Ex­cit­ing times loom for re­gion

Benalla Ensign - - News - By Di­dier Sto­bart

Last year was great for prop­erty trans­ac­tions in Be­nalla, with a 2.2 per cent rise, com­pared to the 1.1 per cent de­crease in re­gional and ru­ral Vic­to­ria.

This is ex­pected to rise even more to five to eight per cent by April this year, thanks to more first home buy­ers and the re­cently in­tro­duced stamp duty sub­si­dies.

Prop­erty man­ager David MacK­in­non is ex­tremely op­ti­mistic about the real es­tate prospects in Be­nalla.

‘‘I’ve been here for 20 years and I’ve never seen a lift like this be­fore,’’ he said.

With more jobs be­ing cre­ated and more res­i­dents in the area, Be­nalla will ben­e­fit in ev­ery way from the in­crease in trans­ac­tions.

‘‘The ex­tra money that will be gen­er­ated will ben­e­fit the en­tire town,’’ Mr MacK­in­non said.

‘‘It’s a re­ally ex­cit­ing time for Be­nalla. With the new con­crete man­u­fac­tur­ing fa­cil­ity for the West Gate tun­nel in the works, it will only in­crease our ex­po­sure and gen­er­ate more res­i­dents and lo­cal spend­ing.’’

This in­crease is cre­at­ing more con­struc­tion for lo­cal builders, with Be­nalla hav­ing lots of space for new homes and con­struc­tion.

It has not yet im­proved the rent­ing sit­u­a­tion with the avail­abil­ity of qual­ity homes still hard to find.

‘‘There is still a short­age of qual­ity rental prop­er­ties in Be­nalla,’’ Mr MacK­in­non said.

‘‘This can only be im­proved if we have more in­vestors buy­ing and rent­ing out, so we are hop­ing that hap­pens with the pro­jected in­crease in the lo­cal pop­u­la­tion.’’

The rise is cred­ited to the lo­cal coun­cil and the state gov­ern­ment, which has im­ple­mented plans to in­crease prop­erty trans­ac­tions in the fi­nan­cial year.

‘‘Fi­nally we have a coun­cil and state gov­ern­ment giv­ing perks to im­prove prop­erty in Be­nalla,’’ he said.

‘‘We have easy ac­cess to Mel­bourne and Syd­ney and a beau­ti­ful cli­mate.

‘‘It is great to fi­nally have the op­por­tu­nity to open our arms to new mem­bers of the com­mu­nity.’’

By in­creas­ing the num­ber of res­i­dents in Be­nalla, it will not only im­prove lo­cal busi­nesses, it will help im­prove the per­cep­tion that Be­nalla only caters to the older de­mo­graphic.

‘‘Peo­ple think that Be­nalla is only for re­tire­ment, but that is sim­ply just not true,’’ Mr MacK­in­non said.

‘‘We have fa­cil­i­ties and busi­nesses that cater for all ages and de­mo­graph­ics and we are hop­ing to change that per­cep­tion.’’

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