In the past two years, Geelong has shown a strong and fast-growing property market. Many home buyers are attracted to the city because of its affordability, relaxed lifestyle, proximity to Melbourne and infrastructures. Just last year, the former working-class port city became the country’s fastest growing regional area.
Real Estate Market Growth
Buyer demand for land and homes for sale in Geelong rose in 2018 and consequently, property supply fell. People turned their attention to locations like Geelong and Hobart when the housing affordability in capital cities, such as Sydney and Melbourne, became a major concern. The median house price for Geelong rose 15.9 per cent to $567,000 in June last year, in comparison with Melbourne’s value of $882,082 in the same period.
Another driver of Geelong’s housing market growth is the state’s decision to double the First Home Owner Grant (FHOG) for regional Victoria. The grant increased from $10,000 to $20,000 for first-time home buyers who build or buy their new home for less than $750,000.
First-time home buyers purchasing a house priced between $600,000 and $750,000 may also receive discounted stamp duty rates depending on the property’s total value.
This year, the housing market in Geelong started slowing down. Compared with this time last year, houses are staying longer on the market and property supply is slowly increasing. The Domain House Price Report for the first quarter of 2019 indicates Geelong is no longer the hottest real estate market, with median house prices falling to $539,000.
Home Buying in a Slow Market
Despite the market’s slowdown, Geelong is still a good area to buy a house. It’s strategic to take advantage of a slowing market. For one, since the demand is decreasing, properties in Geelong are becoming more affordable to attract buyers, so you can buy a beautiful house in the suburbs for less. Real estate agents and sellers are also more open to price negotiations since they want to liquidate the asset.
Another advantage of buying in a slow market is that you have more time. You can thoroughly research the neighbourhood and the city, since the competition isn’t that high to pressure you into placing an offer.
Geelong as an Attractive Location
Geelong is a good place to settle down, regardless of whether or not the real estate market is hot. First, the proximity to Melbourne means you can easily go in and out of the city without having to endure its exorbitant home prices. For example, if your job is in Melbourne, you can just take an hour-long commute to and from your house in Geelong. The city has a decent mass transportation system, so the commute is manageable.
On the subject of employment, Geelong is also slowly becoming a rich professional hub. Its manufacturing industry is thriving, with a diverse group ranging from oil refineries, home furnishing companies, retail brands and other industries. WorkSafe, the state’s provider of employee compensation, also moved its head office to Geelong last year. This opens up job opportunities for locals in the city.
Always think twice when deciding to purchase a house. Geelong’s housing market may take a while to regain strength, so if you’re only planning to sell the property after two or three years, you may not be able to gain much profit. If you’re only looking for a temporary place in Geelong, you can opt for rentals instead. Think in the long term when planning to relocate.