Marysville’s astonishing bushfire recovery tops Victoria’s 10-year property price boom

The mountainside hideaway has topped Victoria’s 10-year property boom, after bushfires destroyed the town in the 2009 Black Saturday fires. See what’s helped Marysville rise from the ashes.

Marysville’s astonishing Black Saturday recovery has turned the town into an Instagram-worthy destination amid a 10-year property price boom that has topped Victoria.

The mountainside hideaway was all but wiped out when bushfires blazed through on February 7, 2009.

But thirteen years on those who bought into helping Marysville rise from the ashes have been rewarded as house prices have soared to five times what they were worth a decade ago.

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The typical owner is now a huge $ 580,000 (446.15 percent) better off after the median house price leapt from $ 130,000 in 2012 to $ 710,000 in PropTrack’s April suburb price data.

While the median home prices are based on a limited number of sales due to the town’s small size that could make them more volatile, the growth has been consistent.

Marysville Triangle Business and Tourism president David Stirling said Gould Memorial Drive had been “like Bourke St” as Instagrammers chasing the perfect autumn selfie “smashed” the town over the past few months.

About 100,000 people are expected to come through for the snow season, followed by a swarm of mountain bikers in spring with the sport “absolutely taking off” in the wide multitude of bushwalking trails.

Mr Stirling said the lives lost would never be forgotten and those who had frequented the mountainside village for decades could see that it wasn’t the same, with about 15 of the town’s more than 400 original buildings surviving the fires.

But the town might be on its way to becoming something better.

“I personally think it’s architecturally better, because we have had a chance to rebuild,” he said.

In 2011, Mr Stirling bought the old Tower Motel – one of the few buildings to survive the fires.

After heavily renovating it, he said every bit of accommodation in the town was now virtually new – putting it ahead of the often dated rooms found in other tourist towns.

Mr Stirling estimated the number of people and buildings had now reached similar levels to before Black Saturday, with Census records showing 519 people lived in the town in 2016.

A growing number of holiday home owners are buying into the town, too.

Frank Lovrencic and wife Draga have chosen the perfect time to sell their epic Marysville getaway home at 757 Buxton-Marysville Road as house prices boom.

Mr Lovrencic bought the one-bedroom retreat in 2019 for only $ 365,000 according to CoreLogic and is now selling with a $ 960,000- $ 1.05m price guide.

The 2358sq m property was only half-built when Mr Lovrencic made the purchase, before he finished the project in an “uphill battle.”

The Williamstown-based couple have another renovation project in nearby Buxton, where they hope to move to the near future – joining a growing number of Victorians looking for the quiet life in the area.

“We love the natural environment here,” Mr Lovrencic said.

“It’s always green, you get freshwater coming from the mountain and there are lots of activities to do like fishing, hiking, mountain biking… there are bush tracks everywhere.”

“The grandkids (Maja, 6 and Ana, 4) love it here… they never ask to watch TV.”

Mr Lovrencic said he had definitely noticed the increase in Marysville’s popularity, noting “hundreds” of tourists coming through the town on weekends.

Professionals Marysville director Georgia Hester said she had also noticed a boom after living in the town for 20 years.

“After the fires, we were mainly selling land, but now we’re selling established homes,” Ms Hester said.

“In saying that, land values ​​have also gone up 50 or 60 percent (here) in the past four years.”

She said many Melbourne families and semi-retirees were relocating to the area as prices were more affordable and houses were still within an hour’s drive of Melbourne’s eastern suburbs.

– additional reporting by Nathan Mawby

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Originally published as Marysville’s astonishing bushfire recovery tops Victoria’s 10-year property price boom

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