HORSHAM real estate agents are swamped with demand for residential properties.
Aaron Lewis Property Agents director Aaron Lewis said buyers’ demand for Horsham units and homes greatly outstripped supply.
“I’ve never seen anything like it,” he said.
“We had a brick house in Mintern Crescent listed for $199,000, which was on the market for about a week.
“We had heaps of inquiries, and about 40 people went through the open home.”
Mr Lewis’s office received 13 offers to buy the property, 11 of which exceeded the asking price.
“We now ask for people to put their best offers in writing for all properties in Horsham West,” he said.
“If the property is well priced, there is a huge demand there.”
He said residential listings in the eastern part of Horsham were also selling well.
“Prices in Horsham are still relatively affordable compared with other major regional centres, such as Ballarat and Bendigo,” he said.
“We have some big employers here as well. I think the trend will continue.”
PRDnationwide Horsham managing director Wes Davidson said the volume of transactions through his office had jumped by more than 30 per cent since 2011.
“During the same period, prices continued to climb,” he said.
He said the trend had continued into the new year.
Mr Davidson credited low interest rates and increased home loan affordability with the boom.
Renewed investor interest in Horsham was another important factor.
“A recent Property Investor article highlighted Horsham as an investment hot spot,” Mr Davidson said.
“Investors are attracted to the relatively high yields, which average six to seven per cent.
“Horsham also has a very low vacancy rate, and proven capital growth history.”
He said low interest rates had encouraged first home buyers.
“Lower interest rates allow first home buyers to borrow to purchase a home and repay an amount equivalent to what they would be paying in rent,” he said.
“This has created very strong demand for homes under $300,000.”
Mr Davidson believed the combined effects of soaring land costs and rising building costs had discouraged people from building.
“Many buyers have decided in favour of purchasing an established executive home,” he said.
Mr Davidson expected Horsham residential property sales would remain strong this year.
“Our housing is still relatively cheap in comparison with other regional markets, given the infrastructure we have to offer,” he said.
PRDnationwide’s median recorded price for a Horsham unit was $176,750 last year.
Prices ranged from $70,000 to a top of $394,000.
The company’s median house price was $210,000. Prices ranged from $25,000 to $538,000.