House prices across Ballarat suburbs will continue to rise in spring, as demand surges for the low number of properties on the market.
“This is mainly because of the demand coming out of Melbourne and the low number of properties available for sale,” Mr Coull said.
The median house price in Ballarat North rose 17 per cent, from $425,000 in July last year to a current $498,000, according to realestate.com.au. In Wendouree, the median price grew 16.8 per cent, from $345,000 to $403,000.
Affordability is a major drawcard to the region, which is a haven for first-home buyers, investors, developers and downsizers.
Many of those are Melbournians looking for the country lifestyle, and many are working from home and wanting a property with a bigger backyard, according to Mr Coull.
Lockdown restrictions have not impacted keen buyers, who are turning to virtual technology to view a home, and some are buying without an on-site inspection.
“As we are unable to conduct on-site inspections, buyers are viewing properties online and are willing to secure them sight unseen,” Mr Coull said.
Just looking at a video presentation of a three-bedroom house at 21 Langstaffe Drive, Wendouree, convinced a Melbourne investor to buy the property.
“They did not visit the property and based their purchase on a video we made of the home,” Mr Coull said.
Built in the early 1980s, the house with an updated kitchen and bathroom sold within its $480,000-$500,000 price guide.
The agency also conducted its first online auction on August 28 for a three-bedroom house at 1008 Grevillea Road, Wendouree.
The property was originally scheduled for an on-site auction on August 7 but it was held online three weeks later due to the lockdown.
“The lockdown threw up some challenges for us, and we had to resort to virtual tours and inspections via mobile phone,” Mr Coull said.
One of 10 bidders, a Melbourne investor paid $480,000 or a whopping $80,000 above expectations, for the home, with all proceeds going towards cancer research.
While auctions did not traditionally have a high success rate in Ballarat, compared to Melbourne, the market was changing, Mr Coull said.
Also in Wendouree, the development potential and position of a historical four-bedroom house at 1140 Norman Street caught the eye of a Melbourne buyer.
Originally located in Ballarat's Botanical Gardens, the former curator's residence dates back to the 1800s and was relocated in the 1960s.
The city buyer paid $430,000 for the 703sq m property in a coveted location near Ballarat Grammar, shopping centre and Lake Wendouree
“He plans to develop a disability accommodation site on the block,” Mr Coull said.
Homes are selling quickly across the region and most stay only two to three weeks on the market.
Prior to lockdown and within a week of listing, a three-bedroom house at 46 Bradby Avenue, Mount Clear, sold to a first-home buyer after its first open house inspection for $465,000.
The property attracted strong interest from local and city buyers, with 32 groups attending the first open.
“About 60 people visited the home and it was so busy it felt like Flinders Street station,” Mr Coull said.
“We received seven offers after the open and the one that offered $45,000 above expectations was accepted straight away.”
Near bushland walking and biking trails, the well-maintained tenanted property is in a coveted location within walking distance of schools and Federation University, and not far from shops and train station.