Central Victorian real estate agents are reporting a surge in demand in properties across Heathcote, Castlemaine and Maldon.
Median house prices have continued their record run, with regional Victoria surpassing $559,000 and metropolitan Melbourne $1,010,000 for the first time, Real Estate Institute of Victoria data reveals.
Heathcote's Todd Property director Brad Todd said he had seen a rise in housing prices across the Heathcote region in the past 12 months.
Mr Todd said listings were becoming increasingly harder to come by and when they did, they went quickly.
"We usually hold 30 to 40 listings and at the moment we have about five, our stock levels are drastically depleted due to the demand,' he said.
"This is probably the best market that I have ever operated in and I have been in real estate for more than 15 years.
"Properties are selling for record prices and we are seeing two or three buyers missing out on the property. It's one thing to sell the property but the market is quite bullish at the moment because there are too many people that are interested."
Mr Todd said more people were moving from Melbourne to the regions.
"The big thing is that we have always seen people doing the tree change from the city - that was always a big thing for Heathcote even before COVID-19," he said.
"But the thing that stopped a lot of people was that they would have to find a job, whether that was travelling to Bendigo, but now they don't have to because they are keeping their city income and working from home.
"They get to upsize their property with a yard and a bigger house than Melbourne for a whole lot less."
The first few months of 2020, Mr Todd said there was an uncertain period where many agents thought the real estate market would drop and demand would decrease.
This is probably the best market that I have ever operated in and I have been in real estate for over 15 yearsBrad Todd, Heathcote's Todd Property director
But he said the market did a complete 360 and had gone through the roof.
"Property prices are higher and have gone up 25 per cent in the past 12 months," he said.
Mr Todd said the number of days on market for a house pre-pandemic was about 100 or more.
Now, he said it was about a week.
"Sometimes properties are sold two to three days of it going online," he said.
Central Victoria's Waller Realty property consultant Tim Noonan said Castlemaine and Maldon had both seen a demand from buyers.
"They both have become popular due to their distance to Melbourne," he said.
"There are lots of heritage-style homes, which are also popular with buyers."
Mr Noonan said it was a strong and competitive market.
He used the example of 14 Broad Street, Sutton Grange, which had just sold.
"That particular property was purchased by a Melbourne buyer and had lots of interest," he said.
"There have been low stock levels and very high demand and this has been consistently strong over five years in the Castlemaine and Maldon areas.
"A lot of people coming out of Melbourne are purchasing these properties, looking to downsize in Melbourne.
"Smaller towns around Bendigo are doing really, really well."
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