With its wide choice of properties and still affordable prices, Dromana has become one of the most attractive areas for homebuyers.
The suburb has been dubbed the “best little town on the peninsula”, and is among a dozen on the Mornington Peninsula that saw prices rise rapidly during the pandemic as lifestyle buyers, sea and tree-changers, and others headed to coastal areas.
Set between Safety Beach and McCrae, Dromana has many features that are attractive to buyers such as owner-occupiers, investors or holiday-home owners.
“The other major attraction of Dromana and nearby Safety Beach is the quality of the beaches, as these two suburbs have among the best beaches on the Mornington Peninsula.”
Mr Burgoyne, who has several decades’ experience in real estate, recently opened the Barry Plant Group’s newest office in the suburb.
“Dromana has a great choice of cafes, restaurants, wineries and access to educational and medical facilities,” he said.
“It is a beautiful part of the peninsula and it has been drawing many new buyers from the city and eastern suburbs of Melbourne.”
He noted that buyers from suburbs such as Glen Waverley and Blackburn could cash out and sell their homes for $1.5 million and buy in Dromana for $1.1 million.
“These buyers will have plenty of change leftover and retire comfortably in Dromana.”
For buyers working in the city, easier access has made commuting smoother as well, Mr Burgoyne said.
“The median house price is $1.1 million and this makes it still very attractive to buyers,” he added.
House values in 12 coastal suburbs on the peninsula rose by 40 per cent-plus during the pandemic between March 2020 and March 2022, according to CoreLogic data.
Values have since dropped by as much as 15 per cent, with values in Dromana retreating 8 per cent after rising by a huge 50 per cent.
A total of 122 houses sold in the suburb in 2022, with the median price rising 11 per cent in the year to December 2022, realestate.com.au figures showed.
There were 59 houses available for sale in a recent one-month period, with a median of 34 days on the market. The real estate website also reported 2812 buyers interested in the suburb’s listings.
Units in Dromana are more affordable, which is good news to those seeking low-maintenance properties, such as single-level homes. The median unit price was $787,500 in the year to December 2022.
The suburb spreads over 6.2sq km and has a wide variety of housing styles that will appeal to a range of buyers.
“The beauty of Dromana is the variety in housing, with single-level units for downsizers to large homes close to the beach, or hillside properties with 180-degree bay views,” Mr Burgoyne said.
“Units are priced as low as $600,000-$650,000 or you could spend $3-$4 million on a luxury home.”
But the supply of homes is limited and getting tighter as the suburb is considered both a holiday home destination and also popular with lifestyle buyers who intend to settle there permanently, Mr Burgoyne added.
The peninsula’s real estate market also operates quite differently from other areas. A distinctive feature is the summer selling season that stretches from November to February, with buying activity continuing over the Christmas-New Year period.
“The market here does not stop over Christmas as people buy any time, particularly in summer when the market comes alive,” Mr Burgoyne added.
For investors, houses in Dromana can fetch an average rent of $550 per week, with an annual rental yield of 2.6 per cent, while units can rent for $460 per week and have a yield of 3.4 per cent.
Based on five years of sales, Dromana has seen a compound growth rate of 18.5 per cent for houses and 1.7 per cent for units, according to realestate.com.au.
With a population of just 6626 residents in the 2021 census, the suburb also has an inland area that sits at the foot of nearby Arthurs Seat, where a tourist cable car operates.
Its commercial hub and shopping area is centred around the coastal boulevard of Point Nepean Road.
The popular foreshore reserve offers plenty of recreation spots with picnic areas, walking trails, camping areas and shelters. The beaches are sandy and calm, and provide safe swimming and boating opportunities.
Places of interest along the coast include Dromana Pier and the rocky escarpment at Anthony’s Nose.
Heronswood is a heritage-listed property situated on an elevated 2ha site and overlooks the bay. The house and gardens date back to 1871 and are open for visitors to explore and enjoy.
The area is also home to many vineyards, with more than 22 vintners operating in the suburb.
A popular local attraction is the Dromana Drive-In cinema that opened in 1962 that boasts an American-style diner.
Prior to European settlement, the area was known to the Boonwurrung and Kangerrong people.
The name Dromana is believed to be of Irish origin and came about from the influx of gold prospectors in the late 1830s.