BUYERS will have a better chance of securing a dream home at a realistic price as experts predict subdued growth in Geelong.
After price growth peaked at 16 per cent in August, the bubble burst when two big gluts of new properties hit the market over spring.
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Values continued to rise with the median house value hitting $588,000 in December, according to CoreLogic.
Agents say buyers waiting for the market to fall should reconsider their plans.
CoreLogic senior research analyst Cameron Kusher said a correction won’t be as severe as the capital, where values fell 5 per cent.
“It’s not going to slow down to the magnitude that it has in Melbourne, but certainly in the next year you are going to see a slowdown in growth in Geelong — it doesn’t have the affordability advantage that it used to.”
Harcourts, North Geelong agent Joe Grgic said the federal election will be a watershed.
“People will realise things are okay and the economy is still strong,” he said.
Population growth is a key factor.
“It goes back to all the things we love about Geelong,” Mr Grgic said.
“We now talk about Avalon being an international airport, about the fast rail, the convention centre getting off the ground and the affordability and amenities we offer in Geelong.
“When we get upset that we’re stuck in traffic on Shannon Ave for 10 minutes, it’s nothing — people from other parts of Australia will see this as a great place to live.”
McGrath, Geelong agent Jim Cross said population growth and cheaper prices put the region in good stead.
“Our market is still getting a lot of volume (of buyers) out of Melbourne and some out of Sydney,” he said.
“Even off the back of the 2007-08 financial crisis, we didn’t see values fall away, it just slowed down for a while and once everyone got more confidence back it kicked on again.”
Buxton agent Ben Riddle said it was easy to assume the falls in Melbourne and Sydney would occur in Geelong.
“We’ve had buyers come in and say they are waiting for the market for drop,” he said.
“With all the Melbourne buyers on our doorstep, we can’t see the market dropping as such — we see it going to a level playing field with steady growth, as opposed to the double digit growth for each suburb.”
But a hangover of properties not yet sold would curtail demand in early 2019, he said.
“The difference is while we’re not seeing two or three bidders above the vendor’s expected price, we’re still seeing a buyer there that will pay that price or close to it.”
Geelong buyers advocate Tony Slack said fear or missing out has dissipated.
“There were more buyers that missed out and were really determined to get something before Christmas last year,” he said.
“I don’t think there’s going to be the overhang of buyers like the start of 2018.”
Mr Slack said more homes will be offered for private sale, while agents will be recommending the best buyers in week one of auction campaigns.