According to Dean Star from Elders Real Estate Wodonga, regional towns like Albury and Wodonga, have seen growth and demographic changes in recent times as families and retirees move from the big smoke to pursue a more relaxed and laid back lifestyle.
So with that said, let's explore where to invest in Shepparton, Wangaratta and Wodonga.
Real estate in Shepparton
Greater Shepparton, just two hours north of Melbourne, is known for an abundance of good food, award-winning wine, and fruit orchards shacked up with farm gate stalls. The heart of the Goulburn Valley, the river courses through the region pumping life — and leisure — into it.
"Shepparton is appealing to those who want country living along with the comfort of city amenities"
Shepparton is appealing to those who want country living along with the comfort of city amenities. Shepparton real estate opportunities vary distinctly between the surrounding towns and suburbs, but generally you can find a lot of affordability and solid rental yields in the region.
In Shepparton itself, despite a somewhat bad reputation, unemployment has been declining. Once above 8%, now the region has an unemployment rate below the nation's average of 5.3% at 4.66%.
With new building projects in the works more jobs are being created. The new Shepparton Art Museum and a revamp of GV Health is helping to provide locals with opportunities. There are also two university campuses - Melbourne University and Latrobe University, and GOTAFE.
These advancements are a positive sign for real estate in Shepparton. The annual median price growth for houses is currently only 2.80%, but units have seen an 8.99% rise. The median house price currently sits at $275,000, while units are $200,000, so there's a lot of affordability.
The good news for investors wanting to hold onto a property long term is that houses for rent in Shepparton earn high rental yields of 5.9%, while units return 6.5%. The vacancy rate is 1.9%.
The best homes for sale in Shepparton tend to be around The Boulevard, with its close proximity to the golf course and walking tracks along the river and bushland.
Median house price: $275,000
Median unit price: $200,000
Average house rent: $310 per week
Average unit rent: $250 per week
Annual house price growth: 2.80%
Annual unit price growth: 8.99%
House rental yield: 5.9%
Unit rental yield: 6.5%
Vacancy rate: 1.9%
Minutes from the CBD, Shepparton North is a sought-after neighbourhood, popular with families. There is much stronger price growth in this suburb with annual growth at 11.28%. The median house price is steeper at $370,000, but the vacancy rate is tighter at 1.62% and rental yields are 5%, meaning that buying an investment property in this area could be a good choice.
A five minute drive from the centre of Shepparton and across the banks of the Goulburn River sits Mooroopna. Technically its own town, Mooroopna and Shepparton are divided by the river.
Due to its close proximity to Shepparton, Mooroopna is basically regarded as a suburb of the larger city. Known as the Fruit Salad City due to its flourishing orchards, the town has direct access to the extensive walkways and bike tracks that cover Greater Shepparton.
A friendly and peaceful environment, house prices and rents are even lower than that in Shepparton. The median house price is $235,000, while units are $173,000. Although annual growth has slowed recently and headed into the negatives at -0.84%, rental yields are strong at 6.4% and vacancy rates are just 1%, making it great for rental return.
Median house price: $235,000
Median unit price: $173,000
Average house rent: $300 per week
Average unit rent: $228 per week
Annual price growth: -0.84%
Rental yield: 6.4%
Vacancy rate: 1%
"Although annual growth has slowed recently and headed into the negatives at -0.84%, rental yields are strong at 6.4%..."
Just 18 kilometres from Shepparton, Tatura is steeped in history and is known for its productive agricultural industry.
It's ripe for investment at the moment with investors seeing capital gains of 10.39% over the past year. The median home price is just $255,000 and rental yields are 6.1%.
Median house price: $255,000
Median rent: $300 per week
Annual price growth: 10.39%
Rental yield: 6.1%
Real estate in Wangaratta
If you're looking for an investment property in regional Victoria, The Rural City of Wangaratta should definitely be on your radar. This picturesque town with its lush, tree-lined streets and Victorian architecture, offers an appealing lifestyle, a delicious cafe culture and a multitude of fun things to do in the natural surroundings. And, even better… you're in wine country!
Developments in Wangaratta have been going gangbusters in recent years with money being injected into the racetrack, hospital, shopping centres, schools and public transport. All of this is contributing to excellent annual growth and a sense of prosperity in the area.
For Wangaratta, it seems there's only positive things to report — low crime rates, low unemployment, low prices and strong population growth. These are all positive signs for investors.
Houses for sale in Wangaratta have a median price of $315,000, while the median unit price is $230,000. Annual growth for houses is 10.53%, and remarkably higher for units at 29.63%. Rental yields are also high at 5.1% and 5.4% respectively, and the vacancy rate is 1.53%.
"For Wangaratta, it seems there's only positive things to report - low crime rates, low unemployment, low prices and strong population growth."
Wodonga real estate
Situated on the southern banks of the Murray River, Wodonga is just across the way from its twin city Albury. The gateway to New South Wales and Victoria, the regional city is strategically utilised for its proximity between Sydney and Melbourne, with many large manufacturing companies having set up shop.
In addition to this, the number of families and retirees moving into the area has seen the regional town's population grow. According to local Wodonga real estate agent, Dean Star, 'people are attracted to the area for its superior health services, excellent schooling options, plus the ease of commuting without the city congestion.'
With a diverse local economy, strong population growth and low unemployment at 4.43%, Wodonga is a safe bet for investment. It's also much more affordable that Albury. Albury's median sale price has grown to $541,000, whereas the median price for a house in Wodonga is $337,000. Annual growth has slowed in recent years, but economic factors suggest this won't continue so you could get in now for a bargain and enjoy solid rental returns.
There is plenty of land for sale in Wodonga with new residential estates popping up throughout the region, in line with demand. Houses for sale in Wodonga tend to be on bigger blocks.
"With a diverse local economy, strong population growth and low unemployment, Wodonga is a safe bet for investment"
The suburb of Wodonga has been seeing price declines with annual price growth for houses at -3.71% and units at -11.51%. The median price for a house is $337,000 and $205,000 for a unit. Houses for rent in Wodonga still see positive rental yields at 5.4%, and units at 6.4%, while the vacancy rate is thin at 1.58%. With economic factors suggesting a recovery on the horizon, it could be an affordable time to invest and make some solid capital gains in the future.
Median house price: $337,000
Median unit price: $205,000
Average house rent: $350 per week
Average unit rent: $253 per week
Annual house price growth: -3.71%
Annual unit price growth: -11.51%
House rental yield: 5.4%
Unit rental yield: 6.4%
Vacancy rate: 1.58%
The cheapest rental properties in Wodonga can be found in West Wodonga, but they still produce good rental returns of 5.4% for houses and 6.1% for units, with a slim vacancy rate of 1.39%. The median house price is $330,000, and the median unit price is just $213,000. Annual price growth is stronger than Wodonga with houses seeing a 3.12% rise, whereas units are still in decline at -0.23%.
Median house price: $330,000
Median unit price: $213,000
Average house rent: $345 per week
Average unit rent: $250 per week
Annual house price growth: 3.12%
Annual unit price: -0.23%
Just a seven minute drive south-east of Wodonga, you will find much better choices for investment in Bandiana. With more than half of the working population employed in local defense jobs, you'll find a distinct army flavour to the town.
The median house price is affordable at $349,000 and is experiencing annual growth of 9.21%. Rental yields are high at 5.7%, with a wafer thin vacancy rate of 1.19%, meaning overall, Bandiana is a solid investment bet.