VIC­TO­RIA

Money Magazine Australia - - COVER STORY -

STAND­OUT LO­CA­TION:

Bal­larat: This re­gional cen­tre stands out, of­fer­ing af­ford­abil­ity with good trans­port links to Mel­bourne, un­der­pinned by a strong econ­omy. Sales ac­tiv­ity has been ris­ing in a city where most sub­urbs have me­dian house prices of $250,000-$350,000.

2017 re­viewed

Greater Gee­long: This time last year I wrote that “while much of the pub­lic­ity about Gee­long fo­cuses on the clo­sure of the Ford mo­tor plant, pos­i­tive job-cre­at­ing events far out­weigh the neg­a­tive im­pacts of the Ford shut­down.” Most sub­urbs in the City of Greater Gee­long recorded dou­ble-digit me­dian price growth in 2017, in­clud­ing sev­eral above 15% and two (In­dented Head and Jan Juc) above 20%.

There will be grow­ing signs in 2018 that Mel­bourne is fol­low­ing Syd­ney into a wind-down phase. Mel­bourne got on its growth path later than Syd­ney and so still has mo­men­tum. But the im­por­tant in­di­ca­tors show Mel­bourne has al­ready passed its peak.

The rip­ple ef­fect has taken the growth cy­cle to the af­ford­able out­ly­ing sub­urbs. The strong­est mar­ket now is Wyn­d­ham City in the far south-west, where sub­urbs such as Wer­ribee, Hop­pers Cross­ing and Point Cook are sell­ing homes in record num­bers.

The el­e­ments that drove Mel­bourne’s boom – a strong state econ­omy and the na­tion’s high­est pop­u­la­tion growth, fu­elled by mi­grants – re­main. But there are pow­er­ful forces that can over­power the growth driv­ers, in­clud­ing af­ford­abil­ity and over­sup­ply. So we can ex­pect the 2018 growth to be seen in the outer sub­urbs and in re­gional cen­tres within com­mut­ing dis­tance. Gee­long has one of the hottest mar­kets and will con­tinue to surge in 2018. Bal­larat is warm­ing up as well and homes are sell­ing fast there, thanks to the city’s af­ford­abil­ity, strong econ­omy and trans­port links to Mel­bourne. Other busy mar­kets in­clude Mace­don Ranges Shire north of Mel­bourne (towns like Gis­borne, Kyne­ton, Wood­end and Rom­sey); Mitchell Shire, also on the north­ern fringes (Kil­more, Wal­lan, Sey­mour and Broad­ford); and Car­dinia Shire in the far south-east (Pak­en­ham and Of­fi­cer).

Warm­ing up ... Bal­larat has a strong econ­omy and is af­ford­able.

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