a list of property hot spots across the state in the annual Hot 100 list compiled by Australian Property Investor.

Experts have suggested it could be the best time to invest in a string of regional towns and suburban centres that are included on this year's annual snapshot.

"Since the market hasn't yet gained great momentum, now is the perfect time to be searching for an investment property," Hot 100 co-author Lauren Cross said.

"What's likely to really drive the market this year is a remarkable improvement in affordability."

With property prices edging back and interest rates still relatively low, it has become easier to buy.

Other Victorian suburbs to make the list include Box Hill, Dandenong, Frankston, Ringwood and Sunshine.

Real Estate Institute of Victoria spokesman Robert Larocca said the state could finally be turning the corner. "We don't expect to see a lot of capital growth this year, but we are beginning to see the signs of improvement," he said.

Regional centres such as Ballarat had weathered the market slump better than Melbourne, but buying outside metropolitan areas remained a significant lifestyle choice.

"Ascot Vale, Footscray and Footscray West are obvious areas to expect growth when you compare the cost for properties the same distance from the CBD in the east and southeast," he said.

Source: The Herald Sun