Once known as a gold rush boom town, Ballarat has become a highly sought-after regional city for another asset class – property!
Ballarat is located a 1 hour 20 minute drive west of the Melbourne CBD. Its proximity to Victoria’s capital has made Ballarat a popular spot for young Melbournites who’ve been priced out of the city suburbs. Aside from its affordability appeal, Ballarat’s rich history as a gold mining town and its Victorian-era heritage has increased the demand for properties in the area.
Nerida Conisbee, member of the BrickX property team and Chief Economist for REA Group, sees regional Victorian cities as a growth opportunity.
“Cities such as Geelong, Ballarat and Bendigo are now seeing far better price growth than Melbourne. This is being driven by strong demand from Melbourne buyers, particularly first home buyers and young families, attracted by the lifestyle, as well as more affordable homes” Nerida said.
When deciding where to purchase properties, the BrickX property team looks at several growth indicators. Figures that support Ballarat as an investment location include:
- Unemployment rate of 4.78% vs Australian average of 5.5% 1
- Population growth (2016-17) of 1.9% vs Australian average of 1.6% 2
- High Market Demand: 1,222 unique page visits per property on RealEstate.com.au (Ballarat Central) vs Victorian average of 1,016 3
- Median House price of $433K4 vs Melbourne average of $882K
While on weekends and holidays you’ll still see the historic trams gracing the streets of Ballarat, transport has improved significantly since 1887.
The express train from Melbourne to Ballarat clocks in at 65 minutes and current Ballarat Line upgrade works due to complete in 2019 will reduce the travel time even further. As part of the upgrade, more frequent train services will be deployed during peak times and off-peak trains every 40 minutes will increase convenience for commuters.
Ballarat Tourism and Economy
The Ballarat region attracts 2.2 million visitors annually, which injects over $577 million a year into the local economy5. One of its most popular attractions is the Sovereign Hill outdoor museum which is a time capsule of Ballarat’s remarkable goldrush history.
Ballarat is home to Federation University (formerly the University of Ballarat) with over 11,000 students in the Ballarat campus.
Ballarat also has three main hospitals – Ballarat Base, Queen Elizabeth Centre for Aged Care and St John of God Health Care.
Tourism, the university and the healthcare sector support the local economy, both by providing employment but also by improving livability.
There are also several major infrastructure projects in development:
- New Government Hub (GovHub): $100M (2018-2020) home to up to 1000 government employees, including 600 public sector positions new to the city6
- Ballarat Train Line Upgrade: $557M (2016-2019)7
- Ballarat Station Precinct Upgrade: $51M (2017-2019)8
BrickX in Ballarat
Ballarat is the first regional town we’ve bought property in and for good reason. There are two BrickX properties there.
115 Gregory St, Soldiers Hill, Ballarat – a 2 bed house
1104 Havelock St, Ballarat North – a 3 bed house
- Performance Property Data Ballarat Edition 15