Warragul: A Case Study for Surging Regional Popularity In 2021 And Beyond

April 1, 2021

Significant change has occurred in the Australian property market over the last year and one of the greatest examples has been the surging increase in popularity for regional real estate.
Regional cities close to metropolitan areas, in particular, have been at the top of hit lists for many buyers.
These locations are striking an attractive balance between being nestled on the coastline or in the country while still remaining near large cities, where buyers can get the best of both worlds.
The regional city of Warragul, about 100 kilometres southeast of Melbourne, is a case in point.
Warragul, set amongst dairy fields and rolling green hills in the broader Baw Baw Shire, has experienced a noticeable spike in demand over the last 12 months.
Demand for the real estate in the town was bubbling along before the pandemic as a range of buyers were swayed by factors including affordability and the attractiveness of the regional lifestyle.
The pandemic has only accelerated an increase in demand for what Warragul, and many other regional areas just like it, has to offer.
Recent property statistics highlight the continuing strength of the local market.
Warragul continues to experience declining vacancy rates as population inflows put pressure on existing dwelling stock.
In fact, vacancy rates remain well below 2%, which suggests a tight market.
Similarly, price growth has remained steady, driven by the same dynamics as both local and other buyers (especially from Melbourne) purchase local housing stock.
For example, data from Real Estate Institute of Victoria shows Warragul house prices rose 8.7% over the year to the December quarter to reach $500,000.
This was stronger than price growth for metropolitan Melbourne houses overall over the same period (up 8.4% to reach $941,000).
It’s clear a wave of buyers seeking regional real estate had been building for some time and demand, and house prices for that matter, has swelled even further over the last year.
Looking ahead, as the recent property statistics suggest, regional centres will be riding the wave for some time to come.

George Bougias
National Head of Research
Oliver Hume