The Victorian city of Bendigo is one of the most unique regional centres in Australia. It - along with its sister city Ballarat - was established during the 1850s, when the Victorian gold rush attracted people arriving from around the globe. It’s this influx that saw Bendigo become arguably the first real example of Australian multiculturalism, the history, and legacy of which can be explored at places like the Golden Dragon Museum and the Great Stupa of Universal Compassion, a buddhist temple.
But far from a one-hit-wonder, Bendigo managed to turn the temporary wealth of the goldfields into long term prosperity. As the river of precious metal began to run dry, the town established itself as a regional hub, supporting local farming and industry, and attracting its fair share of visitors drawn by the stunning architecture and unique history.
Bendigo is proving an ever more popular destination for anyone looking to trade in big city life for something slightly smaller and more rural. But should a potential property investor choose a house and land package in Bendigo?
Why buy in Bendigo?
Before we look at house and land packages in Bendigo, we first need to understand the city itself. So, what does life look like in Bendigo?
A town of approximately 120,000, Bendigo is Australia’s fourth-largest inland city, just behind nearby Ballarat. With Melbourne’s house prices surging in the last decade, Bendigo has caught some of the overflow of people looking for a more cost-effective place to call home, which has resulted in the city’s population growing faster here than elsewhere. Improved transport links to the state capital have helped too.
17.2% of Bendigo’s residents were born overseas, which is a remarkably high figure for an Australian regional centre (Ballarat’s is less than half that, at 8%), and speaks to the multicultural history of the town.
Located just a two-hour drive or train ride north-northwest of the Melbourne CBD, Bendigo combines country tranquility with big city convenience.
Education providers are plentiful, with the city boasting around 35 schools and two popular colleges. Full streets and large lots are the rule - over 90% of residents live in fully detached homes - and for those who like to stretch their legs, parks and nature reserves surround the town.
Bendigo boasts an extensive public bus network for a regional city; 14 routes are currently offered, and many more are planned, while residents can also utilise taxi and Uber services. Daily rail services run from the town centre to the Melbourne CBD, leaving every 30-60 minutes.
Two hospitals - one public and one private - offer Melbourne-standard healthcare services to the area. At the same time, shopping and nights out here are also almost as good as the big city, with dining, drinking and entertainment options aplenty.
As an established regional centre, Bendigo is home to a very stable property market. It has managed to avoid the recent instability of other markets, while still enjoying substantial growth.
While house prices in the state capital have notably gone backward in the last few years, Bendigo’s have stayed steady, with many Melburnians seeing the value of the city’s property as more than worth the two hour trip from the Melbourne CBD. The average purchase price for houses in Bendigo was $285,000 in 2011, rose to $400,000 in 2016, and grew marginally to $412,500 by the end of 2019.
While the centre of town is becoming pricier, the city’s growth has seen satellite suburbs such as Epsom, Marong, Huntly, and Strathfieldsaye exploding in recent years. And the perks of small city life keep on coming, as even the most satellite of satellite suburbs are only ever a 10-15 minute drive from the city centre, all while offering the unmatched tranquility of the country.
Where to find House and Land packages in Bendigo
- Elmwood, Epsom
- Discovery Marong
- Canterbury Estate, Jackass Flat
House and land packages represent a cost-effective and beautiful entry into the way to enter the Bendigo property market. A brand new, multi-bedroom home with a backyard and a garage, built in a cleverly designed community, and all at a price you can afford.
Most of the newest developments are located on the suburban fringe, between or behind the gorgeous greenery of the parks and reserves that surround Bendigo.
A development of generous blocks in Bendigo’s north, Elmwood Epsom is set to offer its residents a perfect regional lifestyle, with a focus on spaciousness and easy access to nature. But the wide-open air doesn’t come at the cost of convenience, with a railway station connecting the suburb directly to Melbourne, a wealth of amenities within walking distance, and the centre of town just a 10-minute drive away.
A 15-minute drive west of the Bendigo CBD, leafy Marong has proven a popular destination, with stages 1-6 of the Discover Marong development already sold out. And with generous house and land packages starting at less than $350,000, it’s not hard to see why. Located in an established area, residents will move into a community that already boasts everything they’ll ever need, including a pre-school, primary school, medical and dental practice, a general store, and the Malone Park Recreation Reserve.
Canterbury Estate, Jackass Flat
The unconventionally named Jackass Flat is the site for the Canterbury Estate development, eight minutes away from central Bendigo, and four minutes away from the amenity-filled suburbs of Epsom, Eagle Hawk, and White Hills. Four redeveloped schools and Victoria’s newest hospital are also just a short bus ride away. And with a four-bedroom house and land packages starting at less than $350,000, this unparalleled convenience is selling for a song!
While the property markets of Melbourne and other Australian capitals slightly falter, the same can’t be said for Bendigo. The regional hub continues its upward trend, buoyed in part by the volatility that the state capital is currently experiencing. And, offering stability, cost-effectiveness, and incredible potential for growth, no property purchase better encapsulates the Bendigo proposition than a house and land package.
There’s no better time than now to start your hunt.