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Regional town remains resilient despite COVID-19

09 July 2020 Cameron Micallef
Echuca

Despite falling prices in many of Australia’s capital cities, a regional area is showing signs of growth, an industry expert has said.

According to First National Real Estate’s chief executive, Ray Ellis, the Victorian suburb of Echuca is trending in the opposite direction of the capital cities and has risen slightly since the COVID-19 pandemic began.

“While the number of homes available for sale is certainly less than it was 12 months ago, the degree of buyer demand for those homes has kept prices steady or even led to higher than expected prices being achieved,” Mr Ellis said.

The property expert also highlighted that the region could benefit from the latest stimulus package, which is targeted at home renovations.

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“HomeBuilder provides eligible owner-occupiers (including first home buyers) with a grant of $25,000 to build a new home or substantially renovate an existing home. While some had anticipated that the policy would attract first home buyers from Melbourne looking for land, a clear majority of such transactions are taking place with local buyers,” Mr Ellis explained. 

First National Charles L King & Co office noted it had sold almost 40 vacant lots of land in just the past 20 days. 

“However, rather than young families, the influx of buyers from Melbourne are predominantly young retirees, people in their early 60s, who have been talking to our local office over the past six to nine months. Those people are now making up their minds and committing to a purchase in Echuca.”

Rental property vacancies have remained steady over the past 12 months in Echuca, staying level at 1 per cent. Highlighting the minimal impact that the COVID-19 crisis has had on the property market in regional Australia, very few requests for rental reductions have been received.

“People have certainly reassessed their future real estate plans as a result of the COVID-19 crisis, though,” Mr Ellis said.

“Lifestyles and family environments have been reconsidered, and city-based residents are wanting to move to Victoria’s regions.”

Regional town remains resilient despite COVID-19
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