In Focus

Switching gears

Christian Marotta

Christian Marotta

September 2015

Time for a change? As the pace of life becomes ever more frenetic in the city and property prices continue to rise, Melburnians are turning to areas where there seems to be more time to stop and smell the roses … or eucalypts.

Two such locales within close reach are the Macedon Ranges and the Mornington Peninsula. In the former, 16% of its residents moved to the region from another part of Victoria in the five years leading up to the 2011 census, while on the peninsula the figure was 12%. This movement of those pursuing a tree or sea-change is having a considerable impact on property values, whether they are baby boomers retiring to a coast or country lifestyle, urban escapees looking for a more affordable property, city commuters, or those seeking a “weekender”. Proximity to the city, education and transport links are certainly reasons why both areas remain in demand, creating opportunities for both home owners and investors.

With international interest in semi-rural lifestyle options gaining popularity, demand is growing for vacant land blocks, new homes and development opportunities, particularly in Sorrento, Blairgowrie and Rye on the peninsula, and Woodend, Kyneton and Riddell’s Creek in Macedon.
For those feeling the pull of the ocean, the 2013 opening of the Peninsula Link Frankston bypass in 2013 dramatically improved accessibility to the peninsula, leading to unprecedented development and investment. This is due in no small part to the area’s increasingly high-profile food and wine offerings, great beaches, a plethora of walking tracks and bike trails, local markets and world-class golf courses. Reflecting this, towns such as Flinders and Sorrento now have median house values above $900,000, while Blairgowrie has a current median of $665,000, with 13.2% annual growth.

The Macedon Ranges, meanwhile, had steady population growth of 1.5% over the past year, with demographers predicting 42% growth between this year and 2036; baby boomers (aged 51-69) comprise the biggest group of those relocating. High-quality housing and lifestyle are among the driving factors, along with the spectacular surrounds that include Mount Macedon and the renowned Hanging Rock. Woodend – home to our Macedon Ranges office – is the quintessential modern rural village, and the nearby towns of Gisborne, Kyneton and Romsey remain popular with buyers. A two-hectare Kyneton property featuring a contemporary four-bedroom, four-bathroom home recently sold for $995,000.

Jellis Craig services the coast and country areas from two offices. In Sorrento, director Emil Foller has for more than 12 years covered Portsea, Cape Schanck, Blairgowrie, Rye and surrounds; in Woodend, directors Tom May and Paul Keane boast a combined 39 years’ experience in the industry.

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