Surf Coast, Geelong dominate hot property list

January 24, 2022 BY

Fairhaven had a median house price of $2.02 million from its 22 sales - including the record-setting $10 million sale of 310 Great Ocean Road - over the past 12 months. Photo: GREAT OCEAN PROPERTIES

GEELONG and Surf Coast property remains the hottest in regional Victoria, and the area now has a $2 million suburb.

Real estate industry figures, owners and investors have celebrated the windfall, but a homelessness charity says the surging prices mean housing costs are becoming increasingly unaffordable for low and middle-income earners.

Housing market researcher CoreLogic recently released its Best of the Best 2021 report, with local suburbs featuring prominently among the state’s highlights.

CoreLogic data revealed Fairhaven had a median house price of $2.02 million from its 22 sales recorded in the report’s 12-month database.

The value was the highest anywhere in regional Victoria, while the suburb’s Geelong and Surf Coast neighbours swept the state’s top 10.

Conewarre was next highest with a $1.88 million median, followed by Aireys Inlet ($1.83 million) and Lorne ($1.76 million).

Barwon Heads, Anglesea, Jan Juc and Point Lonsdale also cleared the $1.5 million barrier.

Torquay was ninth at $1.35 million, while Newtown was the best of Geelong’s inner suburbs at $1.26 million to finish the top 10.
It was a similar story for units, with Geelong-Surf Coast suburbs taking nine of the 10-most expensive slots.

Ocean Grove was home to regional Victoria’s most expensive units with a median of $834,000, which was 41.7-per-cent higher than the previous year – also the state’s highest figure.

Great Ocean Road Real Estate’s Ian Stewart said the eye-popping performance followed recent trends of surging prices across the region as demand continued to outstrip supply in the market.

“On this west coast, it doesn’t matter if it’s Torquay, Lorne, Fairhaven or Apollo Bay – all areas are going through the roof,” Mr Stewart said.

“The medians are a reflection of the activity and the stock that’s available in the slightly smaller markets. The stock along the entire coastline, until recent months, has been at an absolute premium.”

Mr Stewart said homes that had become available were continuing to attract significant interest as the pandemic encouraged buyers to consider a lifestyle change.

“What COVID has certainly done is driven the aspirations of those that could or would like to work from home have done just that,” he said.

“And if you had the chance to work from home from Lorne or an inner Melbourne suburb, I know which one I’d be picking.”

However, the supply imbalance and resulting price climbs is increasing housing stress elsewhere in the market.

Trudi Rey, deputy chief executive officer of homelessness services provider Haven Home Safe, said the organisation was seeing a spike in presentations from local residents who struggle to afford accommodation and essentials such as food and utility payments.

“In the Surf Coast, many people choose to live there because of the lifestyle, but the key workers providing that lifestyle in the cafes and shops are being pushed out due to the unaffordability of homes and rent,” she said.

“With the tree and sea change more people are moving from cities to regional and rural areas, driving up house and rental prices. This impacts local communities because people that can no longer afford to live there are forced to move further away.

“The flow-on effects are significant disruption to community cohesion and people’s lives – for instance they may need to send their kids to a different school when they move, commute further for work and so on,” she said.