Region’s real estate set to strengthen

Wimmera real estate agents hope for a positive year ahead.INTEREST rates, house prices and a strong start to January has given the region’sreal estate agents a positive outlook for the year ahead.

PRD Nationwide managing directorWes Davidson said this was the best start to January the business has ever had.

“We’ve been quieter over Christmas –people were hanging back,” he said.

“We’ve been back at work justover a week and sold a property every day –there’s been a lot of buyer activity.

“Houses have multiple offers on them.”

He said a number of factors had contributed to the positive start to the year.

“Interest rates are quite low, Horsham is affordable, it’s cheaper to buy a home than rent, and cheaper to buy than build,” he said.

“It’s all the right ingredients to have a busy market.

“Everyone has to live somewhere, our variables are fairly constant and look to have a strong start to 2016.”

Coller Rathegber Property Group director Tim Coller said last yearthe Horsham market suffered the effects of a poor farming season.

“Given a better year we can expect our market again to be strong and strengthen this year,” he said.

He said interest rates were a big positive.

“The affordability of loans is still incredibly low, we’re potentially going to see the market strengthen over the next 12 months,” he said.

“For those who meet the lending criteria it’s very affordable.”

Aaron Lewis Property Agents owner Aaron Lewis said he had not noticed a large drop in the property market last year.

“It’s been about the same in the long run,” he said.

“There were a lot sold in the $200,000 –$300,000 price range.

“Renovated weatherboards were very popular.

“The ex-commission houses are attracting investors.

He said there was a range of homebuyers last year from retired farmers to first home buyers.

“We don’t just rely on just locals, we have a lot of Australian investors about the place –the lack of rainfall doesn’t affect them,” he said.

“Horsham is still affordable compared to Ballarat and Bendigo.”

Landmark Harcourts Ararat director Greg Kerr described Ararat’s property market in the past two years as buoyant.

“We’ve had good stock turnover at all levels,” he said.

“In the last couple of years there has been plenty of interest from the capital cities.

“They’re looking at Ararat lifestyle and costs, there are good facilities for people who are retired.

“I suggest the trend will continue to march onto 2016.”

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