Greater Geelong: A thriving sea-change suburb reimagined over the years

The second largest city in Victoria, a gateway to some of the state’s best tourist towns and just an hour from Melbourne’s CBD, it’s no wonder Geelong is at the centre of a booming real estate market.

Greater Geelong is 75km southwest of Melbourne and covers an area of 1,247km with a beautiful mix of suburban, coastal, and country areas.

The region is made up of 50 suburbs and townships and its population is expected to reach 393,216 by 2041 from the current 264,866, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

Barry Plant Geelong agents say the municipality offers “everything Melbourne does, at a more affordable price point, with lifestyle at the forefront”.

“We have beautiful beaches, a stunning coastline, the Bellarine is on our doorstep, not to mention fantastic schools, easy commutes, and a thriving café, bar, and nightlife culture,” one Barry Plant agent said.

“From a real estate perspective, our median house price is below the state’s average, but we are slowly catching up and we are seeing plenty of growth at the moment, with no signs of slowing down.”

The latest data from the Real Estate Institute of Victoria reported the median house sale price in Greater Geelong was $641,000 for the first quarter of 2021. This was a 4.2 per cent rise from the $615,000 in the previous quarter.

The median house price for Geelong’s CBD is $825,000, up $37,500 in just three months from $787,500. In 2017 the median house price was below $600,000.

Geelong West has seen the biggest annual change with a 23.5 per cent rise to $811,250. In 2017 it recorded an average median price of $545,000.

Great prospects for growth are predicted by Barry Plant Highton agents.

“Geelong has been growing nonstop, even when the Melbourne property market hit a lull, we have still been going strong,” one agent said.

“From an investors’ perspective, it’s been a pretty easy ride ... we get reasonable yields with an average of 3.5 per cent and vacancy rates are so low it’s so easy to rent out your property.”

The city of Greater Geelong is considered a high-demand market with 939 visits per property listing, according to realestate.com.au. The municipality is made up of older couples and families, established couples, and independent youth.

A bigger pool of buyers is adding heat in Geelong, with locals competing against Melbourne and interstate buyers, and even investors.

“Last month’s stats show that four out 10 properties for the Barry Plant Geelong office, sold to Melbourne buyers,” one local agent said.

“There’s a lot of people wanting to move from Melbourne and it’s easy to see why with our amenities, education options, career prospects, and thriving lifestyle.”

Greater Geelong is home to over 50 kindergartens, 70 primary schools, and over 20 secondary schools. There are two Deakin University campuses, with the Waurn Ponds campus recently launching a renewable microgrid with Australia’s biggest on-campus solar farm.

The investment within the region also continues to grow with $4.3 billion in major construction and redevelopment underway or planned within the next two years.

Renowned for its sporting and events, Geelong is home to the GMHBA Stadium, while the region hosts the world-famous Bells Beach Surfing Classic, the Australian International Airshow, the Festival of Sails over Australia Day long weekend and many other tourism-driven festivities.

Made up of three stunning sub-regions including Moorabool Valley, the Surf Coast and the Bellarine, Greater Geelong boasts stunning coastlines, 60 boutique wineries producing premium handcrafted wines and is proud of its creation of one of Australia’s favourite ales, the Furphy.

Reimagined over the years, Greater Geelong has a thriving café culture, with a few local favourites - Eddy and Wills, 63 Degrees Highton and the popular Coffee Cartel Brew Bar. By day it is serving up great coffee, and by night it becomes a training facility to teach skills ranging from cupping and latte art, to whisky and tea pairing.