A tight-knit agricultural and pastoral town, Ballan is located on the Werribee River about 80km north-west of Melbourne. Though small, recording a population of just under 3,500, a regular train service means commuters can reach Melbourne in just one-hour and Ballarat in 20-25 minutes. The Western Freeway also lies near Ballan, by-passing it, but still increasing its accessibility to nearby towns.
It’s self-sufficient, with a small shopping area on the main street, IGA supermarket, local preschool, doctor’s services, police station, and a primary school.
At the 2006 Census, the population’s median age was slightly above the state average (37) at 40 years. SQM Research predicts this trend to continue, forecasting the town’s median age to rise to 44 by this year compared to an expected state average of 39. This is reflective of the town’s family-oriented nature, with families making up 77.7% of households, according to Census figures.
ABS estimates also show population growth of 6% in the four years to 2009 in Ballan’s local government area of Moorabool, in another sign that now is probably a good time to buy in the town.
Rayner Real Estate manager Mark Dudley says recent housing developments to accommodate for this growth have widened the market in Ballan for incoming investors.
“There are a lot of new homes and we’re waiting on new subdivisions to start coming through in the next few months, which will open up opportunities for people to buy land,” Dudley said.
He recommends investors look for property in the central areas of town, such as in Simpson Street.
“Also, depending on the investor and their time-frame, you could pick up something with a bit of size about it that might allow for subdivision but that’s a different type of investor of course,” Dudley adds.