The Bendigo property market is one of many in regional Victoria experiencing strong results and positive growth in recent sales according the latest data from the Victorian Valuer General.

The quarterly results released this week for the three months to March 31 show that Bendigo’s median house prices increased by 5.3 per cent, having decreased by 0.7 per cent in the previous quarter, and about 20 per cent in the previous 12 months.

That turnaround was mirrored in many suburbs across the city, with Strathdale experiencing a 33 per cent lift in the median price, up from $350,000 to $465,000 for the March quarter.

Other suburbs where sales results improved significantly included North Bendigo (up 20.7 per cent to $315,000) and Marong (up from $347,500 to $425,000), while with a median sale price of $537,500, Maiden Gully was up 13.6 per cent and had the highest result.

Bendigo Real Estate principal Nekti Tzouroutis yesterday said there had been a lot of activity in the past two weeks and conversations with both vendors looking to put their homes on the market, and buyers looking to purchase.

“The outlook going forward in our market here in Bendigo over the spring selling season looks very positive,” he said.

DCK Real Estate sales director Matt Bowles said coming of the back of strong demand across winter, more selling stock was needed to meet the high level of demand from potential buyers.

He said it was important to note that the Valuer General data was for median, not average selling prices, and that a high turnover of property among first home buyers and in the lower end of the market, especially in suburbs where is a greater diversity of stock, does impact the overall median price.

Median sales prices dropped in a number of areas, including Junortoun, Bendigo, Jackass Flat, East Bendigo, Huntly and Ironbark.

Victorian Valuer-General, Robert Marsh said country Victoria’s median house price increased 1.4 per cent to $360,000 in the March 2018 quarter, while over the 12 months to March 2018, the median house price in country Victoria increased by 7.5 per cent from $335,000.

Regional Victoria’s strong results come on the back of a decline in the Melbourne market, where Metropolitan Melbourne sales statistics for the March 2018 quarter showed a decrease of 5.0 per cent to $725,000 for median house prices and a decrease of 3.2 per cent to $530,200 for median unit prices. For the 12 months to March 2017, median sales prices in metropolitan Melbourne showed increases of 6.6 per cent for houses and 4.7 per cent for units.

The Valuer General’s report also states that the number of country Victoria house sales for the March 2018 quarter is expected to be 7,735, a 14.9 per cent increase on the March 2017 quarter.

In the March 2018 quarter, the median house price in country Victoria increased by 1.4 per cent to $360,000.

Over the 12 months to March 2018, median sale prices in country Victoria showed a 7.5 per cent increase for houses and a 1.4 per cent increase for units.

In a statement released this week, CoreLogic head of research Tim Lawless said stronger market conditions across more affordable areas were likely attributable to a rise of first home buyers in the market as well as changing credit policies focused on reducing exposure to high debt-to-income ratios.

Mr Lawless said values in the combined capital cities fell 0.4 per cent in August, and 2.9 per cent for the year. Prices outside the cities eased 0.2 per cent in August, but were still 1.6 per cent higher on a year earlier.

Regulators have clamped down on risky lending by banks, particularly for interest-only loans, while a raft of scandals across the industry has added to the air of caution.

Westpac last week raised its mortgage rates to protect profit margins in the face of higher funding costs in the wholesale market, with most other major banks quick to join them.