Regional Victoria continues to display resilience and consistency in line with its reputation, although the overall trend in the market lately has been weaker.
And we continue to see good prospects for specific locations in Regional Victoria, with the impact of 2026 Commonwealth Games a significant factor.
Over the past six months, we have noted that the Regional Victoria market overall has weakened compared to the previous quarters – but that it had remained solid in the face of the downturn pressures which have afflicted Melbourne.
Consistency of performance is the key characteristic of the Victoria market.
While the number of rising markets has reduced, there has been an increase in the number of consistency markets – which means locations where the number of property sales has remained fairly steady over the past 6-12 months.
At the same time, there are locations which we classify as declining markets.
This means that Regional Victoria is a case study for Australia nationwide. It’s a very segmented market, which some rising, some steady, some weakening and some in notable decline – all dictated by local economic conditions.
Our latest quarterly survey reveals that, across Regional Victoria, there are 71 locations which are either rising or consistency markets.
Amid the economic disruption that’s currently swirling in the background, including high inflation and higher interest rates, this is a fairly solid performance.
We have previously described Regional Victoria as “the market that refuses to give up” and the latest results support that assessment.
The market appeared to have peaked in early 2021 and to be gradually fading after a strong couple of years, but showed increasing signs of resurgence in the first half of 2022, before weakening in the past two quarters.
It’s a bit of a roller-coaster ride – but overall, Regional Victoria has been a national leader of the Exodus to Affordable Lifestyle trend and continues to draw residents out of Melbourne.
The “big three” of Regional Victoria – Geelong, Ballarat and Bendigo – have been producing high price growth for the past 4-5 years, but continue to attract significant buyer demand because of their strong local economies and affordability relative to the state capital.
And the future looks bright, for a number of reasons.
One, the Victoria economy continues to be one of the nation’s strongest, despite all the disruption of the past few years.
Two, the re-opening of international borders means overseas migrants and international students are flooding back into Melbourne, which has spill-over impacts for nearby regional areas.
And three, the 2026 Commonwealth Games will be a unique event with massive impacts.
For the first time, the Commonwealth Games will not be held in a single major city, but will be spread across a number of regional areas of Victoria.
Geelong, Bendigo, Ballarat, Shepparton and the Gippsland region will all stage major events for the Games, and each area will have its own athletes’ village.
There needs to be major investment in transport, sporting, hospitality and tourism infrastructure to prepare for this event – which will generate major economic activity and jobs.
And of course this event will focus national and international attention on Regional Victoria, with major spinoffs for real estate markets.
So Regional Victoria, the market that refuses to give up, remains steady in the face of current negative forces – and has multiple reasons to feel optimistic about the future.