Ararat one of the most affordable

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ARARAT - Ararat and Stawell have both been named among the nation's top ten most affordable regional suburbs in Australia for houses.

The RP Data rankings are based on median house values as of January 2014, and to feature a suburb must have had at least 100 sales over the past year.

Ararat came in at number nine on the rankings with a median sale price of $165,000.

In the 12 months to January 129 houses were sold in the Ararat area after spending an average of 117 days on the market.

Ararat Rural City Councillor, Gwenda Allgood welcomed the report and said it was evidence the region has a lot to offer potential home buyers.

"That really is something that we've been talking about for some time to people from outside the region, particularly those from the metropolitan areas, that if you come to Ararat you can get a very good price for your house and you can enjoy your holidays by living in a wonderful area with fantastic views and spend the rest of the money, which you are saving, within our community."

Ten units were sold with a median sale price of $246,250.

The findings also revealed the population of Ararat grew nine percent in the five year period of 2006-2011.

The town's population was 7,368 in 2006, by 2011 it had risen to 8,068.

In 2006, 72.2 percent of the homes in Ararat were owner-occupied compared with 70.1 percent in 2011. The predominant age group in Ararat is 0-14 years.

Households in Ararat are primarily couples with children and are likely to be repaying between $1000 - $1400 per month on mortgage repayments.

In general, RP Data found people in Ararat work in a non-specific occupation.

Gippsland towns, Morwell (at number two) and Moe (at number three) were the only other Victorian towns to make the list while the rest were towns in New South Wales.

Cameron Kusher, Senior Research Analyst at RP Data said the organisation estimates the value of every property across the country each week using an automated valuation methodology (AVM) Value Median.

Mr Kusher said the median values provided are based on the median of these AVMs.

"The list was based on suburbs which had at least 100 sales over the year so we were specifically focusing on regions of a reasonable size," he said.

"The data is purely based on the median value and what is shows is that in regional Victoria there are regions that are significantly more affordable than Melbourne and some of the major regional areas.

"In fact these regional towns of Victoria are some of the nation's most affordable for housing."

Just 30 kilometres along the Western Highway Stawell came in at number four on the rankings with a median sale price of $162,500.

In the 12 months to January a house for sale in Stawell spent an average of 112 days on the market.

The findings also revealed that the population of Stawell grew four percent in the five year period of 2006 to 2011.

The town's population was 5,884 in 2006, by 2011 that had risen to 6,153.

In 2006, 69.6 percent of the homes in Stawell were owner-occupied compared with 71.5 percent in 2011. The predominant age group in Stawell is 0-14 years.

Households in Stawell are primarily couples with children and are likely to be repaying between $1000 - $1400 per month on mortgage repayments.

In general, RP Data found people in Stawell work in a non-specific occupation.

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