Wimmera real estate market set to grow

WIMMERA real estate agents believe the region is on track for another strong year in the property and investment market.

Coller Rathgeber Property Group director Tim Coller said 2013 was a strong and positive year, with low

interest rates boosting the Wimmera's market.

He expects a similar report for this year.

"I expect this trend will continue in 2014, particularly if interest rates remain at all-time lows," he said.

Mr Coller said last year's buyers targeted the mid-range market.

He said many sales were in good locations for prices in the low $200,000s to $300,000.

"People also went for good quality homes in the newly established locations for about $400,000," he said.

Mr Coller said with trends expected to remain steady, it was a great time to consider buying. He said the Wimmera was the perfect location to buy.

"I'd encourage young people to take advantage of the extraordinarily low interest rates and to get themselves into the market," he said.

Landmark Harcourts Horsham's Mark Clyne said there had been good inquiries for cropping country in 2013 and he expected inquiries to continue strongly this year.

He said the first six months of 2013 were a record sales period for the whole Landmark Harcourts group.

He expected data for the second half of the year - which was not yet available - to set another record.

"On the back of a good harvest in the Wimmera, agribusiness as a whole is looking really good for this year," he said. "In general, lifestyle properties and smaller rural properties in the past three months have attracted a bit of interest from people retiring out of the city.

"Five years ago when the share market was high, people had wealth, so they could retire and go to the country.

"When the global financial crisis hit, people did not make the tree change.

"They stayed in the city and worked longer, and property values dropped.

"We are now starting to see the early signs of the tree change occurring again.

"People are buying some of the smaller residential or lifestyle properties in our area.

"Whereas the larger farmers don't want infrastructure, they want cropping land, and we can't satisfy demand at the moment."

Mr Clyne said the sale of about 4000 acres of cropping land at Gerang Gerung near the end of last year was a good sign.

"What we are seeing now is that there is local demand but we also have people from further afield and overseas running their eye over our market," he said.

"Cropping country is going to see a lift in value with anything that hits the market."

Mr Clyne said overall he expected the rural and residential markets would be strong this year.

"It won't be a boom, but it will be healthy," he said.

"For the rural side of it, we are probably going to experience some very strong growth in the next five years."

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