By Herron Todd White
December 2019

Geelong Property Updates

Geelong saw its biggest property boom in history in 2018 and was labelled Victoria’s hottest property market. As Melbourne house prices decreased, Geelong steadily increased as it was sought after by many as a fantastic investment opportunity. A major prediction we forecast at the beginning of 2019 was that the greater Geelong property market would begin to level off after the strong growth it showed throughout 2018. Our prediction was correct in that there was a slow in the market however we did not expect the cooling period to come around so quickly. Apart from a few established suburbs such as Highton and Wandana Heights, the vast majority of suburbs suffered price drops in median house pricing for the early part of 2019.

The market however took a turn in suburbs such as Newtown, Belmont, Hamlyn Heights and St Albans which have all started showing median house price growth for the latter half of the year. This sudden burst of growth which has occurred once again is largely due to financial regulators’ relaxed rules affecting how much home buyers could borrow, affecting the market accordingly.

In this positive market turn for greater Geelong, Belmont and Newtown have shown the most promising signs of real growth with Belmont increasing its median sale price by $50,000 in just one quarter alone.

Speak with a Geelong Mortgage Broker today.

Mildura Property Updates

2019 has played out a little stronger than we expected. Houses have been selling relatively quickly and the median house price appears to have risen more than we anticipated at the start of the year. CoreLogic statistics show the median house price increased by nearly ten percent to now be just under $300,000. Low-interest rates and local economic growth have no doubt helped this trend.

The main action continues to be for well-presented homes in the $300,000 to $500,000 range. Most buyers in this segment have been owner-occupiers 34 looking for either their first home or an upgrade from a plainer dwelling.

Values for residential units have been more stable, in keeping with the trend observed over much of the past decade. Buyers are attracted to units for the higher gross rental return rather than the potential for capital gain.

Developers of residential subdivisions have faced higher development costs during 2019, however, appear to have been able to pass these increases on, with the cost of buying residential lots increasing by over ten percent during the past year. This increase in sale prices is also attributed to a shortage of developed lots being released during the year.

If anything, the gap between land values in Mildura and Irymple and the satellite towns of Gol Gol and Red Cliffs has widened. We had expected that the higher cost in Mildura and Irymple would attract buyers to the satellite towns, however, this has not occurred to any great degree.

Our region is starting to feel the effects of water restrictions, however, it is too early to see whether this will weaken demand for homes on larger lots with more extensive landscaping. This will become more apparent over the coming summer months. The Mildura region still has comparatively easy access to garden water.

Finally, our prediction at the start of the year that there would be less activity at the top end of our market appears to have been accurate. As discussed in last month’s edition, we are not entirely sure why there have been so few sales over $1 million in 2019. Fewer properties being offered for sale still appears the most likely factor, but possibly buyers at this end of the market are being more cautious.

Shepparton Property Updates

The local property market has remained buoyant throughout 2019 even though there was a lull in sales during winter. Demand for investment properties from Melbourne buyers is still strong and vacancy rates have stayed tight. New housing in the area is still steaming ahead, even though a few estates have now either sold out or are in the final stage, such as Connolly Park and Northside estates in the north and Riverwood Park in Kialla.

The industrial development along Doyles Road on the eastern fringe of Shepparton is very promising, fostering both construction jobs and ongoing manufacturing jobs. Coupled with the Goulburn Valley Health redevelopment bringing construction and then an ongoing 600 jobs is a strong boost to the region.

Two new large-scale housing developments have been recently announced by council. The precincts known as Shepparton North East and Shepparton South East will both be located along Doyles Road/ Shepparton Alternate Route and are planned to accommodate 1,500 and 2,500 homes respectively, or 4,000 and 6,000 residents. By comparison, the Kialla Lakes estate which has been a jewel in Shepparton’s housing estate crown since the mid-1990s has only just hit around 1,400 homes in the most recent land releases. Works are due to commence on the South East development next year, with the North East yet to be confirmed. 

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DISCLAIMER: The information contained in this article is correct at the time of publishing and is subject to change. It is intended to be of a general nature only. It has been prepared without taking into account any person’s objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on this information, Smartline recommends that you consider whether it is appropriate for your circumstances. Smartline recommends that you seek independent legal, financial, and taxation advice before acting on any information in this article.