Barwon Heads still region’s most desired coastal village
BARWON Heads remains one of the most popular and sought-after holiday destinations in Victoria, with holiday homes still making up a large portion of the housing stock in this boutique seaside town at the mouth of the Barwon River.
Reported European settlement of the area dates from the 1870s, and like most other coastal towns in our region, it was predominately a farming and fishing community.
From the early 1900s, Barwon Heads began to gain a reputation as a popular holiday destination but remained relatively undeveloped until the postwar years, even up unitl the 1970s.
Much of the population growth of the quaint town happened from 1991 as the increased popularity of sea-side living led to new building activity, along with the predominately holiday home community slowly giving way to permanents.
The bridge across the Barwon River, made famous by TV series SeaChange, was built in 1927 linking Barwon Heads to Ocean Grove with several upgrades over the years until a new road bridge and separate pedestrian and cycling bridge opened in 2010 amid much controversy.
Today, the thriving Barwon Heads resident community sits at 3,981 according to most recent ABS data, with those calling the town home making up 64.6 per cent of home owners.
Off course, the population of Barwon Heads more than doubles in peak holiday periods and weekends.
With the edian house price for Barwon Heads sitting at about $946,000, Bellarine Property director Levi Turner expects to see the median house price reach $1 million in a short period of time.
“This is quite incredible for such a small coastal village,” he said.
“We are seeing the demand for property in the town driven by a few key factors.
“The main factor being lack of property on the market, which is at 50 per cent less than what it was three years ago, combined with low interest rates, which has allowed purchasers of second, third and fourth properties to purchase and lock in low rates.
“Also, the proximity to Geelong and Melbourne, which has always been a factor, but we are seeing more and more Melbourne-based buyers making the move.
“Over the past 12 months, 63 per cent of the properties we have sold have been from people within the Bellarine Peninsula.
“This may surprise some people, but due to the high median house price in Barwon Heads, we see people that know the area, and either live here or holiday here, that feel comfortable investing here, and eventually moving permanently to the town.
“$946,000 is a lot of money for a house, and unless you know the town, you may find more value somewhere else. The majority of our buyers are owner-occupier, comprising over 55 per cent, with holiday home buyers making up around 30 per cent.”
RT Edgar director Michael Ramsay also confirmed that buyers from within the region now make up the majority of purchasers with RT Edgar.
“Interestingly, it is not the Melburnians that are making up the majority of buyers impacting the median price increases in Barwon Heads, but locals,” he said.
“As a break up of sales over the past two years, about 50 per cent of the sales have originated from buyers already living in the area, with Melbourne buyers taking second prize, and country and Geelong residents making up the balance.”