Baw Baw LGA, Regional Victoria
Picturesque rural regions offering schools, employment and amenities within an hour or two of major cities are proving to be popular with people tired of stressful city life compounded by high property prices.
This aptly describes the appeal of Baw Baw Shire, about 100km south-west of Melbourne. Property prices here are around half of their Melbourne counterparts while the unemployment rate is well below the state average.
Towns along the Princes Highway, in particular Drouin and Warragul, are on the cusp of transformation as land becomes rezoned for housing, commercial and industrial purposes to cope with the continued rise in population.
The lifestyle is supported by a sturdy economy encompassing agriculture, manufacturing, construction, tourism, healthcare and education.
The shire recorded population growth of 14% between 2011 and 2016 - and this is set to continue.
The influx of new residents is impacting the local property market, with several towns including Moe, Trafalgar and Drouin recording double-digit growth in their median house prices in the past 12 months.
This report covers Drouin, Longwarry, Moe, Trafalgar and Warragul.