REGIONAL Victoria continues to outshine Melbourne’s softening property market, seeing a healthy increase in the median house price across most regional centres and coastal towns with some standout sales.
Lifestyle choices, proximity to water, land supply and healthy market competition in greenfield residential estates that offer a diversity of living options, has to a point, insulated our region from the corrections being seen in the city.
However, we are seeing reduced auction clearance rates and a reduction in the number of vendors choosing this option when selling their property.
To the agent’s credit, many properties passed in at auction have been successfully sold by negotiation shortly after the auction.
Yes, the property frenzy is over as the reality of tough regulatory credit requirements bite resulting from the fallout of the Banking Royal Commission.
In reality, this is just another cycle we are going through; yes, the banks were out of control with relaxed lending criteria and commissioned-based incentives to non-bank entities that put profit as the main consideration when lending.
But the reaction to being caught out has led to an overreaction by regulatory authorities, banks and lending institutions, who have introduced an intrusive and complex list of lending criteria that many customers cannot meet.
This will change in time as the strict new credit criteria eats away at the banks profits as loan refusals outweigh approvals, and in time, the pendulum will swing back to a more reasonable approach to lending.
In the meantime, be aware that every tap of that card that records everything from your drinking and eating habits, to that extravagant holiday or impulsive purchase, will be assessed by the lending institution in your next credit application.
Nerveless, properties are still moving in our region, maybe not as quickly as recent years, but priced accordingly, with the emotion and hype taken out of the equation, they are selling, and we are still in a healthy market.
Much of the younger generation who have bought property in the last 10 plus years, who have never experienced an interest rate rise, or are of the belief that real estate will only go up, are most likely the ones to find the new market direction hard to swallow.
Yes, interest rates will go up, and when they do, they may just continue to do so for some time, many of us can still remember the days of 20 per cent, but a heathy economy and relatively low unemployment rate should ensure we never see that number again.
The Real Estate Institute of Victoria (REIV) also cites regional Victoria as having been the star of the Victorian property market in 2018 noting some exceptional sales in the region.
The apex sale was in Victoria’s most expensive regional postcode, Barwon Heads, where Carr Street property sold for $4.15 million in July, boasting Barwon River frontage complete with a boat ramp, moorings and jetty.
The second highest sale was for 48 Eastern Beach Road, Geelong, which exchanged hands for $4 million.
While a modern masterpiece with lap pool and striking views in Ocean Grove’s Orton Street sold for $3.07 million in April (the fourth highest sale of the year).
Out in the regions, the Ballarat suburb of Lake Wendouree recorded the third highest sale in Regional Victoria of 2018 to date with a four-bedroom house on Sturt Street selling for $3.1 million in February.
Not much separated number five and six on the list: a stunning six-bedroom, two-level home close to Point Lonsdale Lighthouse and a Ravenswood manor which both sold for $2.85 million.
They were followed by a four-bedroom masterpiece in Lorne which was snapped up for $2.6 million.
Coming in at number eight was 7 Balmoral Court Rippleside with a $2.6 million price tag, followed by another Lake Wendouree property at 143 Wendouree Parade selling for $2.6 million and at number 10 was an architectural home on 50 acres in Mount Franklin at $2.55 million.