Owner-occupiers biggest winner as investor interest drop offs

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More families are choosing to raise their children, like these members of the Norlane West Scout Group, in the northern suburbs. Picture: Peter Ristevski

SCHOOL enrolments are flourishing in Norlane as owner-occupiers start to reclaim a stake of the affordable northern suburb.

Interstate investor interest buoyed the area’s property market last year, making it one of the best performing capital growth neighbourhoods in the region.

But Harcourts, North Geelong agent Joe Grgic said that market had dropped off in recent months, creating an opportunity for others to get a foot in door.

This two-bedroom house at 33 Yooringa Ave, Norlane is on the market for $269,000 to $289,000.

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“The investors, particularly from Sydney and Melbourne have cooled right off,” Mr Grgic said. “That’s more to do with lending and their own markets so that has changed a bit.

“Owner-occupiers are strong and we are seeing homes that people want to move into going very well.”

A three-bedroom house at 10 Kentucky Ave, Norlane is listed for $440,000-$480,000.

Norlane’s median house price surged a staggering 22.8 per cent in 2018, CoreLogic data shows.

But with the average house selling for $355,000 it’s still bargain buying compared to neighbouring Geelong suburbs and Melbourne.

Mr Grgic tipped further price growth given the median house price in suburbs like Lara, Lovely Banks and Bell Park now sit above $500,000.

“You just can’t buy better value within 70km of Melbourne,” he said.

One of the schools in the area has had its highest enrolment in the last couple of years and we are seeing a lot more people with an appetite for property.”

He said many buyers from Melbourne likened it to their parents buying in unpopular suburbs Fitzroy and Heidelberg decades ago only to watch them flourish into desirable neighbourhoods.

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