THE first impacts of the $630 million New Bendigo Hospital development are starting to show in house prices.
The latest Real Estate Institute of Victoria figures have again recorded Bendigo as having one of the strongest housing markets in the state.
Greater Bendigo’s median house price rose 7.5 per cent in the 12 months to the end of September.
That was far greater than most other regional centres. Ballarat could only manage a 1.9 per cent growth, and Geelong’s median price dropped by almost seven per cent over the same period.
Within Bendigo, one of the best performing suburbs was North Bendigo, the suburb surrounding the planned new hospital.
The median house price rose 18.2 per cent over the period, to $246,750.The strong market was also evidenced by an 18.5 per cent jump in the median price for the year in Bendigo’s inner city.
REIV Bendigo branch chairman Matt Bowles said the prevalence of large blocks suitable for subdivision around the hospital was proving a spectacular combination.
“There has certainly been a lot more interest in that area,” he said.
“A lot of people advertising their properties at the moment are saying they are in the hospital precinct, even if they are a kilometre away.
“Buyers are finding old houses on large blocks of around 800 to 1000 square metres, and that is increasing prices.”
Mr Bowles said once a preferred tender was announced for the hospital build, he expected the strong prices to continue.
“When they were building the Bendigo Bank, one company bought an entire block of units to house their trades people during construction,” he said.
“I wouldn’t be surprised if that sort of thing happened with the hospital.”
The REIV figures were backed up by the ANZ’s January Australian Housing Chartbook.
According to that report, Bendigo was leading the way in house price growth in Victoria, with capital growth in the year to September, 2011 measured at 12 per cent.
Geelong was next best on eight per cent, with Melbourne prices dropping by two per cent.“House price growth in regional Victoria has outperformed other major states in the past 12 months,” the report said.