Regional Victoria Property Market Update
Located in Victoria, the Mornington Peninsulais a vast stretch along Port Phillip Bay from Frankston to Sorrento. The region is popular with tourists and holiday-makers and provides permanent housing for thousands of Victorians.
The region has become increasingly popular among owner-occupiers as new transportation infrastructure including East Link and Peninsula Link improves access to Melbourne. The Peninsula offers relatively affordable properties, with the benefits of a seaside location and lifestyle. It is also a popular destination among retirees.
The Peninsula Link/Frankston Bypass, which connects the East Link Freeway with the Mornington Peninsula Freeway, is now complete. The road runs through Carrum Downs, Langwarrin, Baxter and Moorooduc Plains and meets with the Mornington Peninsula Freeway in Mount Martha. The new road system has reduced the commute time from Mornington Peninsula to Frankston to less than 15 minutes, and from the Peninsula to Melbourne CBD to less than an hour.
As a whole, the Mornington Peninsula experienced decline in residential property values in 2012. However, prices are expected to stabilise in 2013, with a realistic prospect of growth for many properties.
The area offers a steady rental market, with generally low vacancy rates.
Western Port Bay suburb Hastings is expected to perform below average this year as a result of ongoing speculation regarding the future of the proposed Western Port Highway upgrade, as well as uncertainty regarding local employment.
Conversely, coastal suburb Dromana is expected to perform well in 2013, due in part to improved access to the suburb brought about by the recently completed Peninsula Link. The suburb offers two access points to the freeway, an established retail area, which is undergoing continued development, and quality beach and foreshore areas.
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House prices in regional Victoria remained stable with a median of $305,000. Geelong increased by 8.1 per cent to $395,000, Bendigo by 4.7 per cent to $310,000, and Ballarat by 1.8 per cent to $290,000.
The Macedon Ranges is located 70kms north-west of Melbourne and is considered semi rural. There has been limited activity in the region during recent months, particularly for properties priced above $400,000, which are experiencing longer than normal marketing periods.
Transactions in Gisborne remained steady with 49 transactions recorded during the last quarter of 2012; matching the 49 sold in the last quarter of 2011. In 2013, Gisborne has seen demand soften, particularly for properties priced $400,000 and above. Dwellings on five or more acres with a value over $600,000 are typically subject to a greater number of days on the market.
Transaction activity in Woodend and Kyneton, however, has been less fruitful with Woodend recording only 34 transactions in the fourth quarter of 2012, and Kyneton recording just 20. However, Woodend values have remained stable during the past six months, indicating the market has reached a trough.
New land releases in Gisborne and Woodend have performed well, with properties in local estates selling fairly quickly. However, there are now fewer buyers in the market for vacant land as demand has been absorbed. As a result, land prices have seen a correction in the order of five to 10 per cent.
Meanwhile, in the rental market local estate agents report a softening of rental returns – a result of the redress of the local supply shortage apparent 12 months earlier.
The local market is expected to hold steady in 2013 with only nominal fluctuations in prices. A reduction in competition among buyers means that vendors must adopt more realistic expectations when it comes to setting a reserve price.
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Adrian Graham, Residential Valuations Manager (Vic)
WBP Property Groupbuying property, Macedon Ranges, Mornington Peninsula, property investment, property values, real estate, Regional Victoria