Back at our desks after the summer break those lazy days at the beach can seem like a distant dream. But for some of us the summer brought not only a beach holiday but, for some, a new beach house or even a seachange and a permanent move to the coast. For agents and coastal towns, the summer months are the busiest of the year. Agents often work long hours, and up to seven days a week, to meet the influx of visitors and help those looking to find a weekend getaway, or even a permanent house well away from the bustling Melbourne CBD.
From October to mid-February, there were just over 2150 house sales worth $717.6 million in Victoria’s most populous coastal areas. This is up almost 10 per cent on summer two years’ ago, and consistent with last year’s summer sales outcome. Most of the sales this year took place on the two peninsulas on either side of the bay, with almost half on the Mornington Peninsula and more than 40 per cent in Greater Geelong – which includes a number of Bellarine Peninsula suburbs including Clifton Springs and Portarlington. Another popular area was the surf coast.
The median house price for those areas over the past four months was $500,000, although as anyone who has ever looked for coastal property or stayed in a holiday home will know, the variety of properties ranges from tiny beach shacks to luxury, multimillion dollar mansions. The median price for units and apartments in coastal areas was $391,000.
The Mornington Peninsula was responsible for $507.9 million worth of summer sales, with a median house price of $530,000 and a median unit price of $412,000. The standout peninsula town was Blairgowrie, with a clearance rate of 82 per cent from 11 auctions. Next was Greater Geelong, with sales worth$177.5 million, a median house price of $425,000 and a median unit price of $330,000.
On the Surf Coast, with sales worth $19.4 million, the median house price was $565,500, while in Queenscliffe, there were about 30 sales with a total value was $12.8 million – and a median house price of $787,500. Auctions, that popular Saturday sport in Melbourne even for those not househunting, are far less common on the coast. Over summer this year, auctions only accounted for about 370 – or 17 per cent – of the more than 2000 summer sales in these coastal areas.
Having said that, auctions still increase in popularity when the crowds flock to the coast. Throughout the year auctions in our favourite coastal hideaways only account for one in 100 of all Victorian auctions. This summer, four per cent – or one in 25 – of all Victorian auctions were held in these beachside retreats.