Market Report
08.27.2021

What Does Lockdown Mean For The Surf Coast Property Market?

The Surf Coast property market has exploded in 2021.

There’s no doubt the year got off to a flying start. Since December 2020, Torquay’s median house price has risen by 15.4%, from $875,000 to $1,010,000 at the end of July. Meanwhile, Anglesea’s median has increased 13.6% from $1,100,000 at the end of 2020 to $1,250,000 in July 2021.

Demand is through the roof and properties are selling for previously unimaginable sums, which is great if you’re selling, but trickier if you’re buying.

We take a look at what’s behind the boom, and what impact we expect the current lockdown to have on our local real estate market.

Prices on the rise

The year to July 2021 was a bumper twelve months for property not just here on the Surf Coast but across the country. According to CoreLogic Australian dwelling values rose 16.1%, the highest annual growth rate since February 2004. The national combined regional housing market increased by 19.6% over the same period, while the Melbourne market also rose, but only by 10.4%, the lowest increase of all the capital cities.

Now, compare these figures to what happened in the Surf Coast market over the same period. According to realestate.com.au, Anglesea houses rose in value by 26.9%. In Torquay houses went up by 21.7% and units jumped up 18.9%. Meanwhile, houses in Jan Juc spiked an incredible 38.5%.

Price increases like these leave no doubt that Surf Coast property is in high demand.

In fact, prices have been rising so fast, that Domain published a list of locations where people’s houses earned more than their average wage over 12 months. No surprise that Anglesea and Jan Jac were among the top 10 for regional Victoria.

What’s driving the market?

Last year COVID-19 sparked a well-publicised exodus from Australia’s capital cities, with 300,000 people leaving the big smoke behind in favour of a tree or sea change. Melburnians led the way, with 26,000 of them relocating to regional towns. In total, regional Victoria gained 60,000 new inhabitants last year, mostly Melburnians, along with incomers from regional NSW and Queensland.

The outcome of this influx of new residents? A shot in the arm for regional property markets like ours. With international travel off the cards since early 2020, we also saw increased activity in the holiday house market, with city dwellers opting to buy or upgrade Surf Coast holiday homes.

COVID-19 also prompted hundreds of thousands of Australian ex-pats living overseas to return home, and the injection of these cashed-up buyers into the local property market added to demand.

Add to this explosion of buyers a shortage of available properties for sale and you start to see exactly why Surf Coast house prices have increased so steeply in the last twelve months.

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How will the current lockdown impact the market?

Now that regional Victoria is in lockdown again, in-person property inspections and auctions have been put on hold. But people still need to move, buy, sell and rent and we expect that given the strong buyer demand and a limited number of homes on the market, those vendors who choose to sell during the lockdown period will still get good results.

Even if the lockdown does result in a quiet period for our local property market, we would expect things to pick up where they left off once the lockdown lifts, just as they have at the end of previous lockdowns. And CoreLogic data backs this up.

The fundamentals of a strong economy and property market are still evident, with record low-interest rates, good access to borrowing, low unemployment and high consumer confidence.

And, as we approach the traditional Spring selling season, we expect to see the number of property listings increase, particularly if lockdown restrictions are lifted. But we’re not expecting demand to let up any time soon.

The data

Here’s where the Surf Coast property market was at on 28 July 2021, according to realestate.com.au:

Torquay
House median price: $1,010,000
House median rent: $570 per week

Unit median price: $788,000
Unit median rent: $480 per week

Anglesea
House median price: $1,250,000
House median rent: $600 per week

Jan Juc
House median price: $1,275,000
House median rent: $560 per week

If you’re thinking of buying or selling on Victoria’s beautiful Surf Coast, don’t hesitate to contact us. We are happy to help.