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Magazines : Our Place - Geelong Region Magazine 2011
Property prices on the rise THE City of Greater Geelong's median house price has risen 9 per cent to $379,750 in the last year. Newtown continues to be Geelong's most expensive area, with homes worth $150,000 more, a 28.6 per cent increase to $675,000 in the last year. Norlane remains the most affordable suburb, with house prices rising $30,000 to $200,000, Real Estate Institute of Victoria's figures show. The figures also show: BELMONT grew 13.1 per cent to $357,500. CORIO was up $13,000 to $217,500. GEELONG WEST rose 4.8 per cent to $382,500. GROVEDALE has risen $9000 to $325,000. HIGHTON was up 7.1 per cent to $482,000. LEOPOLD rose $20,000 to $330,000. The median house price in Bar won Heads, the most expensive coastal area, jumped 18.3 per cent to $615,000 in the last year. All of the coastal towns and areas experienced an increase, including: SURF COAST, where median prices rose 8.3 per cent to $560,000. TORQUAY, which had an increase of $12,000 to $527,000. OCEAN GROVE, which has risen 11.1 per cent to $450,000. PORTARLINGTON, which grew $58,500 to $428,500. Newtown continues to be Geelong's most expensive area. This impressive art-deco style property in Roebuck St sold after being listed for $2.75 million. "We are seeing the older generation selling their big Melbourne family homes and moving into Geelong to down- size, with a townhouse in a nice metropolitan area, Jim says. "Here they can have a cosmopolitan lifestyle for half the price and put the leftover money into a retirement fund. "We are also seeing families from Melbourne looking for a more relaxed lifestyle buying into suburbs with good educational and sporting facilities. "Young couples looking to upgrade into a larger property and to be in areas closer to schools are moving to Geelong rather than pushing out into the outer suburbs of Melbourne, because housing is more affordable. e Whitcher family falls into that category. Kylie, husband Simon, five year-old Xavier and two year-old Bridie moved from Melbourne s Moonee Ponds to Newtown last November. ey hoped the move would support a slower-paced lifestyle focused more on family and less on work. "We wanted to get out of the rat race, get out of spending time in traffic and get a bit more space, Kylie says. "Geelong ticked all the boxes. It has nice schools, it s a nice area and we could easily continue our line of work here. "Initially I thought I would have to commute -- which is one of the reasons we choose Geelong over other regional cities, as it s only an hour -- but I managed to get a job at the Geelong Hospital s Andrew Love Cancer centre as a radiation therapist. "My husband, Simon, is a ceramic tiler, so he was able to move his business because there is so much building and renovation going on in and around Geelong. e Whitcher family s Newtown home is slightly larger than their Melbourne home. "We built a home in Melbourne on a small block and we thought it would be our forever home, but as the kids grew we wanted a bit more space, Kylie says. "But to get that in Melbourne really means moving to the outskirts of the city or hocking yourself financially, which we really didn t want to do. "Now we have a big house with a good-sized yard in a quieter suburb. We love it. Dale Whitford, director of Whitford Property, says it s not hard to choose Geelong over Melbourne based solely on market prices. "In inner-city Melbourne you won t get anything resembling a house for $400,000; you may get a one-bedroom apartment but not a house, he says. "But in Geelong, in suburbs like Belmont, Geelong West, Grovedale or the low end of Highton, you can get a house with change. "Money goes a lot further down here. Jim Cross agrees, saying Geelong West, Newtown and Manifold Heights are suburbs popular with Melbourne purchasers. "We are also seeing an influx of buyers starting to look over the Barwon River in Highton and Waurn Ponds, as the finished Geelong ring road means they are easily accessible from Melbourne, he says. "Geelong has really grown out of its sleepy hollow, industrial reputation and has built a name as a fantastic lifestyle city. Our Place - the Geelong Region Magazine 33
Breakaway Autumn 2011