Ararat is fast becoming the real estate gold mine of Victoria, with buyers snapping up properties in a fraction of pre-pandemic times.
According to new data from a peak real estate body revealed, growing families, cashed-up investors, and metropolitan treechangers have created a bull market, making Ararat one of the top 10 most improved towns.
The Real Estate Institute of Victoria revealed that listings in Ararat sold 52 per cent faster in May 2021 than 12 months earlier, from 82 days to just 40 Day on Market.
Ararat sales consultant Brad Jensen, of Ballarat Real Estate, said the figures are astounding.
"Prior to the COVID-19 lockdown, the average Day on Market was 126," he said.
"It has come down a long way. There has been less stock on the market than last year, but there are more buyers looking to buy in Ararat than previously, so there's a supply and demand scenario.
"We're encouraging the majority of our vendors to sell pre-market or a pocket listing-type scenario, because often there are multi buyers for a property who are exceeding the asking price."
Mr Jensen said the fervid market was a boon for sellers, who consistently reach the asking price, if not exceeding, for their properties.
A small selection of listings at any given time has fuelled the intense bidding war.
"At times there are only 10 houses for sale in all of Ararat," Mr Jensen said.
"That could range from townhouses all the way through to homes; (it's) locals buying and growing their portfolio to out-of-towners buying as in investment or a treechange. Every time there is a lockdown, the demand has increased. Melburnians have identified Ararat as a good place to invest, because of the affordability."
The sales consultant said there are no signs of slowing down.
"If we use Ballarat as a template (cities) are becoming unaffordable so people are coming further out," Mr Jensen said.
"Economically, the town is going well, which brings workers to Ararat and taking up rental properties. Rental homes are just as demanding as home sales; investors are seeing excellent returns.
"It's not going to last because you can have good capital growth or good rental return - you can't have both. I think we'll see a slowdown at some point, but we don't know when because COVID-19 has changed everything."
While you're with us, you can now receive updates straight to your inbox from The Ararat Advertiser. To make sure you're up-to-date with all the news from across the Ararat shire, sign up here.
If you are seeing this message you are a loyal digital subscriber to The Ararat Advertiser, as we made this story available only to subscribers. Thank you very much for your support and allowing us to continue telling Ararat's story. We appreciate your support of journalism in our great city.