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Rye, Inverloch and parts of Barwon Heads could provide the perfect entry point for families looking to buy a holiday home on the Victorian coast.

As properties prices soar in Melbourne, coastal townships are also offering a cheaper way into the market for those with an eye to retirement.

Data from Domain Group (owned by Fairfax Media) shows there is a clutch of towns across the state that offer good value in either scenario, and have prospects of more than 5 per cent growth this year.

Andrew Wilson, senior economist at the Domain Group, said Australia had turned into a country of savers since the global financial crisis, with discretionary purchases such as holiday homes put on hold.

But strong prices growth in some Melbourne suburbs could translate into confidence, he said.

“If rising prosperity from aspirational buyers in Melbourne leads to thinking about buying a holiday home … these are popular holiday destinations which still appear to offer good value,” he said.

Holiday home hunters shopping for a getaway on the Mornington Peninsula with a lifestyle similar to that in Portsea and Sorrento – beaches, cafes and amenities – but without their hefty price tags, could consider Rye.

Compared with a typical house in Portsea, which could set buyers back by $1,165,000, the median house price in Rye sits at just $470,000.

Hocking Stuart Blairgowrie director Craig Evans said there seemed to be particular interest in homes within 500 metres from the front beach and close to shops. Buyers looked for a holiday home they could potentially do up, or knock over to build afresh, for retirement in the future, he said.

“All our buyers are coming from the south-east suburbs,” Mr Evans said. “And with the Peninsula Link, and the ease of getting to Rye, it’s only an hour for most people to get down to holiday territory.”

For those wanting a piece of the Peninsula’s most expensive property, Andrew Wilson believes it could be an ideal time to buy.

“If you’re at the top-end of town looking for a holiday home, those areas are now just really ripe in terms of [prices] being flat there for quite some time,” he said.

“Portsea and Sorrento really do offer good value for the ultra-prestige buyer because prices there are below their previous peaks.”

Along the Surf Coast, house prices have been pushed up by holidaymakers and sea changers.

Compared with the traditional holiday resorts they were 50 years ago, Dr Wilson said the Surf Coast had been attracting more long-term residents.

But buyers could still find value in coastal villages such as Barwon Heads, where the median is $658,000. It’s an alternative to Lorne further down the Great Ocean Road, with a house median of $745,000.

Vendors Clive and Vivienne Moulday are selling their home of three years at 29 River Parade, Barwon Heads, and plan to downsize to a single-storey house they’re building in the town.

Mr Moulday, 65, said the town had not undergone much change since the couple bought the home.

“Torquay and those areas are just going ahead with their growth corridors,” he said. “[Barwon Heads] is not going to be overdeveloped because it’s bounded by the sea, the river and the wetlands.”

Listing agent Peta Walter of RT EdgarBarwon Heads is quoting $1,575,000 for the three-bedroom house near the Barwon River.

With a house median of $391,250, Inverloch could be an option for those looking on the Gippsland coastline.

“It’s a traditionally popular destination east of Melbourne,” Dr Wilson said. “It has more value than if you’re looking at dollar for dollar [compared with] the other side of the bay.”

Buyers with an even tighter budget could consider Winchelsea, south-west of Geelong, where the median house price is just $299,000

Dr Wilson said the town, which offers a combination of the sea and tree-change lifestyle, could be an option for buyers priced out of the Surf Coast.

Holiday getaways, Median house price

  • Winchelsea $299,900
  • Sandy Point, $366,500
  • Rosebud West, $370,000
  • Inverloch, $391,250
  • Rosebud, $396,250
  • Tootgarook, $400,000
  • Cowes, $400,000
  • Bittern $420,000
  • Rye, $470,000
  • Barwon Heads $658,000

Source: Domain Group senior economist Andrew Wilson


Posted by Christina Zhou – Domain (Fairfax) on 5th April, 2015