Best areas to invest in Geelong, Torquay, and Lorne 2023
Looking to sell your property in Geelong, Torquay, or Lorne?
You may be torn between hanging onto your property or selling it, to take advantage of Victoria’s booming regional markets. In a year when the pandemic still made its presence felt globally, regional living appealed to many who wanted to access affordable property and a slower, less congested lifestyle. This prompted many city dwellers to opt for a sea, tree or hill change and decamp from their relatively congested and pricey city lives.
We can track the ‘flight from the cities’ in Victoria by looking at Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) data that indicates Melbourne lost 8,300 residents in the March 2021 quarter, with 4,800 of them moving elsewhere in the state. This is the highest number of all the capital cities over that timeframe.
What did the property market in Geelong, Torquay, and Lorne look like in 2021?
Geelong is a little different to the other two towns we’re covering here, being the state’s largest regional city with a population of around 264,866. Located just 75 kilometres south-west of Melbourne, it has been attracting city slickers long before the pandemic hit, though the Covid pandemic accelerated this trend.
Geelong boasted a clearance rate of 93.3 per cent over the September 2021 quarter.
According to the Real Estate Institute of Victoria (REIV), the median house price in Geelong hit $1 million in the September quarter of 2021. This is a rise of +11.5 per cent from the previous quarter. Contrast this with a median house price of $570,000 for regional Victoria, where house prices advanced just +2.4 over the same timeframe. Demand for housing in Geelong is reflected in the clearance rate of 93.3 per cent over the September quarter.
Data from REA Group’s PropTrack indicates that the Geelong Region town of Ocean Grove recorded the highest sales volume of any suburb in the area, with 405 houses sold over 2021. Other suburbs with sales up by a third over the year include Highton, Armstrong Creek, and Corio.
A little further down the Surf Coast, and it’s a similar story in Torquay, where the REIV reports that house prices surged +10.2 per cent over the September quarter, for a median price of $1.11 million. PropTrack recorded 338 sales in Torquay over 2021. Meanwhile, 45 minutes down the Great Ocean Road, and the town of Lorne has a median house price of $1.7 million, which is a healthy gain of +10.37 per cent over the past year.
So how are these three locations predicted to perform over 2022? Let’s see what the experts think.
How are Torquay, Lorne, and Geelong house prices expected to change in 2022?
Overall, markets are widely predicted to correct over 2022, given the runaway growth recorded over the previous year.
NAB’s Quarterly Australian Residential Property Survey (Q3 2021) believes that demand for “lifestyle-oriented properties and holiday homes” is likely to continue in 2022. Despite this, they forecast Geelong will “slightly underperform” Melbourne over the next three years, primarily due to key incentive schemes aimed at first-time buyers ending.
NAB predicts a rise of +18 per cent in median house prices in Geelong.
Their prediction is for the median house price in Geelong to reach $824,000 by June 2024, which is a rise of +18 per cent. Many agents and experts are still bullish on the Geelong property market as investment in a diverse range of sectors—including government, manufacturing, technology, education and health—is expected to drive further growth.
Anecdotal reports from real estate agents on the Surf Coast indicate that low stock could hamper price growth in locations like Lorne in 2022. Instead of selling up and making the most of current demand, existing owners are holding onto their holiday homes and either moving into them or adapting them to use for part of the year.
Let’s now take a look at how the apartment market in these locations has fared.
What's the Torquay, Lorne, and Geelong apartment market like?
Even though houses dominate in all three locations, it is useful to reference the performance of apartments if you are thinking of selling your property or investing in one. Overall, like many markets across the country, they underperformed houses over 2021.
Units in Geelong recorded softer performance over 2021, dropping -9.7 per cent over the September quarter for a median price of $650,000. According to realestate.com.au, units recorded a compound growth rate of +3.9 per cent, with units renting for $420 per week for a rental yield of 3.8 per cent.
In Torquay, units also underperformed detached houses, up +3.6 per cent over the September 2021 quarter for a median price of $800,000. Over the past five years, units in Torquay have recorded a compound growth rate of +8.8 per cent. You can expect to receive $500 per week rent in Torquay, with a rental yield of 3.0 per cent.
Let’s now dial in on the best suburbs to invest in these locations in 2022.
Best suburbs to invest in Geelong, Torquay, and Lorne in 2022
For suburbs in Geelong to watch in 2022, Terry Ryder of Hotspotting recommends the following locations:
- Belmont, with a median house price of $645,000, which recorded a compound growth rate of 15.6 per cent in 2021.
- Corio, with a median house price of $410,000, which recorded a compound growth rate of +13.5 per cent in 2021.
- St Albans Park, with a median house price of $495,000, which recorded a compound growth rate of +16.4 per cent in 2021.
If you are interested in a coastal sea change town similar to Lorne or Torquay on the Surf Coast, CoreLogic recorded the following locations with outstanding price growth:
- Fairhaven, with a median house price of $1,725,000, which recorded a compound growth rate of +23.4 per cent over 2021.
- Anglesea, with a median house price of $1,300,000, which recorded a compound growth rate of +31.0 per cent in 2021.
- Aireys Inlet, with a median house price of $1,625,000, which recorded a compound growth rate of +32.7 per cent in 2021.
- Jan Juc, with a median house price of $1,310,000, which recorded a compound growth rate of +40.9 per cent in 2021.
2022 and beyond…
The big question on everyone’s mind is what impact the pandemic will have on our lives in 2022, but only time will tell what transpires.
QBE believes we should expect more disruption, “given the unique and complex nature of COVID-19,” while SQM Research is more positive, providing restrictions do not hamper the ability of the property sector to function, and buyers/sellers to transact.