Melbourne effect: Regional city’s $55k house price jump in 3 months

Droves of new residents and interstate investors have pushed up house prices in Geelong ??? but the city’s median house price remains $400,000 cheaper than Melbourne.

Geelong is the only regional Victorian hub to record double-digit house price growth in the past year, new data shows.

In the year to September, the median house price for the state’s second-largest city jumped $55,000 to $475,000, according to the Domain Group’s latest State of the Market report.

???The increase represented annual growth of 13.1 per cent, on par with Melbourne’s 13.9 per cent growth in the same period.

The figures come as little surprise to property pundits, who say the city’s housing market has flourished off the back of Melbourne’s soaring house prices.

G.J McDonald Real Estate director Samantha Davidson said demand for housing had noticeably increased in the last six to 12 months.

“We’re finding there has been a lot of Melburnians … and certainly a lot of Sydney investors coming down to invest in Geelong,” Ms Davidson said.

“I suppose that’s unfortunate for the Geelong people, that it’s pushing them out of the market at the moment. But it’s certainly increasing prices across the board.” Related: Melbourne house price growth slowsRelated: Regional places to live outside of Melbourne

Real Estate Institute of Victoria chief executive Gil King said Geelong held widespread appeal because prospective buyers did not have to compromise on amenities, infrastructure or access to the city.

“Geelong is benefiting from strong price growth in Melbourne, with buyers looking to get a foothold on the property ladder within easy commuting distance of the city,” Mr King said.

Melburnians are turning to Geelong as an alternative to purchasing in the outer suburbs, he said.

“Improved road and rail infrastructure commitments by the state and federal governments is likely to drive future price growth in the Geelong region,” he said.

Domain Group chief economist Andrew Wilson said Geelong was an affordable major regional centre in with a port, university, hospital and airport.

“Geelong is a little bit similar to Wollongong in New South Wales,” Dr Wilson said, adding that Wollongong’s house prices had soared since 2015.

“There’s more upside to Geelong. It still looks undervalued to me.”

Victoria-NSW border city Wodonga has also recorded positive annual growth figures.

The median house price has risen from $321,000 a year ago to $342,500 this quarter.

Wodonga Real Estate’s Mark Rosevear said prices had steadily grown for the past five years.

“Land prices continue to gather momentum and they’re increasing regularly as well,” Mr Rosevear said.

He said suburbs close to the town centre had performed well, but land packages in new estates were also in demand.

“Predominantly we see people wanting a bit of a yard ??? a 700- or 800-square-metre block.”

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