The Victorian regional centre of Ballarat holds a very special place in Australian history. It was the epicentre of the Victorian gold rush, which transformed Australia from a British backwater to an economically independent and robust land. This is also the site of the Eureka Rebellion, which many historians see as the symbolic birth of Australia as a nation.
Ballarat is a prime example of how you turn temporary wealth into long-term prosperity. When the gold mines ran dry, Ballarat turned itself into a major regional centre, and now attracts new residents with healthy tourism, agriculture, arts and culture, service industries, and some truly beautiful old homes.
There are a wealth of reasons to move to Ballarat, so if you are looking at homes in the city, is a house and land package in Ballarat a good option to achieve your property dream?
Why buy in Ballarat?
The first step is to understand what Ballarat is all about, so let’s first get an idea of what life is like for the owners of the city’s homes.
A town of 100,000, Ballarat is Australia’s third-largest inland city. In the last decade, Ballarat’s population has been growing at a slightly faster rate than the national average, with the surging prices of Melbourne homes and improved transport links to the Victorian capital seen as contributing factors.
The median age in Ballarat is just shy of 36 years (slightly lower than the national average of 37), 8.2% of the population was born overseas, and the median income of $38,850, while lower than Melbourne, is higher than average for regional Victoria.
Located just a 1.5-hour drive west of the Melbourne CBD, Ballarat offers a relaxed country atmosphere with all the convenience of big city living - here you can find a wealth of gorgeous old farmhouse-style homes sitting alongside more modern and shiny property options.
Residents aren’t short of education options either, with the city boasting over 50 schools as well as two well-equipped universities. The beautiful homes are set on wide streets and roomy lots, and the parks and reserves are large and plentiful, with Lake Wendouree Reserve in the centre of town a particular highlight.
Ballarat boasts an extensive public bus network, with 15 routes servicing the city - most homes are within a short walk of a stop - while residents can also utilise taxi and Uber services. It’s a major rail transport hub, with regular daily services running from the town centre to the Melbourne CBD.
Health providers are plentiful, with two major hospitals servicing homes in the city and surrounds. And far from a country backwater, the shopping, dining, and entertainment options in Ballarat are as good as any regional centre in Australia.
Ballarat, like most established regional centres, boasts an incredibly stable property market that has managed to avoid much of the volatility that Melbourne and other Australian capitals have recently seen. Homes enjoy steady (and in many cases strong) annual growth - the value of homes has experienced a sustained upward trend going back a decade. The average purchase price for homes in Ballarat Central was $300,000 in 2011 but broke the $500,000 mark in 2019.
While Ballarat Central is understandably the most in-demand region, the city’s steady growth has seen new communities, developments, and satellite suburbs like Miners Rest, Alfredton, Lucas, and Delacombe popping up in recent years. And the great thing about purchasing homes in such a small city is that even the most isolated of these new communities is still just a 15-minute drive from the very centre of town, all while taking you away from the hustle and bustle and into the fresh country air. Here homes amongst the gumtrees are also homes within a stone’s throw of the supermarket.
Where can you find the cheapest house and land packages?
While Ballarat homes are generally known for their great value, a property buyer can get particularly good bang for their buck in the southwest of the city, an area within which the overwhelming majority of development activity is currently found.
This area begins in the suburb of Lucas, a ten minute drive west of Ballarat Central past Lake Wendouree. From there the arc of new, incredibly priced estates stretches down and around, through Bunkers Hill, Delacombe and Smythes Creek, before ending in Bonshaw, a suburb again found just ten minutes from the city, this time directly to its south.
Residents in each of these suburbs will be in some cases less than ten - and in every case less than 15 - minutes from the centre of town, while enjoying large blocks, modern homes, big skies and fresh country air.
And these suburbs, currently open plains dominated by farmland, are set to become the homes of increasing levels of amenity. Ballarat’s population has increased by over 30% in the last two decades, a trend that looks set to only accelerate as more people are priced out of Melbourne. By planting your stake in the ground now, you not only grant yourself access to incredible homes at incredible prices, you also secure your future by buying a blue chip property investment that will see the area growing around you.
Where to find house and land packages in Ballarat
- Winter Valley Rise
Brand new homes, on good patches of earth, in cleverly designed communities, at prices you can afford. House and land packages are proving incredibly popular in Ballarat for a reason.
As mentioned above, new construction projects are currently concentrated in the city’s southwestern suburbs of Bunkers Hill, Smythes Creek, Bonshaw, Miners Rest, Winter Valley, Alfredton, Lucas and Delacombe. The Winterfield and Winter Valley Rise projects are two of the biggest, and both are located just ten minutes from the city centre.
Both a new suburb and a new development, Lucas is currently a largely untouched parcel of land in the city’s expansive west. But don’t let the open pastures fool you; when finished, it will almost be a city in itself, and already boasts a school, community areas, and its own shopping precinct. This is set to become a self-sufficient community - one that, despite being just ten minutes from Ballarat Central, will allow its residents to live their lives completely within its borders, if they so wish. The best bit? The homes are priced at barely believable rates: a new, four-bedroom house and land package starts from as little as $350,000.
Just south of Lucas, in the suburb of Winter Valley, Winterfield is a unique new master-planned community that aims to offer the buyers of its homes the perfect balance between nature and amenity. Parks and green spaces have been put at a premium here, and despite the wealth of modernity sprinkled throughout, the connection to the earth is tangible. The green theme weaves through every aspect of the estate, but without affecting convenience or lifestyle. The price for new homes that offer such sustainable living? Incredibly affordable, as it turns out. Three bedroom house and land packages are available for less than $350,000!
Next door to Winterfield, Winter Valley Rise is a development with a focus on young families. Both a proposed primary school and an early learning centre will be within walking distance of every home, footpaths will line both sides of every road, and acres of space will be left open for activity. A retail and commercial space means you’ll never need to leave! You’ll need to get in quick though - house and land packages are currently being sold in stage 6b of 7! Three bedroom house and land packages start at $375,000, and four bedroom homes start at $400,000.
Stability, growth, value; the Ballarat property market has it all. And if you’re searching through homes for the one that has it all, a house and land package may well be it, as it will allow you to secure a picture perfect property in this growth market in perhaps the safest and most cost-effective way possible. And on top of offering beautiful homes, these investments are one of the most profitable anyone can make.
Particularly when you buy in Ballarat - a city going from strength to strength.