Hi ,

A slight dip in the amount of auctions over the weekend resulted in a clearance rate back in the 70’s in Melbourne.  There were 888 auctions reported with 683 sold at auction, 205 passed in and there were an additional 196 private sales.  The overall clearance rate was 77%. It is expected that the amount of new listings will be reduced this week as we come into the Labor Day long weekend, then we have a clear four week run before we go into the first term school holidays and Easter long weekend.

I have invited Vicky Whittaker (director of Elite’s Regional Victoria office) to provide us with an update of the property markets in Geelong/Bellarine Peninula and Ballarat.

Good morning ,

Property prices in Geelong and surrounding areas have risen over 21% over the past 12 months due to strong population growth and demand from investors.  Whilst there is still strong demand, it appears the property market has stabilised somewhat suggesting FOMO (fear of missing out) from buyers has eased and stock levels have been improving.  Auction clearance rates have been consistently achieving over 70% on a weekly basis.

The Geelong market remains strong but it is not as heated as it was last year. Geelong prices have risen 21% over 12 months, and with stock levels still low throughout the area, we are seeing many strong sales prices with auction clearance rates being above 70% on a weekly basis.

There has been a strong shift in demand for recently renovated houses with buyers wanting turn-key properties rather than taking on the renovation themselves.  This is likely due to the ongoing pressure of building prices, lack of materials, delays in trades due to the backlog from Covid lockdowns and increase in trade prices.  Also could be a sentiment of people wanting a more stress free lifestyle and therefore unprepared to take on the project themselves.

According to the ABS, Geelong had Australia’s fifth highest net movement of population after the onset of the Covid pandemic in April, 2020. Whilst some moved from Melbourne for a sea or tree change, this movement has certainly slowed down from movement during lockdown.  Many property buyers chose to move to Geelong due to property prices being so high in Melbourne, the ability to work from home and commute to Melbourne two or three times a week, good lifestyle and great schools for families.

Over the weekend, a tiny miners cottage went under the hammer.  4 Sutherland Street, Geelong is a very well located, small and dated two bedroom home on 147 sqm.  The property was quoted $599,000 to $627,000 prior to auction with three participants at auction pushing the final sale result to $697,000.  The property had last sold in 2014 for $344,000.

For investors, the residential rental vacancy rate in Ballarat and Geelong sits around 1.5% which means there is high rental demand in quality properties.  If the property is in good condition, well located and appropriately priced, a landlord could expect multiple applications from just one or two open for inspections.

With a cheaper buy in price, Ballarat is also experiencing a slow down in the capital growth rate, but the demand is still remaining high.  Ballarat Central, Soldiers Hill, Delacombe and Wendouree are popular areas for both investors and home buyers with entry level properties selling within the $500,000 to $600,000 range.  The days on market is consistently low with many quality properties selling after their first open for inspection.

Have a great week.

Kim Easterbrook and Vicky Whittaker