Investors do homework on student digs as first-time buyers miss out


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Student accommodation demands for nearby Deakin University are motivating buyers in Grovedale. Picture: Supplied.

FIRST-HOME buyers waiting for Grovedale property prices to fall are missing out to Melbourne investors, a local real estate agent says.

Hayeswinckle, Highton, agent Yan Lin said first-home buyers accounted for 50 per cent of groups attending open homes but were coming off second best to fast-acting investors looking to cash-in on student housing.

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Waurn Ponds Shopping Centre is a big drawcard for buyers in neighbouring Grovedale.

“The average price in Grovedale is around $500,000, it is still attractive to first-home buyers, but the investors are ready to go and they are buying to rent out to students,” Ms Lin said.

“I sold three properties last week, all to Melbourne investors.

“Investors love that Grovedale is quite central now and because it is close to Deakin University and Waurn Ponds Shopping Centre.”

House prices in the suburb grew 13 per cent last year as the area continued to remain popular with investors.

CoreLogic data shows the suburb’s median sale price hit $488,000 while rental yield was a healthy 4.2 per cent.

Ms Lin said she took 25 groups through 132 Pioneer Rd last week and half were first-home buyers.

Grovedale residents have easy access to Marshall Train Station. Picture: Alan Barber

“The first-home buyers are hoping prices will drop because of the drop in prices in Melbourne. They are happy to wait but this is Geelong, not Melbourne. I want to tell them to just go ahead,” she said.

“The investors are ready to go because they understand the high rental return.”

Ms Lin predicted the Grovedale area would become a student hot spot.

“In buildings that are registered for student accommodation with the City council, owners can rent one room for $210 per week and they can fit six to eight students in one house,” she said.

Buyers were keen to buy into Grovedale in the last year with 244 homes snapped up in an average of 15 days.

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