Year-round appeal gives beachside real estate the edge over ski fields

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Mt Buller is the most viewed ski resort for real estate but doesn’t come close to the most popular coastal destinations.

APRES ski in the snow or sunning yourself by the beach?

It seems potential buyers are choosing the coast over the alps when it comes to trawling properties and that’s good news for our region.

A comparison of online property listing views by realestate.com.au has found Lorne and Apollo Bay top the state’s ski resorts when it comes to our favourite playgrounds.

Lorne properties recorded an average of 1186 views per listing, with 527 per property in Apollo Bay.

This compared with 419 for the most popular Victorian ski resort, Mt Buller.

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More buyers are checking out views like this one at 104 Smith St, Lorne

The Swaney Draper designed house sold for a record price in the $4.9 million to $5.4 million range in May.

Realestate.com.au chief economist Nerida Conisbee said the comparison of buyer demand showed beachside regions were far more popular than the alps.

But she said the figures were much closer when you started looking at coastal holidays towns that are a similar distance from Melbourne to the alpine regions.

“Lakes Entrance and Apollo Bay see more than any of the alpine regions but it isn’t much higher,” Ms Conisbee said.

“It seems Victorians like the idea of a beach house more, provided it’s relatively close to Melbourne.”

13 Hazel St, Lorne just sold for $2.2 million.

Great Ocean Road Real Estate, Apollo Bay agent Darren Brimacombe said the international reputation and natural attractions of the Great Ocean Road made it a year-round destination.

“The ski fields have not got those tourist attractions for the off season whereas we have got things like the Twelve Apostles,” Mr Brimacombe said.

“The Great Ocean Road is unique world wide so it comes with the confidence of growth.”

He said the June school holidays were the busiest he had seen in more than 20 years in Apollo Bay and Chinese visitor numbers were booming.

An artist’s impression of the Kooroora development at Mt Buller.

“It makes the town look busy. From an investment point of view, and most of those property are going back into the holiday market, you see the occupancy,” he said.

Great Ocean Road Real Estate, Lorne agent Ian Stewart said coastal destinations weren’t so weather dependent.

“To me there is no comparison,” he said.

But Castran managing direct John Castran said demand was also running hot for ski field pads.

“Beach houses are getting more expensive and you can use snow houses in the summer as well,” Mr Castran said.

“All of the resorts have seen significant visitation increases (in the warmer months), especially in Falls Creek because of the mountain bike riding.”

Inside one of the chalets at Mt Buller’s Whitehorse Village.

Buying in the snow can also be more complicated because you buy a leasehold title as it is on Crown Land and that can impact on getting finance.

SKI VS SUNSHINE (Views per listing)

Beachside regions

1. Portsea 1773

2. Lorne 1186

3. Apollo Bay 527

4. Lakes Entrance 423

Alpine regions

1. Mount Buller 419

2. Dinner Plain 403

3. Falls Creek 381

4. Mount Hotham 301

Source: realestate.com.au

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