WITH MARTY MAHER FROM GREAT OCEAN PROPERTIES
The 2019/20 financial year saw a return to buoyant conditions after the re-election of the government at the federal election in May 2019, which provided a more certain platform for potential buyers and sellers to proceed from.
We saw a very strong first half and then a solid run up to Easter, at which time the COVID 19 pandemic slowed the coastal markets for April and May (during lockdown) and then a very strong June to finish the financial year.
So, let’s look at the performance of each of the towns during this period. As a reference, these sales are house sales, that is, a freestanding dwelling on its own title. We do not include land sales or units although freestanding dwellings with common driveways are included. The median house price is calculated as the “middle” price when all the sales are ranked from lowest to highest.
Torquay again continues to have significant turnover with 266 house sales for the year, which was well up from 211 in the 18/19 financial year. The median house price has been calculated at $850,000, up slightly from $840,000 in 18/19. There were 70 sales between $1m-$2m, up considerably from the 47 the year before, seven above $2m and two above $3m with $3,850,000 being the top sale for the year. For context, there are currently 9,348 rateable properties in Torquay.
Jan Juc recorded 49 house sales, slightly down from 56 in 2018/19, with the median house price coming in at $920,000 which was up from $875,000 in the previous financial year. The top sale for Jan Juc was $2,371,000. There were 17 sales between $1m-$2m and only the one above $2m as mentioned. There are 2,019 rateable properties in Jan Juc.
Anglesea was very active and saw 84 house sales recorded for the financial year, well up from the 69 recorded in 2018/19. The median house price was $861,000, significantly up from $810,000 the year before. The top sale for the year was $2,300,000, which was well above the $1,800,000 the previous year, although that year is seen as an anomaly. There were 34 sales above $1m, a significant increase from 15 the year before. Again, for context, there are 3,313 rateable properties in Anglesea.
Aireys Inlet recorded 24 house sales for the 2019/20 financial year which was down from 28 in the 2018/19 financial year. This was a direct result of lack of available houses for sale rather than a lack of buyers. The median house price again saw a significant jump, breaking the million dollar mark for the first time, to come in at $1,120,000 up from $877,000 the previous year. The top sale was $2,850,000. There were 15 sales recorded between $1m-$2m up from 10 the previous year and one sale above $2m (the top sale). Aireys Inlet has 1,208 rateable properties.
Due to the low numbers of sales, we have always grouped Fairhaven, Moggs Creek and Eastern View together. There are only 863 rateable properties in this area. There were only 14 sales for the financial year, which was well down from 20 the year before. The median house price came in at $1,335,500, which was down from $1,437,500 the year before. The median price figure in this area has historically moved around significantly due to the low sample numbers. The top sale for the year was $2,750,000. There were 10 sales between $1m-$2m and 2 above $2m.
Lorne had an incredible year. The total number of house sales was only slightly up at 39, from the previous year’s 33 however there were some price records smashed. The median house price rose significantly because of this and came in at $1,525,000 which was well up from $1,170,000 the year before. The top sale for the year however was a huge $7,250,000 with a second sale at $5,750,000. There were 21 sales between $1m-$2m and seven sales between $2m-$3m and three above $3m including the two mentioned. There are 2,375 rateable properties in Lorne.
Apollo Bay recorded 86 house sales for the year, with the median house price coming in at $655,000. The top sale for the year was $1.5m, with 15 sales above $1m. The affordable price point continues to be an attraction and the town attracts buyers from a wide variety of sources including regional areas.
It was an unusual financial year that resulted in very positive results for property on the Great Ocean Road. It was unusual because the background motivations for buyers changed throughout the period.
As mentioned, the first three quarters were supported by the flow on of sentiment from the stability of the re-election of the federal government and no changes to property tax regimes mooted by the Labor opposition.
As everyone does what everyone else does, the metropolitan markets burst into life and the coastal markets quickly followed. April – May saw activity dramatically curtailed as the COVID lockdown came into force and then burst out of captivity to record the strongest June we have ever seen.
Lack of properties for sale continues to hamper the market activity. For those owners who are considering selling, this spring, subject to COVID access restrictions, could be an especially opportune time to sell.
This is mainly due to the pent-up demand of buyers who are currently in lockdown but planning their life in a post-COVID world.
With the response in June, we now have a clear understanding of our buyers’ motivations and we expect this to be similar or even more pronounced in spring after this second lockdown period.
The search for space and a coastal lifestyle is genuine and the wide uptake of remote working is providing the flexibility for many to pursue it.
We hope you found this Great Ocean Report informative, and if Great Ocean Properties can ever be of any assistance in any real estate matter please do not hesitate to call.