The great escape
It was not that long ago when the property market outside of Melbourne was considered inferior to the city with bargains to be had and cheap holiday pads up for grabs.
How that has changed with a massive lift in regional property prices as suburbanites scramble to escape the confinement and restrictions of living in a populous city.
This exodus has not only extended to the coastal hamlets such as Torquay and Barwon Heads which have seen a 35 per cent and 38 per cent rise in median value over the year respectively, but to the smaller regional towns and lifestyle properties throughout the region.
Wallington has seen a 70 per cent increase in median value over12 months with Connewarre seeing a 50 per cent rise and Birregurra’s median value up by 50 per cent, according to recent CoreLogic data.
RT Edgar rural and lifestyle specialist Peter Lindeman say the rural and rural lifestyle market paused for about six to eight weeks in first COVID lockdown last year when there was a great deal of uncertainty at that time, however since then buyer demand for regional properties around Geelong and the Bellarine Peninsular has rocketed to an all-time high.
“The situation today is quite different from that in March last year; we are no longer looking over a cliff but instead transitioning from recovery to expansion,” Mr Lindeman said.
“We have seen a continued trend of buyers wanting to leave Melbourne with the normalisation of working remotely, paired with a lockdown-driven want for space and affordability, has lured many to regional markets here and across the country.
“This migration probably won’t slow down any time soon, as employment opportunities, infrastructure development and other growth drivers continue to pull people who can now work from home several days a week.
“It appears the supply of properties for sale just can’t keep up with demand due to the strong buyer base out there looking for lifestyle properties close to Geelong and the Surf Coast.
“The shortage of good properties on the market is seeing them selling quickly, often at a premium to price expectations.
“At the same time, time on market continues to decline which are signs that rural and rural lifestyle property values will continue to rise.
“The surge in values is not limited to particular areas. Properties on the Bellarine Peninsula including Curlewis, Clifton Springs, Drysdale, Bellarine, Swan Bay, Marcus Hill, Mannerim and Wallington have all seen values increase.
“As has Connewarre, Freshwater Creek, Bellbrae, Mt Duneed, Waurn Ponds, Ceres, Barrabool, Mount Moriac, Gnarwarre, Winchelsea, Deans Marsh, Birregurra, Inverleigh, Elaine, Meredith, Anakie and everywhere in between.”