Ballarat Is Enjoying The Spoils Of Regional Relocation
The shift towards regional suburbs has been the common theme in Australia since last year. The pandemic and its lockdowns only strengthened the resolve of former big city dwellers to make this move. Current data shared by CoreLogic shows the extent to which regional Australia has been outperforming combined capital cities in last year’s property market. With the exception of Sydney and Melbourne, a national average price growth could also be seen and this is partly due to very low vacancy rates.
With industries adapting to remote work opportunities, first-home buyers are taking advantage of the low interest rates and significant government incentives such as the extension of the First Home Loan Deposit Scheme to make their brick and mortar investment dreams come true. In 2020, Terry Richards predicted a strong demand in the local economy and population of Victoria. The boom, which rippled out from Melbourne and extended to its regional suburbs, included the strong centre of the City of Ballarat.
Ballarat: Rich History, Bright Future
The largest city of the Central Victoria Highlands, Ballarat is turning out to be one of the property hotspots home-buyers and investors are looking into this year. Victoria’s largest inland city has always been a thriving hub of culture and history. Ballarat is the home to award-winning culinary offerings, contemporary arts, tourism, and fascinating architecture.
A juxtaposition of old and new, Ballarat’s rich history and wealth of stories from the mid-1800s are evident in the city’s many establishments. Restaurants, wineries, and hotels, pay tribute to the past by injecting a burst of art and history in their overall design and space. Ballarat has a thriving culture and arts scene. This is primarily due to the strong influence of the city’s gold rush history. The Art Gallery of Ballarat, for example, established in 1884, is Australia’s oldest and largest regional gallery with a comprehensive collection of Australian art.
Ballarat is a centre of commerce, and also offers plenty of local employment opportunities.
Fast Facts About Ballarat
Current population: 113,725
Population forecast: 144,108 by 2036
Distance from Melbourne 102km
Median House Price: $455,000
What Makes A Region A Hotspot?
A major catalyst in determining an area’s viability for capital growth is infrastructure, and the amount spent on it, particularly in transportation, health care and education. The remaining two factors, employment and population growth, are both connected and are a result of, infrastructure spending in an area’s potential to become a property hotspot and choice for investments.
Ballarat’s Key Indicators of Growth
Being the third largest city in Victoria after Melbourne and Geelong, Ballarat is recognised as a key regional centre by all levels of government and has attracted record government spending over the past few years in infrastructure and other projects. There are currently over $1 billion worth of projects underway or planned in Ballarat. This includes the very first Victorian Government GovHub, the Ballarat Railway Station redevelopment and Ballarat line upgrade, and the Ballarat Health Services Base Hospital upgrade.
This level of investment demonstrates the confidence of the government in the continued prosperity of Ballarat.
The Victorian government is investing in the future of Ballarat by establishing a new GovHub. The GovHub will house up to 1000 Victorian Government workers, including up to 600 public sector positions relocated from Melbourne, helping to revitalise the CBD area. The GovHub is also designed to centralise the delivery of a range of government services. The project was recently completed and officially launched on 21 April 2021, with tenants already moving into the building since then.
Ballarat Station Precinct Renovation
This urban renewal project seeks to protect and celebrate the Railway heritage, and provide opportunities to develop the precinct. Phase 2 of the Ballarat Station Precinct Renovation is scheduled to begin this year with the draft of the master plan being prepared. The $51 million redevelopment will include an apartment hotel, a conference and events centre, a public plaza, 555 car spaces, and a bus interchange.
Ballarat Base hospital
The redevelopment of the Ballarat Base Hospital was included among the infrastructure programs of the Victorian Budget for 2020-21. This $80 million budget will build a new central energy plant for the hospital. Currently, the upgraded Ballarat Base Hospital features a multi-level tower with a new emergency department, a women and children’s hub, state-of-the-art theatre suite, and an extra 100 inpatient and short-stay beds.
A new Waste Reserve project is in the works for Ballarat to fund future circular economy infrastructure. The reserve is designed to help Ballarat deliver Recycling Victoria policy initiatives which are in line with the city’s increased emphasis on sustainability. The City of Ballarat’s 2021-22 draft budget will invest $2 million into the installation of LED Streetlights across the municipality’s minor roads network. This upfront investment will deliver an estimated $8.9 million in energy cost savings for the Council over 20 years, and more importantly, save 2,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions each year.
Health Care and Social Assistance are the primary employment industries in Ballarat. They are also the largest performing sector in the city followed by Construction, Manufacturing, and Education and Training. According to the City of Ballarat Economic Strategy, Ballarat has the capacity to generate at least 20,000 jobs over 20 years. Construction, medical, transport, tourism and hospitality industries are consistently on the rise for Ballarat and this can only signal more opportunities for the local workforce.
The Ballarat Station Precinct Renovation is one of the projects that will attract investments that can fuel the local economy. It will also bring with it jobs and employment from its construction phases, to daily operations thereafter. The Ballarat Base Hospital Redevelopment will be creating at least 1,400 construction jobs this year. With the upgrades, the hospital also sees the project bring in further employment opportunities. The Ballarat West Employment Zone is a staged development next to the Ballarat Airport. The project is expected to create up to 9,000 jobs, and $5 billion per year into the economy. The University of Ballarat Technology Park, in recent years, has had tenants that include the global brand, IBM, which employs over 1,400 people. A new wave of creative individuals have set up camp in Ballarat to put up restaurants, hotels and shops that embrace the city’s grandeur and further drum up their business. The local economy benefits from the employment and job opportunities created by this specific business trend.
The current population of the City of Ballarat is 113,725. It is expected to reach 144,108 by 2036. Ballarat has made a successful transition from being a gold rush town to an Industrial Age city. Even with the collapse of the gold mining industry, and after the brief depression the city went through because of that, Ballarat’s population has been growing steadily over the years. A new surge in Ballarat’s population is more notably due to the increasing housing costs and overall lifestyle in Melbourne. A chunk of the Melbourne workforce made the conscious decision of relocating to regional cities such as Ballarat, which offers affordability and accessibility to Victoria’s major CBDs.
So How Does Ballarat Stack Up?
The rapid population growth Ballarat has been seeing, as well as the many infrastructure projects put in place for the city, have made the Ballarat property market one of the strongest in Victoria. Affordability seems to be the city’s strongest point, with constant migration taking advantage of the housing prices Ballarat has to offer. Even with an upward shift in prices over the last six years, the Median House price in Ballarat remains relatively affordable at $455,000. A tree change destination, families, with a huge focus on living more sustainably and closer to nature, have been moving from the cities to regional areas like Ballarat.
Tourism and a rich history are strong and evident in the City of Ballarat and this has also become a driving force in bringing in both tourists and new occupants.
Where To Invest In Ballarat
Ballarat’s booming property market is all thanks to its fast-growing suburbs. Median house prices in Ballarat have been consistently on the rise. Rent levels have been steady, with only a slight dip in the last quarter of 2019, and prices in general, are still much more affordable compared to Melbourne.
Here are some notable Ballarat suburbs to look into this year:
One of the most desirable suburbs in Greater Ballarat, the upmarket flair of Soldiers Hill offers a median house price of $530,000, and a medium rental price of $350 per week. The suburb is located not too far from major shopping precincts, and is also a short walk to the Ballarat railway station.
Alfredton is a lively suburb with lots of young families and with growth in its future. With a median house price of $525,000 and median rent at $400 per week, it is a great option for investment.
Median home prices in Ballarat Central have seen an 11% rise over the last twelve months. This steady increase in the suburb translates to a 34.88% capital gain over a five-year period. The median rent in Ballarat Central is at $350, while the median house price is at $580,000.
The up-and-coming suburb of Delacombe offers a Median House price of $465,000 and a median rental price of $380 per week. Delacombe is currently considered the preferred suburb of the younger crowd. Delacombe has seen the suburb’s capital gain of over 15% in the past year alone. This has made Delacombe one of the best performing suburbs in Australia, in terms of capital gains.
Could Ballarat be the right investment for you? We can help you find out!
The Ballarat property market has consistently been profitable and showing signs of growth in the coming years. The general affordability, its close proximity to the city capital, and the overall great quality lifestyle it offers, makes Ballarat an ideal investment and a property hotspot to look into. If you’re interested in finding the best property in Ballarat for you, get in touch with us.