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Growth in Geelong house prices tipped to continue while sales plateau

By Emma Smith

Article by Peter Farago

Geelong has been Victoria’s strongest market for the past two years.

GEELONG’S property market has passed its peak but house prices are tipped to continue to rise in 2019, a leading analyst predicts.

Hotspotting founder Terry Ryder said Geelong missed out on the latest national top 10 regional hotspots because the city had in fact been one of the nation’s brightest markets in the past two years.

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But Mr Ryder said the trend in monthly sales volumes, which is used to measure demand and predict future price growth, showed the city has passed its peak, with sales plateauing in more suburbs than they were rising.

Strong demand should hold capital growth, but sales have plateaued in more Geelong suburbs than they are rising. Picture: Peter Ristevski

Hotspotting’s National Top 10 Regional Hotspots report, which ranks Bendigo, Ballarat and the Latrobe Valley, was released as the January figures from CoreLogic’s home value index showed a further weakening in the rate of price growth in Geelong.

CoreLogic figures show dwelling growth eased .8 per cent in the three months to January 31, with the annual growth figure showing capital growth at 6.5 per cent.

Geelong’s median house value was $585,000, the figures showed.

Melbourne dwelling values dropped 3.2 per cent in the quarter, with the annual fall measured at 7 per cent.

Bendigo has been tipped as the nation’s top regional hotspot.

Mr Ryder said Geelong had been Victoria’s number one market for a couple of years.

“We try to feature future hotspots and Geelong is no longer that. We’ve featured it a lot in our reports in the past two years,” he said.

“It’s got to the point where it’s pretty hot in fact.

“By our measure it’s past a peak. It’s still producing very strong price growth.”

While sales data showed that price growth was levelling out, Mr Ryder said the strong buyer demand would continue to deliver strong growth for homeowners in 2019.

Strong growth is also tipped for Ballarat.

He said house prices in 24 Geelong suburbs had risen more than 10 per cent annually, while six were had growth more than 20 per cent, including Corio and Norlane in the north, which had added between 52 and 59 per cent in value in the past three years.

“Prices are still strong, we probably expect the rate of price growth to come back a bit as it winds down.”

Mr Ryder said first-home buyers were very active at the moment, particularly around the fringes of Melbourne and that activity continued to spill into Geelong.

CoreLogic head of research Tim Lawless said regional markets were generally showing healthier conditions relative to the capital cities, led by regional Tasmania and Victoria which made up seven of the best 10 regional markets.

Regional markets offered first-home buyers a better chance of getting on the property ladder, he said.

“The lower valuation brackets have benefited from higher demand from first-home buyers as well as tighter lending conditions for borrowers with higher debt to income ratios which is likely supporting a shift of demand towards lower price points.”

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