A BELLARINE Peninsula community has emerged as one of the nation’s best growth prospects of 2019.
Leopold is ranked in the top 50 “super-charged suburbs” in Hotspotting’s summer Price Predictor Index, where the rising trend in sales is tipped to lead to future capital growth.
The report shows the volume of sales climbed in three consecutive quarters, from 71 and 87 in late 2018, setting up homeowners for higher house prices.
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It’s one of four Geelong locations rated as growth suburbs, along with Armstrong Creek, Corio and Ocean Grove.
Leopold’s median house price hit $492,500 late last year, rising 10.7 per cent in the past 12 months, CoreLogic data shows.
The report also highlighted that Geelong had reached the peak of its growth cycle, with the trend in sales having plateaued in more suburbs than it was rising, Hotspotting founder Terry Ryder said.
“Geelong remains a strong market — one of the nation’s most prolific — but sales activity is no longer growing the way it has over the past two years,” Mr Ryder said.
“But the strong demand of the past two years continues to deliver price growth — 24 suburbs of Greater Geelong have risen more than 10 per cent in the past 12 months, with Corio, Norlane, Newcomb, St Leonards, Whittington and Indented Head all above 20 per cent.”
Leopold’s rise comes after leading real estate investment trust Charter Hall paid $117 million for the Gateway Plaza shopping centre in 2018.
The retail trust’s chief Greg Chubb said forecast population growth through residential development and a higher per capita income in the area made the Coles, Kmart and Bunnings-anchored centre an attractive prospect.
Buxton agent Brett Johnston said new infrastructure supporting the community meant the area offered buyers more bang for their bucks.
He also pointed to the future extension of the ring road to just west of Leopold and talk in the community of a possible secondary school as reasons people now saw Leopold in a different light.
“We’re only 15 minutes to the beaches at Ocean Grove and the hospitality has increased down the peninsula with the wineries and boutique breweries, so it’s a sleeping giant,” Mr Johnston said.
“You can actually get in to the city of Geelong a lot quicker than you can from Armstrong Creek.”
While many locals upgraded or downsized within the area, the comparable affordability, particularly of its older housing stock, made it a beacon for Melbourne investors.
“They’re looking at it from a business transaction and the profits they’re able to attract by moving to a place like Leopold are second to none,” Mr Johnston said.
Resident Adele Cameron said it was clear Leopold would be a lovely suburb to raise a family when she and her husband built a decade ago.
“It’s close to the beach without being at the beach, with the Bellarine on our doorstep,” she said.
“I can’t actually remember not having the plaza there, I can’t even remember what we did before we had it. I guess the fact that it is there makes life easier and to me it certainly is an attracting having it there to stay in Leopold,” she said.
Ms Cameron said her family of four was upgrading in Leopold and selling their four-bedroom house of eight years at 44 Curtain Dr.
Geelong market rankings
|Suburb||Rating||Median price||Capital growth|
|Armstrong Creek||Rising steadily||$532,500||13.3%|
|Corio ▲||Rising steadily||$370,000||21.3%|
|Leopold ▲||Rising steadily||$492,500||10.7%|
|Ocean Grove ▲||Rising steadily||$690,000||11.3%|
|St Albans Park||Consistent||$430,000||14.1%|
|Bell Post Hill ▼||Plateaued||$482,500||12.6%|
|Clifton Springs ▼||Plateaued||$468,250||13.4%|
|Hamlyn Heights ▼||Plateaued||$540,000||9.6%|
|Herne Hill ▼||Plateaued||$550,000||15.3%|
KEY — Rising steadily: A sustained rise in sales volume to be followed by a rise in prices.
Consistent: A steady sales volume likely to lead to steady long-term price growth.
Plateaued: Sales activity has passed its peak but settled at solid levels, price rises to steady.
▲/▼ change in ranking since July report. Source: Hotspotting, CoreLogic (Median house price, capital growth over 12 months to November, 2018)