As property prices in Melbourne continue to escalate, investment opportunities in the southern Australian state of Victoria are now looking towards regional areas for growth potential. Victoria is a relatively small state, so no matter where you are, you will never be more than a few hours away from Melbourne. This can also make it an ideal place to look for a holiday home where you can commute to the city on a regular, or even daily, basis if necessary.
Bendigo is a regional town that continues to grow from strength to strength. Only an hour and half from Melbourne, it is close enough to commute if necessary, or better yet, just relax and enjoy the country air. This regional hub is the recent beneficiary of significant infrastructure, including a multi-billion dollar regional rail link and new hospital developments, contributing to its long-term growth.
Bendigo has been called a gold-mine for investors, with negligible rental vacancy rates and reasonable house prices that continue to appreciate in value, with a three bedroom house able to be purchased from $225,000. People continue to flock to this cosmopolitan town to live, but development seems to be lagging behind demand, making it a good opportunity for a long-term investor if they can find a property to purchase. The growing population also makes the region attractive to business investors, and holiday makers who like the quiet of the country with some of the comforts of a larger town.
Another town in the Goldfields region is Ballarat. Ballarat is one of Victoria’s main regional hubs and is also experiencing a growth in population and development. With investment in public transport and wind farms, this gold mining town is now a quaint place to both visit and live.
Property prices in some suburbs are experiencing double digit growth, and the prospects for capital growth look set to continue, it is still possible to find a 2 bedroom home for less than $160,000. With many people seeking a change from city life and prices, the rental market in Ballarat is also strong. The Ballarat council continues to court business to relocate to the area, setting the stage for continued development and opportunity. What was once a day trip for holiday makers who wanted to pan for gold, is now one of Victoria’s fastest growing regions.
Great Ocean Road:
The Great Ocean Road has long been the tourist destination of choice in Victoria. With miles of stunning coastline and of course the world famous twelve apostles, thousands of holiday makers flock here each summer. The region is also home to some of Victoria’s most expensive real estate, with property prices above a million dollars not uncommon.
If you do dream of owning a piece of property on this iconic coastline without the seven figure price tag, there is still some potential in the smaller towns, such as Anglesea. Close to the freeway that connects Melbourne to the Great Ocean Road, it is accessible and affordable. For less than $500,000 it is still possible to find a 2 bedroom unit in this lovely town. Holiday rentals are popular here in summer time, and being close to the surfing mecca of Bells Beach there are no shortage of potential renters.
On the other side of Melbourne’s coastline is the Mornington Peninsula, from Mount Martha to Portsea, this is where the well heeled head to for a break from the hustle and bustle of town. Whilst the property boom reached this region years ago, there are still a few pockets where opportunities to make a good investment exist. One such town is Dromana, located at the foot of Arthurs Seat, this is the gateway to the Mornington Peninsula. Whilst property isn’t cheap, it has potential for modest growth due to continued investment in freeways linking it to Melbourne. Prices do vary considerably, with three bedroom homes varying from $280,000 to over $500,00, so it is worth shopping around.
A favorite for family holiday makers, Gippsland has been a popular holiday home destination for decades. It attracts a different crowd than the well-heeled investors of the Great Ocean Road or Portsea, making it a reasonable option for a purchasing a seaside property in Victoria. Many towns on the Gippsland Coast, such as Venus Bay have already seen their boom-time, whilst others like Inverloch and Cape Paterson continue to grow. In Inverloch it is still possible to find a 3 bedroom home right near the beach for $400,000. Whilst capital growth is not likely to be over 10%, the long-term potential for modest returns in this region still exists, with demand for holiday rentals still reasonable during the warmer months.
Far enough away from Melbourne, the region doesn’t attract as many weekend trippers as the Mornington Peninsula, making it a good place to retire to as well. For those who are less mobile, there are also several retirement villages and aged care developments that have sprung up in the area.
Whilst the seaside towns of Victoria are showing only modest returns for investment properties, there are still some pockets of opportunity for savvy investors. To cash in on the boom in Victoria, the central regional hubs offer both quality lifestyle and capital growth potential. If you want to do some further research, it may be worthwhile visiting the area you are interested in for a few weeks and renting a holiday home. You can find some holiday homes for rent here.