Stawell among most affordable suburbs

Stawell and Ararat have both been named among the nation's top ten most affordable regional suburbs in Australia for houses.

The RP Data rankings are based on median house values as of January 2014, and to feature a suburb must have had at least 100 sales over the past year.

Stawell has been listed among the most affordable suburbs in Australia.

Stawell has been listed among the most affordable suburbs in Australia.

Stawell came in at number four on the rankings with a median sale price of $162,500.

In the 12 months to January a house for sale in Stawell spent an average of 112 days on the market.

Monaghans Real Estate's Terry Monaghan said he agreed the median sale price for a house in Stawell would be around the figure of $162,500.

"Although I have always been very sceptical of RP Data's statistics I know that Stawell and surrounds offers exceptional value for money considering the services available to our residents and our beautiful geographical surroundings," he said.

"You don't have to look too hard to see we have an enviable balance of affordability and an enjoyable lifestyle."

The findings also revealed that the population of Stawell grew four percent in the five year period of 2006 to 2011.

The town's population was 5,884 in 2006, by 2011 that had risen to 6,153.

In 2006, 69.6 percent of the homes in Stawell were owner-occupied compared with 71.5 percent in 2011. The predominant age group in Stawell is 0-14 years.

Households in Stawell are primarily couples with children and are likely to be repaying between $1000 - $1400 per month on mortgage repayments.

In general, RP Data found people in Stawell work in a non-specific occupation.

Gippsland towns, Morwell (at number two) and Moe (at number three) were the only other Victorian towns to make the list while the rest were towns in New South Wales.

Cameron Kusher, Senior Research Analyst at RP Data said the organisation estimates the value of every property across the country each week using an automated valuation methodology (AVM) Value Median.

Mr Kusher said the median values provided are based on the median of these AVMs.

"The list was based on suburbs which had at least 100 sales over the year so we were specifically focusing on regions of a reasonable size," he said.

"The data is purely based on the median value and what it shows is that in regional Victoria there are regions that are significantly more affordable than Melbourne and some of the major regional areas."

Just 30 kilometres along the Western Highway, Ararat came in ninth in the survey with a median sale price of $165,000.

In the 12 months to January 129 houses were sold in the Ararat area after spending an average of 117 days on the market.

Ten units were sold with a median sale price of $246,250.

The population of Ararat was found to have grown nine percent in the five year period of 2006 to 2011.

The town's population was 7,368 in 2006, by 2011 it had risen to 8,068.

In 2006, 72.2 percent of the homes in Ararat were owner-occupied compared with 70.1 percent in 2011. The predominant age group in Ararat is 0-14 years.

Households in Ararat are primarily couples with children and are likely to be repaying between $1000 - $1400 per month on mortgage repayments.

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