Prioritising location or home size has become a dominant decision for Geelong homebuyers as the region’s median house price approaches $800,000.
New PropTrack data for June reveals the region’s median house price reached $794,500, a rise of 17.7 per cent or almost $120,000 in 12 months.
While increased competition from people seeking to escape the city heightened demand and sparked the rise in prices, in the wash-up people were faced with getting less bang for their buck.
The Advertiser has found six properties on the market now at or around the median price.
Buxton agent Tony Moorfoot said people were balancing location with block and house size when sticking to a budget, which the character home at 35 McDonald St, East Geelong demonstrates.
“Something like McDonald St you are buying a location, something with three bedrooms, one bathroom. It’s a north facing (414sq m) block in a ripper area which is still really good value,” he said.
“Twelve months ago for that price you were having a bit more living space, another bathroom.
“You’re getting a smaller home there, but you’re getting a premier location closer to the city. “But at the end of the day you’ve got to weigh up what’s worth it for you – are you looking for land and a bigger house or for a different location, close to things as well.”
Location is also key for a house at 102 Eastlakes Blvd, Lara.
Ray White, Lara agent Matthew Wade-Taylor said lakefront views in the Grand Lakes Estate and Millars Cafe a couple of minutes away on foot made it a “lifestyle property for downsizers”.
It has three bedrooms, an office, two bathrooms and one large living area with an enclosed outdoor space, he said. It’s on a 484sq m block.
Mr Wade-Taylor said the strongest demand was for properties in the $600,000 to $750,000 price bracket, though the urgency had dropped out of the market in recent weeks.
“The market for those type of properties there are a lot of buyers,” he said.
“Now the demand has dropped off a bit and the supply is increasing, so buyers have got more choice now so there is less urgency.
“The last month with interest rises, people are worried but what people don’t realise is where the interest rates are now are where they were at pre-Covid. The interest rates are still really low and there is still a lot of confidence in the market.”
Perhaps the most stark example is an original two-bedroom house at 5 King St, Belmont.
Ray White, Highton agent Adam Natonewski said the home was worth more until the former growth zoning was changed, cutting the development scope of the 729sq m site.
“The value is in the property, the rest is an original shack that’s not going to demand a huge rental yield at $380 a week,” he said.
“If you’re buying it for $800,000 and getting $380 a week, it’s not your greatest investment.”
Mr Natonewski said it was entry level for that part of Belmont.
“There really isn’t a lot of property that you can purchase and live in comfortably for under $700,000,” he said.
“Anything below that you need to roll up your sleeves and hook straight into it.”
Avenue Five, Armstrong Creek agent Sam Parsons said rising renovating costs had seen buyers prioritise quality inclusions over land size in the growth suburb.
Mr Parsons has listed a four-bedroom, two-bathroom house at 42 Noosa Circuit, Armstrong Creek.
The 448sq m Warralily Coast home has two living areas, a wood heater, plus a covered patio and good access to Torquay and the Armstrong Creek Town Centre.
“People would always look at the land size and do their equations off that and then the house or its amenities,” Mr Parsons said.
“Now people are prepared to pay more money for a house with the right inclusions with nice finishes and fixtures and a good quality home.
“We saw 12 months ago people were happy to renovate, happy to put in a new kitchen and rip out a bathroom. But with the availability to trades and things, they’d rather it done.”
A bigger 660sq m land parcel underpins a four-bedroom, two-bathroom house at 97 Matthews Rd, Lovely Banks, Buxton agent Ivan Fantela said.
The Burbank home a contemporary design in the Phalaris Park estate with two living spaces, a large main bedroom suite and a large covered outdoor entertainment area.
Proximity to Deakin University and Epworth Hospital underpinned the modern design with four bedrooms and two bathrooms at 10 Hewat Dr, Highton, listing agent Michelle Winckle said.
She said the 410sq m property commanded a higher price because of the Highton address.
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