With the ‘flight to regional’ and a flight to more living for less (‘move to more’) over the past 18 months, it’s never been a better time to branch out as a buyer’s agent in regional Victoria. This month, I’m focusing on Bendigo, a city I know well and in which I’ve worked for several years.
While Aboriginal clans inhabited and cared for the region for thousands of years, Bendigo was settled by Europeans from 1840 when sheep graziers took up land in the area. At 150 km from Melbourne, Bendigo officially became a city in 1871. Even earlier, in 1851, gold hunters flocked to the region to seek their fortunes. Attracting prospectors from all over the world, including many from China who made Bendigo their permanent home, Bendigo became eastern Australia’s largest 19th-century gold-mining economy. The imposing Victorian architecture speaks of the wealth of the town, boosted by agricultural income.
The gold has gone in viable quantities but Bendigo has prospered as the focus of a region that produces livestock, fruit, poultry, wheat, dairy products, vegetables and wool. The livestock market, which handles more than 1 million sheep each year, is one of Australia’s largest live markets. With its relatively dry and temperate climate, the Bendigo region is well suited to wine production. In fact, wine-makers have produced wines here since the mid 19th century. Other important local industries include clothing, ceramics, hardboard manufacture and food processing. And importantly, Bendigo saw the birth of Bendigo Bank, a bank that has at its core a desire to service regional communities.
For a regional city, Bendigo punches above its weight. The Bendigo Art Gallery is one of the oldest regional galleries, theatre goers can enjoy performances (in ‘normal’ times) at the Capital and Ulumbarra theatres, and the Bendigo Writers’ Festival increases in popularity every year. Festivals throughout the year include the Queer Film Festival and the Festival of Light. Foodies are well catered for: in November 2019, the city was recognised as a UNESCO ‘City of Gastronomy’, with the Dja Dja Wurrung Clans Aboriginal Corporation involved closely in the city’s application for this status.
Opportunities for buyers’ agents in Bendigo
As I write, property prices in regional Australia have enjoyed one of the greatest rebounds seen in the property market. This is leading to fierce competition for properties and FOMO (fear of missing out), especially for first-home buyers and first-time investors.
While real estate agents mostly operate fairly, the fast market and so much money sloshing around can lead to poor selling practices from some agents.
This is where you can shine as a buyer’s agent, protecting your clients’ interests, and helping your clients to buy wisely.
Bendigo property market
Over a three-year period, home prices in Bendigo averaged 11.69% a year, making Bendigo properties desirable for investors.
Those fleeing crowded cities to downsize or upgrade get ‘more for less’ in Bendigo, with the median price for a three-bedroom house sitting at just over $550,000 and $427,000 for a three-bedroom unit. However, at the luxury end of the market, properties have sold recently for above $2.5 million.
According to Smart Property Investment as at May 2021, Bendigo was the fourth fastest-growing area in Victoria.
Is Bendigo a good market for a buyer’s agent?
Looking at the metrics on this market, I’d give it a big tick. Apart from the high levels of demand, currently the average time on market for houses is at around 60 days, and around 46 days for units. This time on market shows the opportunity for smart buyers’ agents to liaise with their network of real estate sales agents to match properties with their clients.
Buyers in Bendigo, as elsewhere in regional Australia, are getting more desperate to find the perfect home, whether it’s to live in or to form part of their property investment portfolio.
Since 2019, I’ve helped buyers in Bendigo to source their ideal properties that will help my clients achieve their property goals.
Let us help you make it big as a buyer’s agent in Bendigo
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