Ballarat profile: regional city has prosperous past and future

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Ballarat is not only a tourist destination but a place where people want to settle down.

Ballarat has a rich and prosperous heritage thanks to the gold rush, and now its future is looking bright.

Affordability, infrastructure and transport links are resulting in demand for the historic region.

The regional hub is 90 minutes from Melbourne by car and train, making commuting to the city for work feasible.

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Sovereign Hill is a popular attraction.

CoreLogic data shows the median house price in Ballarat Central increased 7.1 per cent to $455,000 in the 12 months to June.

The growth in Ballarat has caused Boutique Homes to extend their build zone to include Ballarat and Bendigo.

Victorian sales manager Michael McCourt said the company spent time undertaking due diligence with its supplier and trade partners to ensure it could appropriately service the region and deliver the same premium product as the metro area.

“Ballarat and Bendigo are major growth areas and popular with young couples and families,” Mr McCourt said.

“Young families are moving to these newer areas due to affordability of house and land.

Lake Wendouree.

The Ballarat CBD has a historic feel to it.

“First-home buyers are also eligible for the $20,000 First Home Owners Grant, double that received in metro areas.”

He said there was also interest from downsizers, who appreciated the slower pace of life while still having access to key amenities.

“There is also the change in lifestyle; you get all the benefits, with a great lifestyle attached,” he said.

“There is less traffic, ample space and excellent amenities with schools, hospitals and higher education.”

Sovereign Hill. Photo: Visit Victoria

As well as all these amenities, there are historical facilities bringing people to the town, including the popular Sovereign Hill, a recreated gold township.

Mr McCourt said the region’s response so far to Boutique Homes was very promising.

“We’re excited to finally cater to this market after receiving plentiful inquiry over the past few years,” he said.

Boutique Homes will be building a display home in Lucas, a new suburb created in 2011 on the outskirts of Ballarat, next year.

House and land packages will start from $429,000 in Ballarat.

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