With the average house price in Greater Melbourne doubling in the last decade, Buxton Real Estate says more and more Melbournians are making the move to Geelong and Ballarat.
Buxton CEO Nathan Jones said the volume of new estates being built, particularly in Ballarat, is creating property stock which cannot be challenged when comparing entry point prices.
“These new estates are typically being bought by owner-occupiers who are young families chasing their own slice of the Australian dream. That is, owning a home with a backyard.
“Travel times from Geelong and Ballarat to Melbourne have vastly improved with express trains and improved freeways, meaning an hour travel time is no longer viewed as a long commute.”
To cater to these growing demands, Buxton has opened its fourth Geelong office, with the Ballarat team growing from five agents two years ago, to 25 agents today.
Buxton Ballarat Director Peter Burley said 40 per cent of recent Buxton sales, or two per week, have been to Melbourne and interstate buyers.
“There is a massive amount of growing interest from Melbourne investors and owner-occupiers, with affordability and lifestyle the two main reasons.
“We are seeing all types of buyers visit our open homes, including young first-home buyers, as Ballarat has outstanding options with lower entry-level prices.
“For investors, properties have much higher yields in Ballarat that give immediate return on investment and vacancy rates are extremely low at 2.7 per cent, meaning that out of every 100 homes there are fewer than three sitting vacant.
“It’s an exciting time in Ballarat for current and prospective homeowners. As our town expands, our prices are also increasing and this has been extremely prominent of the past 12 months.
“As Ballarat continues to grow in population we have seen new supermarkets and town centres built and more variety of restaurants and eateries, which has made Ballarat stand out in the last 12 months. This excites everyone, bringing a wonderful culture and vibe to town,” said Mr Burley.
Buxton Geelong Director Tony Moorfoot said the lifestyle Geelong offers has been one of the biggest factors.
“Buyers from Melbourne have been flooding the Geelong market over the last 12 months as they’re seeing the value that Geelong has to offer in terms of price and having everything at their fingertips.
“We are 10 minutes from the world-famous surf coast and less than an hour’s drive to Melbourne; Geelong is definitely on the up and is no longer considered a sleeper.”
Mr Moorfoot said Melbourne buyers have been both investors and owner-occupiers.
“Investors don’t need to outlay as much as they would if they purchased in Melbourne suburbs, but they have the security that the market is on the rise and that they will experience good capital growth.
“Whereas owner-occupiers love the lifestyle, the easy access to everything and not getting caught in traffic – they’re getting all of this for a lot less than if they purchased in Melbourne.” he said.