IT IS the perfect time to both buy and sell property in Bendigo, according to the region's real estate agents.
Tweed Sutherland director Darryn O'Keefe said the market would continue to be "very, very strong" in 2020 after years of consistent growth.
"There is a shortage of listings at the moment, which is pushing prices up in most of the areas around Bendigo," Mr O'Keefe said.
"There are a lot different types of buyers looking at Bendigo - not just first home buyers but even retirees. There are a lot of people coming to Bendigo due to the lifestyle and the affordability."
Mr O'Keefe, who is in his 30th year of working in real estate, said the diverse price range was attracting a number of buyers, including those from out of town.
"We could sell properties as early as $200,000 to that $2.5 million to $3 million range," he said. "Anywhere between that $300,000 to $500,000 price range is a real sweet spot in Bendigo.
"It's affordable for first home buyers but it does put pressure on prices to go up because it only creates further demand.
"There are also more properties going for more than $1 million or $2 million. The restored period homes are really drawing in buyers from outside the region.
"A lot of people who have not been able to enter the Melbourne market are able to come to Bendigo and get their beautiful period home with the same funds."
Real Estate Institute of Victoria data showed the median price for a house in Bendigo was $488,000 in the December quarter, while a unit fetched an average price of $252,000.
PH Property principal Brad Hinton said there was also strong interest in the suburbs surrounding the Bendigo city centre, including places like Kennington, Flora Hill, Kangaroo Flat, and Eaglehawk.
"Growth happens where developers develop land, so the hot spots are always going to be those outer suburbs," Mr Hinton said.
"In terms of capital growth, there is not a lot of land left to develop in those established areas so properties prices can only go up."
Maher Real Estate director Tom Maher - who is also the chairman of the REIV's Loddon Goulburn Division - said key infrastructure was a draw card to buyers and renters.
"The hot spots always have everything, so anywhere close to the CBD or places like Strathfieldsaye," Mr Maher said.
"Anywhere near supermarkets, sporting grounds, or those hubs tend to fair well. There are always a number of sales in those areas that take place before the 'for sale' sign even goes up."
But Mr O'Keefe said while it was great for those who were buying or selling, it was harder for people who were looking to rent.
"There is a massive shortage of rental properties," he said. "Vacancy rates are at 0.2 per cent within our company."
REIV data showed the average regional vacancy rate was 1.7 per cent in December, while the metro rate was at 2.2 per cent. Mr O'Keefe said the lack of rental properties in Bendigo had been an issue for the past 18 months.
"We've seen that there is basically very little supply for very high demand," he said.
Mr Maher said it would be hard to find a solution to the problem.
"I think we're seeing what major cities have been seeing for years," he said. "This is just the growth of Bendigo as a regional city and it's just the way it's going to be.
"Melbourne and Sydney have seen this for years - Bendigo has been quite lucky that it has only taken until now to hit this point."
But Mr Maher said with interest rates being at 0.75 per cent, those renting should look to crack into the property market.
"There is no better time to buy," he said. "Many people are actually better off buying than renting because of the low interest rates. It's just about getting a good relationship with your bank and getting a good credit rating."
Mr Maher said places on the outskirts of Bendigo could be a good place for people to start looking.
"There are further developments happening out there in Huntly," he said. "There is a Bunnings and supermarkets out in Epsom. That sort of infrastructure will allow for further growth.
"Even in places like Goornong, there are not many vacant blocks. There is a really positive, growing community out there that is only 15 minutes from Epsom."
Mr O'Keefe said he expected the Bendigo property market to continue to flourish in the coming years, with a growing tourism sector and the Bendigo Airport.
"Every seven to 10 years we have a growth phase, which lasts about two years," he said. "We're about six months into that two-year cycle. It's the perfect time to buy because the market is on the way up."
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