SAVVY Geelong investors priced out of other coastal markets have started to swoop on bayside Bellarine Peninsula towns.
Cheaper price tags and growing lifestyle benefits are twin factors driving interest in places like St Leonards.
Neville Richards, St Leonards agent Luke Campbell the emergence of Geelong investors was a recent trend in the town.
MORE REAL ESTATE NEWS: Backyard tennis courts serve up hours of entertainment
Coveted Jan Juc location with water vista in a league of its own
Cats star Wylie Buzza pounces and secures Geelong property
“I think the Bellarine Peninsula has evolved from a lifestyle perspective,” Mr Campbell said.
“Ten years ago it didn’t offer much but now there are wineries and boating and the Surf Coast and other places have become too unaffordable.”
Steady demand in St Leonards pushed capital growth to 19.5 per cent in the past 12 months, with the median house price hitting $540,000, according to CoreLogic.
But those who bought three years ago have ridden growth of 50 per cent.
Mr Campbell said a few years ago buyers could snap up a house in St Leonards in the low $300,000s but the entry level now sat around $420,000.
“Beachfront properties now sell for over $2 million in Portarlington,” he said.
Despite new buyers discovering value in St Leonards, Mr Campbell said the majority of interest was still out of Melbourne.
Regular ferry services between nearby Portarlington and Melbourne have helped put the once underrated side of the peninsula on the map.
“The ferry has been huge just in terms of awareness and it gives day-trippers an opportunity to just come and see the area,” Mr Campbell said.
“We have also sold to people who are commuting (by ferry) daily.”