THE average house price in Ararat has increased by more than $27,000 in the three months to December.
New Real Estate Institute of Victoria statistics for the December quarter show Ararat median prices increased 17.8 per cent from $152,460 to $179,750.
Horsham prices fell by 7.7 per cent.
First National Real Estate Ararat director Richard McCutcheon said sales of high-priced homes lifted the average.
“After the election we had a trend of high price properties selling, particularly properties in the $350,000 to $500,000 range,” he said.
“That has stopped and now we are selling more lower-priced houses around the $250,000 mark.”
Mr McCutcheon said economic factors in the city contributed to house prices.
“There are lots of things happening, with the jail expansion generating more employment,” he said.
“There has also been a lot of internal movement – people upgrading to bigger houses.”
He said low interest rates also meant more people were buying properties.
PRDnationwide Wes Davidson Real Estate agent Rob Dolan said the Horsham market looked set to continue performing well throughout 2014.
“Last year was a fantastic year for Horsham, which was voted one of the top places to invest in Australia by Your Investment Property magazine,” he said.
“The rentals market is especially strong with returns at about seven per cent.”
Mr Dolan said factors contributing to the market included low interest rates, affordable homes and a strong rural economy.
Institute chief executive Enzo Raimondo said results across Victoria for the quarter were mixed.