Q&A with Beau Coulter
Dipping more than your toe in the regions.
Regional cash-splash has a legion of converts.
Q. While extensive lockdowns in 2020 and 2021 in Metropolitan Melbourne made it the most locked-down city in the world, Regional Victoria enjoyed similar freedoms to the rest of Australia. Was this a trigger for investors to look to the regions?
A. “The regions have always attracted investment. Investors seeking stronger returns have regularly found them in regional areas. That yield gap is closing as investors rate these properties often as highly as metro offerings, especially with strong tenants and areas underpinned by major farming or industrial. Key regional areas have boomed as we learn to work and live in a more flexible world.”
Q. Is that interest in the regions dying away now that we are living with Covid?
A. “No, the enthusiasm for the regions is still at an all-time high according to every metric. Investors have increasingly been acquiring properties in regional areas with underpinned employment opportunities and that has only increased post lockdowns. People had the time to research and learn about new opportunities and that is translating to continuing high transaction levels.”
Q. What analogy would best describe those investors who have broken the metro spell?
A. “‘Change waits for no one.’ The investment landscape is constantly changing and investors need to actively seek opportunities and capital growth. Investors have embraced regional areas with gusto and that will continue.”
Q. Geelong and Bendigo are two of the boom areas. Do you see that interest being maintained?
A. “If anything, those areas are likely to become even more popular. Construction of the Geelong Fast Rail to Melbourne is set to start next year and Avalon Airport is becoming busier by the day. Qantas, meanwhile, is operating four flights per day between Sydney and Bendigo – a big vote of confidence in the city. I’m expecting Sydney-based investors to start showing a lot more interest in and around Greater Bendigo.”
Q. With commercial properties becoming more popular in the regions, are you having to spend much more time travelling?
A. “In our six-weekly auction cycles, I’m now spending around two weeks on the road in the regions. I was brought up on a country farm, so I love getting out of metro Melbourne and playing my part in making those regional economies stronger.”