Those living locally in Emerald and Dandenong Ranges are upgrading to bigger and better properties and driving quick sales in the region.
He added that more expensive properties, which are in short supply, are the most popular among locals keen to upsize in the popular hillside suburbs.
These are mainly larger family homes, lifestyle acreages and vacant residential blocks priced from $900,000 to seven-figure sums.
The first-home buyer and investor markets in Emerald and nearby suburbs, for homes priced at and below $800,000, have cooled in recent months, Mr Nicholas said.
“The buyer profile has changed from when we saw many buyers from the eastern and inner-city suburbs coming here in 2020 and 2021,” he said.
“But for the last three or four months, there are more locals keen to upgrade and live in the area … there is more appreciation of what Emerald and the area offers.”
Mr Nicholas also noted there was more townhouses development, with older buyers and retirees from the area snapping up these low-maintenance homes.
Local buyers' demand for their second or third homes or lifestyle properties meant shorter times on the market.
“The top end of the market is doing very well, with anything over $1 million selling quickly,” Mr Nicholas said.
“Spring has started well, with the momentum from buyers coming back and after a July and August when listings were high and sales good.”
He noted that while September has not seen a surge of listings, the lack of supply was good news for sellers.
“With homes still tightly held, there is competition among buyers, and we are still getting two or three buyers per listing,” Mr Nicholas said.
A sought-after property was 9 Maisie Road, Emerald (pictured above), which sold in six days with four potential buyers pushing the result above the quoted range. The lifestyle property on 4000sq m fetched $1.29 million.
Another quick sale was 23 Emerald-Monbulk Road, Emerald (pictured above), which had high inspection numbers and drew multiple offers. The five-bedroom home of more than 2000sq m changed hands for $1.585 million.
Also expected to sell within days is a resort-style home on 1.47 acres at 205 Ure Road, Gembrook (pictured above), which attracted 18 groups at the first inspection despite the wet weather. It has a price guide of $1.35-$1.45 million.
Among the agency’s top sales in September was the $1.7 million fetched for 1 Kitty Lane, Clematis (pictured above), with the grand acreage property offering stunning views.
In Macclesfield, large properties have also sold strongly, with a vacant 10-acre block at Lot 2, 191 Spillers Road (pictured above), selling for $990,000.
And a similar acreage home with an original three-bedroom house at 76 Kirkpatricks Road, Macclesfield (pictured above), sold in a week for an undisclosed price. It was listed with a $1.25-$1.35 million price guide.