VICTORIANS are voting with their feet and choosing to live, work or invest in regional Victoria, new data shows.
Minister for Planning Richard Wynne has just released the latest Victorian Building Authority building permit data, which shows the value of buildings in Victoria reached a record $32.8 billion in the 2016-17 financial year.
Regional and rural Victoria recorded higher growth rates for building than in metropolitan Melbourne, increasing 6.9 per cent on the previous financial year to top $5.8 billion.
It’s a story that’s being reflected locally in Bass Coast particularly where a rise in the cost of established housing is pushing would-be homeowners to consider the benefits of investing in new house and land packages.
Low interest rates and the prospect of picking up the $20,000 first home owners grant for those who buy or build a new home in regional Victoria is also proving attractive.
Bass Coast was one of the areas featured in Minister Wynne’s report where $214 million in works was committed to last financial year.
Building in inner and outer Melbourne rose a combined 3.4 per cent to $27 billion. The data shows by municipality:
• 1920 permits were issued in Ballarat, accounting for $430.5 million in works
• 2370 permits were issued in Bendigo, accounting for $393.4 million in works
• 1167 permits were issued in Shepparton, accounting for $244.3 million in works
• 1295 permits were issued in Bass Coast, accounting for $214 million in works
• 955 permits were issued in Wodonga, accounting for $210.8 million in works.
“It shows that we’re encouraging sustainable growth in the regions – and families are responding,” said Minister Wynne.
He said the State Government was “making record investments in schools, hospitals, and transport”, giving locals the services they need.
Although we’re yet to see serious investment in our schools (Wonthaggi SC Senior Campus) and hospital (BCH Sub-regional hospital), the growth figures in the Minister’s report can only help put further pressure on the government.
He said the Andrews Labor Government recently launched the Ready when you are campaign to encourage more people to make the move to regional Victoria.
“We’re making it easier for young Victorians to buy their first home there, by doubling the First Home Owner Grant to $20,000 in the regions. Since November 2014, more than 60,000 jobs have been created across regional Victoria, with the unemployment rate dropping from 6.6 per cent to 5.1 per cent.
“These are really encouraging figures. They are proof that investor confidence in regional Victoria is at an all-time high,” the Minister said.
“It shows that we’re encouraging sustainable growth in the regions and it’s working.”
The Minister for Regional Development Jaala Pulford agreed: “There’s never been a better time to make the move to regional Victoria. It’s got lifestyle, community and it’s affordable. We’re creating the jobs of the future and ensuring every Victorian can access quality healthcare, education and transport.”