Why Geelong homebuyers are back in the game in early 2019


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Buyers are achieving more realistic prices after the heat has come out of Geelong’s real estate market. Picture: Mike Dugdale

BUYERS are back in the property game in Geelong as more real estate on the market eases pressure on prices.

A new CoreLogic regional market update shows a 13 per cent fall in the number of properties to change hands in Geelong last year.

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A rise in stock on the market in 2019 has helped give buyers more bargaining power. Picture: Alan Barber

McGrath, Geelong agent David Cortous said the fall in supply of available properties contributed to a hot market last winter.

But he said a correction in spring that has held more homes on the market into 2019 has brought buyers “back into the game”.

CoreLogic analyst Cameron Kusher said the report shows the market is still strong but starting to slow down.

“I think that’s what we’re going to expect throughout the year,” Mr Kusher said.

“It’s still one of the better performing regional markets but we are seeing some indicators, like properties are taking a bit longer to sell, that the latest growth has slowed,” Mr Kusher said.

The report showed the median value for Geelong houses hit $581,000 by the end of 2018.

CoreLogic analyst Cameron Kusher said indicators point to slower price growth in 2019. Picture: David Clark

Mr Kusher said it meant the affordability advantage for Melbourne buyers had passed to other regional cities, like Latrobe-Gippsland, Ballarat and Bendigo.

“The people who are selling are going to have to be more flexible in their prices and willing to negotiate if they are serious about selling,” he said.

“There are still transactions in the market and what that means is their properties are sitting on the market longer so the listings numbers are tending to mount because the stock isn’t shifting off the market.”

Mr Cortous said most sellers may not achieve the inflated prices others got last winter.

“I think we will have a fairly stable market but it’s good for buyers because it will give them a bit of a reprieve because there’s a lot more stock on the market,” Mr Cortous said.

“The level of stock on the market is the highest it’s been since 2012, so it brings the buyer back into the game a little bit,” he said.

“I think the market now is stable, there’s buyers and the vendors can still achieve good prices, but they may not quite reach the levels that some of them reached last winter.”

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