Hillside towns are bustling with buyers headed to Emerald and nearby Cardinia suburbs for affordability and a change of lifestyle and scenery.
In Melbourne’s outer southeast suburbs where the property market in previous years ambled along with steady sales is now seeing some homes selling within a week, according to Barry Plant agents.
Locals and buyers from nearby areas are competing for the scarce number of properties for sale against people from the city and inner-city areas.
“We average 50 groups a sales campaign … a jump over the average of 20-25 groups a property previously,” Barry Plant Emerald director and sales manager, Justin Barrot said.
“And sellers are getting seven to eight offers for a property.”
The surge in demand started late last year after the lockdowns, Justin added, with family buyers looking for lifestyle changes attracted by prices and large blocks.
“Living in Emerald and nearby areas is now more viable because of the increased ability to work-from-home,” Justin said.
“Previously it was thought that Emerald was too far to commute.”
Property prices in Emerald, located 42km from the city, have risen 5-6 per cent from last year while some homes have seen a 10-15 per cent rise, according to Justin.
The suburb’s median house price is $771,000 in the year to March 30, according to realestate.com.au.
The agency has a quick turnover of properties for sale because of the imbalance in demand and supply with an average of 10 days on market for its listings.
There were only 21 properties for sale and five for rent in Emerald as of April 11 on realestate.com.au.
“Previously we had an average of 35 days on market but now we cannot get enough homes to sell to meet demand,” Justin said.
Demand has also risen from first-home buyers who are getting out of renting and moving to the region.
Residents in the area tend to hold on to the homes for long periods but houses become available when older residents downsize or move into retirement living.
“Those who have been here for 50-60 years are downsizing but remaining in the area, moving to townhouses and units closer to the village shops,” Justin explained.
In March, the agency had an increase in properties for sale but the market remains “very tight and competitive and houses are selling very fast”, according to the Emerald agency co-director Riley Nicholas.
“In the last four to five weeks, properties have sold in less than seven days and if buyers miss the first open, they miss out,” Riley added.
“Buyers are making offers very quickly and many of them come from our database.”
Homes on acreage are also popular and are now seen as more accessible, with nearby suburbs such Cockatoo and Gembrook offering larger blocks.
In Emerald, an updated four-bedroom house on 1203sq m at 156 Emerald-Monbulk Road recently went under offer for well above $900,000. The property drew more than 50 groups at its inspections and the offer was well above what the agents and the seller expected.
In nearby Menzies Creek, a property sprawled over 4ha at 25 Aura Vale Road, fetched $1.25 million, which was the top of its price guide.