Bendigo Area Property Watch Q3 2013

The following Property Watch report is the result of an investigation into the historic and current market trends of the Bendigo Local Government Area (LGA) highlighting the areas characteristics and trends to provide an understanding of the current market as well as aid in forecasting future house, unit and vacant land markets for the Bendigo Area.

The Bendigo Area house markets transaction activity has been steady over the past five year period, recording an average of 869 transactions per six month period. In the twelve month period to July 2013 the Bendigo Area house market recorded 1,705 transactions, fifteen more settlements than the year prior. This negligible shift in transactions is reflective of the five year annual growth rate of -1.7 per cent.

The Bendigo Area median house price, like the annual transaction figures have flat-lined since the July 2012 period to finish the subsequent 2013 period with a $295,000 median house price. Despite no median price change in the last twelve months, the annual six per cent median price increase recorded over the past five years can be expected to resume, gently shifting the Bendigo Area house market forward as consumer and development confidence and continued urban sprawl of the region is anticipated.

The relative security of the Bendigo Area housing market is endorsed by the house price points registering little to no change in the past 24 months. Despite a slight decline in affordable house transactions, the Bendigo Area market remains directed by the $250,000 to $350,000 market which at July 2013 recorded 48 per cent market share.

The Greater City of Bendigo council have recently released structure plans aiming to develop and shape the growth of the city with the long-term view to address features such as housing areas, places for business and economic development, open spaces and recreation, transport, community facilities and infrastructure. Strathfieldsaye, Maiden Gully and Huntly have all been earmarked to extend the boundaries of Bendigo urban footprint and will see the greatest addition with a minimum 800 dwellings per year coming online before 2017 resulting in the Bendigo Area house market moving forward.

The Bendigo Area top ten performing suburbs chart represents the individual suburbs market share of house transactions in the twelve month period ending July 2013 compared with the twelve months prior. Of the suburbs that recorded positive growth in the past year, Kangaroo Flat and Eaglehawk recorded strong increases to close the year with 22.6 and 13.2 per cent market share respectively. Northern fringe suburb of California Gully recorded the largest increase in transactions registering a 3.1 per cent increase in market share to close the July 2013 year with 11.5 per cent share of the house market. Interestingly, the established inner city suburbs of Golden Square (-2.6%), Bendigo (-1.6%) and Kennington (-0.8%) recorded the notable declines in transaction activity in the last twelve months, suggesting the urban sprawl toward the outer Bendigo Area suburbs is set to continue as Bendigos long term growth strategy is implemented.

The Bendigo Area unit market has witnessed a negative 0.2 per cent per annum sales rate since July 2008, yet recording a 5.0 per cent annual median price increase over the same time to close the July 2013 six month period at $229,500. In the first half of 2013, the unit markets median price has flattened largely due to the decline in the entry level sub-$160,000 unit market, historically a stronger price point for the region.

Referring to the price point chart it can be reasoned that the sweet spot has shifted in the past twenty four months with the $180,000-$199,999 price point enjoying nine per cent greater interest while the higher end market between $240,000 and $279,999 has registered a ten per cent increase. As the Bendigo Area unit market continues to provide a large range of townhouse and unit product across the vast majority of the Bendigo Area, a maintained interest across the price points will linger, and with it a gradual market incline.

In the annual rental reporting period to June 2013 the Bendigo Area rental market witnessed an overall house and unit listing increase of seventeen and seven per cent respectively. The Bendigo Area rental market, consisting of four sub-markets has remained sound when compared with the rental figures recorded closing June 2012. Of the sub-markets, North Bendigo provided approximately 30 per cent of the rental market and remains the most affordable while the Flora Hill and Bendigo East comprised the majority 35 per cent yet also demanded the higher median rents of $300 per week for the six month period ending June 2013.

The Bendigo Area vacant land market has continued its increase in median price registering a 6.8 per cent per annum increase over the past five years to close the July 2013 six month period with a median price of $132,250. This positive shift is largely due to the increase in sales greater than $200,000 now registering 18 per cent of market share, paired with the decline in affordable vacant land sales under $100,000 witnessing a 24 per cent decline in market share since July 2011.