Home values in regional Victoria have surpassed those in Melbourne, latest data shows.
Regional Victoria’s home values rocketed 4.8 per cent in the quarter to January and a strong 1.6 per cent over the month, CoreLogic national home value index revealed.
The housing demand in regional areas was on the rise as more people were leaving Melbourne for outer fringe and country areas, according to CoreLogic research director Tim Lawless.
“Better housing affordability, an opportunity for a lifestyle upgrade, and lower density housing options are other factors that might be contributing to this trend, along with the new found popularity of remote working arrangements,” he noted.
Melbourne tree-changers had driven much of the recent price growth in regional Victoria, Director of Barry Plant Ballarat and Bendigo offices, Yvonne Jackson said.
“The market has never been stronger with rentals up and properties selling in a blink of an eye,” she added. “And with the record low interest rates and government incentives, we expect the market to grow from strength to strength this year.”
Many buyers were lured by a combination of affordability, reasonably short commute to the city and lifestyle change.
“Those Melbournians who are now working from home, particularly those living in small city apartments, realise they can get double the space for half the price here,” Ms Jackson said.
Buyers were also lured by the character and charm of the regions, according to Ms Jackson.
“Ballarat and Bendigo are delightful regional centres, steeped in history and filled with beautiful old buildings and period homes.”
Ballarat was ideal for city commuters because it was only a one and a quarter hour train ride to Melbourne, she added. “Many people also appreciate the laid-back lifestyle here where it only takes about 10 mins to get from A to B,” she said. “There are great schools, good doctors, a wide variety of shops and supermarkets, impressive Lake Wendouree and lovely walking tracks, serene parks, and award-winning restaurants and cafes.”
The data showed Australian home values reached a record high in January, surpassing the previous September 2017 peak. Growing 0.4 per cent in the month and rising to 2.1 per cent for the quarter, the median home value in Melbourne stood at $692,162.