Central Victoria was among the most popular places to buy property in regional Victoria in 2020, according to Real Estate Institute of Victoria data.
The Bendigo suburbs of Strathfieldsaye and Strathdale were also among the top 10 Victorian towns to experience a rise in the median house prices, up 6.2 per cent to $557,500 and 5.4 per cent to $530,000, respectively.
Kennington also topped the list of rises to the median house price, up 4.4 per cent.
DCK Real Estate director Matt Bowles said Bendigo's property market pushed ahead in all suburbs during 2020.
"The Bendigo market has been very strong overall and the suburbs of Kennington, Strathfieldsaye and Strathdale, being close to amenities, shopping centres and outdoor recreation spaces are highly sought after," Mr Bowles said.
Castlemaine's median price rose 4.5 per cent to $559,0900 to finish the September quarter, while property prices at Maldon soared 8.1 per cent in the third quarter to $550,000, up from $512,000 in June.
Mildura topped the list for the most popular place to buy in the first three quarters of the year with more sales than any other town.
Despite less overall sales to September 31, median house prices also rose across the most-desired locations as people looked further afield and headed bush.
REIV president Leah Calnan said rural property prices "boomed" midway through the year as people realised the potential to work from home during the pandemic.
"Affordability was a key factor as well and it's like we've gone back 20 or 30 years where the quarter-acre block desire has returned but in regional Victoria," Ms Calnan said.
"Traditionally we would see a lot of activity on the Mornington and Bellarine peninsulas but we saw that activity increase in regions like Gippsland, Bendigo and Ballarat and even Mildura."
The data showed Mildura was the most popular place to buy property in 2020 with 462 sales and a median house price of $330,000, followed closely by Traralgon which had 447 sales to September 30 and a median price of $340,000.
Compared to 2019, Mildura's median house price rose $20,000 in 2020 while Traralgon's rose $25,000.
"We were continually hearing experts say there would be a 10 to 20pc price crash on the property market but the buyer activity just continued like there wasn't a pandemic," Ms Calnan said.
"On the ground activity is still very strong and data is confirming there is a surge of interest in buying in regional Victoria and that's also reflected in the shortage of rentals in many regional towns; people are trying before they buy."
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