Geelong top 10 for new home approvals

The Geelong region has shown itself to be one of the fastest growing regions in the country by being the only region outside of capital cities to make the top ten regions for house building approvals in Australia over the past financial years.

According to the CoreLogic RPData report, Geelong sits at number 10 for the highest number of building approvals in Australia with Melbourne and Perth featuring very strongly.

The reports highlights Geelong’s growth as a regional city and as a lifestyle destination for many people moving to the area.

“For the past year or so, the national press has painted a grim picture of Geelong due to job losses in the manufacturing sector,” says Advance Homes  director Scott Hunt.

“However many people investing in Geelong or moving to the area to live, recognise it as an ideal lifestyle choice, with lower property prices, great infrastructure, and a coastal location.”
With the increasing regularity of train services direct to the Melbourne CBD, plus infrastructure project such as hospitals, shopping centres and road projects, Geelong has a very bright future indeed.

“Many investors recognise Geelong as one of the best investment opportunities in regional Australia,” adds Scott.

“Lower land costs often mean higher rental yields than in the capital cities which makes it very attractive for investors seeking positive cash flow.”

Residential growth corridors in the Geelong region such as Armstrong Creek and Curlewis provide great opportunities for investors and first home buyers alike.

Graphic source:

Tips for first home buyers to get into the market

If you believed what you read in the media, you would think that first home buyers have absolutely no hope of ever owning their own home. This could not be further from the truth. In many ways first home buyers have better opportunity to purchase their first home than the generations before them. Interest rates are lower than ever. The first home owners grant (FHOG) offers a $10,000 kickstart to the first home, and the cost to build a good quality home is lower than ever.

Certainly if first home buyers are not prepared to make a few sacrifices, or to think a little outside the square, then getting into the property market may seem daunting. However these three simple tips will help to get first home buyers into the property market and building towards their ultimate family home:

1. Think of your first home as the first stepping stone on your path to achieving your property dreams.

Too often I speak to first home buyers who want it all; large home with all the bells and whistles. First home buyers should be looking at their first home as a stepping stone to bigger and better things, rather than going for their dream home first up. Their first home may be something they live in for a few years while they build more equity, their income increases and they find themselves in a better position to purchase a larger home. Their first home can then become an investment, or can be sold to fund a larger second home.

2. Buy where you can afford, then rent where you want to live

Many first home buyers complain that they cannot afford to buy their first home in the suburbs that they want to live. They do not want to move to a more affordable suburb for reasons of access to work, schools and friends. So they mistakenly believe that they are unable to get into the property market.

One way around this is to buy an investment property in an area that is affordable; for example a regional area. Then they can rent in the suburb that they wish to live. This way their investment property is paying for itself while building equity. The first home buyer continues to live the lifestyle they wish yet are gaining advantages from being in the property market and can build towards buying a home in their preferred area.

Purchasing an investment property as your first home will not negate your ability to access the first hime owners grant, provided you only use the first property a an investment and then claim FHOG on your first home.

3. Build instead of buying established

At the moment the Australian and State governments recognise the need for new housing stock to be added to the market to cater for a growing population. There are therefore advantages on offer for building a new home, most importantly the First Home Owners Grant (FHOG). In Victoria the FHOG is $10,000 for new homes only. This provides instant equity in your first home.

In addition to this, a brand new home can often be built well under the market value of the completed property. This also provides instant equity in the property, meaning you are well on your way to being able to purchase your second property or upscale toward your dream family home.

So while the doom and gloom stories of the hardships faced by first home buyers sells newspapers, it is far from reality. By speaking to an Advance Homes property professional, you will be able to learn more about the great opportunities available to first home buyers in today’s market.

Armstrong Creek to get primary school and special school in $32 million funding boost

A primary school and a special school will be built side by side in Armstrong Creek as the State Government prepares for boom times in the burgeoning suburb.

Premier Denis Napthine visited the site at the Warralily Estate yesterday to announce the guaranteed $32 million investment with South Barwon MP Andrew Katos.

Moments earlier the Premier was at nearby Grovedale College, where he announced a $6.4 million election promise to help the school upgrade its facilities and prepare for the population influx from Armstrong Creek.

The Education Department has purchased 13ha of land at Warralily for the two schools, leaving it with enough room to also build a secondary school in the future.

The primary school will hold up to 500 students and the special school as many as 150 five-18 year olds.

They will be built with money from this year’s state budget as part of public/private partnership, with construction expected to start next year before an opening date in 2017 or 2018.

Building is expected to start next year before an opening date in 2017 or 2018.

Dr Napthine said the new schools were about planning for the future.

Andrew Katos and Denis Napthine announce funding for the new schools in Armstrong Creek.
Andrew Katos and Denis Napthine announce funding for the new schools in Armstrong Creek.

“This is an area that really will boom in the next few years. It will be the home of somewhere between 55,000 and 65,000 people,” he said.

“We, as a Government, have a responsibility to build the infrastructure as the community grows so the children will have great local schools.”

Warralily general manager of development Mark Whinfield said the estate was selling faster than any other area in Victoria, and confirmation of the schools would add further to its appeal.

“We are experiencing rapid growth with a current population of 2000 and 20 new families moving in every month,” Mr Whinfield said.

“Providing schools in walking distance from homes is an important part of our ­vision to create a vibrant, connected and sustainable ­community.”

A view over Armstrong Creek’s Warralily estate.
A view over Armstrong Creek’s Warralily estate.

Building companies will vie to construct the two schools and the 11 other new schools across the state.

Other schools include a Tor­quay North primary school, a special development school in Hamlyn Heights and a primary school in Bannockburn.

Expressions to design and build all 13 schools will open this month, with the tenderer given a 25-year contract to maintain the property.

Mr Katos — who, with his family, moved into a new home at Warralily last week — said the Government was preparing for population growth.

“I can see we need to do this. We don’t want examples … where the kids are here but there’s nowhere for them to go to school and they’re being bussed all over the place,” he said.

“We want people to be educated and have services available within their own local communities.”


New release of Dunes Estate Torquay provides boon for buyers

The recent redesign of the latest stage release for the Dunes Estate in Torquay has provided the opportunity for some outstanding value house and land packages being released by Advance Homes.

Proving extremely popular in stage 2 were Advance Homes’ packages priced under $400,000 and the new release provides the opportunity for similarly priced house and land packages.

“The packages provide an opportunity for home buyers who normally would not be able to afford to buy in Torquay,” said Scott Hunt, Advance Homes’ Managing Director.

“The sub-$400,000 packages in stage 2 were very popular for first home buyers, investors and downsizers alike,” added Scott.

“We have sold some packages to first home buyers who were over the moon that they could build their first home in Torquay when they previously thought that this would be impossible.”

The Dunes Estate provides an ideal family coastal lifestyle with direct access to new secondary and primary school, sporting facilities, and the new Torquay North shopping centre. This is all just a few minutes to Torquay’s world famous beaches.

Advance Homes provides full turn key packages meaning that there are no hidden costs, everything is included so that you can simply turn the key and start living in your new home.

Four bedroom house and land packages are available from Advance Homes from $385,500 for first home buyers.

Suburb spotlight: Not all gloom and doom for Geelong

Geelong didn’t win the AFL premiership like it often does, and a spate of well established companies have been shedding hundreds of jobs over the past 12 months, but there’s no dampening the city’s enthusiasm or prospects for growth.

Property prices are holding, and new companies are establishing, such as the first stage of the disability care agency for the National Disability Insurance Scheme, in July. The state government will spend around $300 million on the scheme to employ around 300 people by 2016 plus another 150 at the regional Barwon office.

And Epworth HealthCare and Deakin University are building a 394-bed joint teaching hospital at Waurn Ponds with 1,100 effective full time positions and around 1,000 construction jobs.

So, things are certainly not all doom and gloom.

Dr Andrew Wilson, senior economist for Australian Property Monitors, describes Victoria’s second largest city as a “great survivor” well able to handle economic ups and downs. “Geelong has kept its head up, and, overall, employment prospects remain good despite concerns about manufacturing – such as the closure of Ford.

“There are lots of advantages in living there: Geelong’s the gateway to the ‘sea change’ lifestyle, it’s far less expensive that Melbourne, and those that choose to commute to Melbourne offset that against the more relaxed lifestyle there.

“Even the closure of Ford could be a strength: the government will no doubt provide assistance for the local economy and Avalon will become Melbourne’s second international airport providing jobs and possibly more manufacturing.”

“Demand for real estate in the seaside city has ‘’never looked better,” according to local Barry Plant agent Tim Palioudis. “At the moment the market is the best it has been in a long time.”

Palioudis, a director for the past three years, disagreed that job losses were a catalyst for a depressed property market. “Job losses can seem a lot worse than they really are,” he said. “People often move to different areas of a company when one part closes down, but that doesn’t show up in the headlines.”

Median prices for Geelong are around the high $300,000s for an average three-bedroom house on 600 square metres. Median unit prices are in the low-to-middle $300,000s.

Prices for those in better areas, such as Newtown – “our Toorak” – start at $600,000 for a renovated terrace house and can go well above $700,000. The age of houses is no deterrent, with 80 and 90-year-old Victorians and Edwardians attracting strong buyer interest.

Palioudis said growth areas included the old golf course in North Geelong which has been subdivided, as well as Hamlyn Heights and Herne Hill which have views of the bay.

He said Geelong had multiple demand factors, including the expansion of Deakin University, tourism, the bay, affordable housing in comparison with Melbourne and proximity to the capital.

Nick Lord, of Maxwell Collins, anticipates a limited impact from the closure of the Ford plant. He said Geelong has grown to have strong employment in areas such as education and health “to name just a few”.

He says the city has changed over the recent years with people “continuing to commute to Melbourne for work while enjoying the Geelong lifestyle”.

Ben Young, a commercial and industrial agent with Colliers International in Geelong, said these were “definitely interesting times” for retail and industrial letting in the city. “CBD retail is slow with the impact of online shopping and the after effects of the Westfield expansion around Malop Street and the market Square shopping complex,” he said.

“But the best investments are still a good tenant and a strong lease.”

Young said there had been a “strong push” in the commercial/industrial market up until the election but this had slowly abated. Most of his deals are in the 200-600 square metre bracket with a wide mix of tenants and purchasers.

The Waurn Ponds and Armstrong’s Creek growth areas were doing well, he said, “but without the volume out of Melbourne developers were expecting”.

Young said the city’s best retail strips – Pakington Street, Geelong West and High Street, Belmont – were “doing well” with leases of 50 square metres to 200 square metres proving to be solid investments. Yields are around 4.5%.

The exit of the ‘three majors’ – Ford, Alcoa and Shell – has been counteracted to a certain extent by the arrival of other employers: the expansion of Deakin University, the Epworth Hospital/Deakin University training facility at Waurn Ponds, expansion of John of God Hospital and the arrival of a vehicle wheel maker who uses carbon fibre technology.

“Coastal retail is flat, with landlords after high rates that are hard to achieve in a seasonal trading period.”

Young said this was “a good time to be buying in the Geelong CBD. I see growth, especially in retail and refurbished office markets. Rates will continue to climb.”’s Terry Ryder – a big believer in the potential of regional city property markets for growth – provided they have diversified economies – says new ventures in the pipeline will counter-balance the economic impact of the closure of Ford and other potential job losses in Geelong.

These include the Regional Rail Link and the plan to make Avalon the second international airport for Melbourne.

Ryder says Geelong will continue to have “strong future as an affordable lifestyle alternative to Melbourne, with improving transport links to the city”.

Article Source: Property Observer – Forward Planning (

Geelong property ranks high among profitable suburbs

SUBURBS across the Geelong region are among the most profitable in regional Victoria, new figures show.

Research from RP Data shows nine Geelong suburbs recorded profits for 100 per cent of repeat house sales in the past 12 months.
Grovedale recorded the highest number of repeat sales in the state’s regional top 50, with 97 per cent of the 158 houses selling above their previous sale price.

Units in Colac, Drysdale, Manifold Heights, Ocean Grove, Point Lonsdale and Whittington also recorded a perfect profit record.

RP Data Victoria housing market specialist Robert Larocca said the figures confirmed that buying in Geelong’s real estate market was a good investment in the medium to long-term.

He said the disparity in price points of the top 10 showed that buyers did not have to buy in expensive suburbs to see excellent returns.

“The vast majority of home owners do make profits on their purchase as long as they hold it for between nine to 12 years,” he said.

“When the market does vary over any given year, people worry about what it means for them and the home they bought,” Mr Larocca said. “If you take a medium to long-term view, you’ll see that vast majority of people will gain a profit on their initial purchase.

“Geelong is coming up quite high in those tables across Victoria, which shows that it does have quite a strong property market compared with non-metropolitan areas in the state. Just because most people are able to buy in at lower price point doesn’t meant they are going to get a worse outcome.”

“While properties outside of Melbourne city appreciate at a slower rate, they are more stable and less volatile.”

Many suburbs in the 3216 postcode were high on the list, no surprise to Hayeswinckle AGENT managing director Daniel Hayes.

“The amenities in (postcode) 3216 are great _ it’s in Victoria’s second-biggest city, with access to the ring road and plenty of quality schools,” Mr Hayes said.

Despite the area’s high growth, he said it was still affordable.

“The whole area has come alive and ticks a lot of boxes, particularly for families.”

“That said, it’s not over-priced for first-home buyers at all.

“Astute buyers can still buy a run-down weatherboard home for $350,000, renovate it and potentially make a profit.”

On the Bellarine Peninsula, Queenscliff also recorded 100 per cent of profit-making sales and has the region’s longest hold period, with residents staying in their homes for an average of 15.4 years.

RT Bellarine agent Peter Cordner said the results could be deceiving in the quiet Queenscliff market and predicts a telling summer season ahead.

“In Queenscliff, some properties won’t sell because they’re far too expensive, therefore making the market look good,” he said.

“With the recession and election, the market has not been that great overall, despite rates going down it hasn’t created any mad activity here.

“We do sometimes get the runaway auction over summer this summer will give us an indication in a way of where the market is going.”

Highest proportion of profit making sales: Regional units
(Rank, suburb, no of repeat sales, % profit making sales, median value)
1 Queenscliff 15 100% $710,672
2 Winchelsea 2 19 100% $255,343
3 Bell Park 3 46 100% $318,978
Marshall 4 11 100% $335,823
5 Wandana Heights 5 25 100% $561,203
6 Waurn Ponds 6 24 100% $458,398
7 Manifold Heights 7 39 100% $472,878
8 Breakwater 8 11 100% $250,796
9 South Geelong 9 10 100% $419,670
36 East Geelong 36 56 98% $413,342
Source: RP Data

Article Source: Geelong Advertiser – Lifestyle (

Geelong development set to offer property opportunities

Victoria’s second largest metropolitan area is set to experience further growth in the near future, as the release of a new housing plan may boost the economic landscape of Geelong.

This could be great news for anyone interested in taking out a home loan and purchasing property in the area. With a number of opportunities for investment loans and first home buyers alike, there are a huge number of real estate options opening up in the area.

Planning Minister Matthew Guy said the newest growth area in the region, called Lara West, will house more than 10,000 new residents when it is completed.

“The Lara West Precinct Structure Plan will open up Geelong’s north as a new growth front, providing hundreds of local jobs and millions of dollars in investment into Australia’s twelfth largest city. The approval of this structure plan is a huge economic shot in the arm for the Geelong economy,” said Mr Guy in a February 6 statement.

Alongside the development of residential properties, there will be three new schools, community and sporting facilities, $37 million worth of new roads and new community infrastructure, which will provide 300 new jobs in the region. Furthermore, a neighbourhood activity hub will also be created – adding another 185 ongoing jobs in the region.

This development comes at a great time, with the region expected to grow over the next 30 years, with the goal of housing an additional 500,000 residents by 2050.

Mayor of Geelong Darryn Lyons said the hope was to encourage future investment in the region, especially with this type of growth on the horizon.

“If people are looking at moving to Geelong, Lara West will be a great option. Not only will it provide sensational new community facilities, it will also facilitate hundreds of jobs through essential infrastructure and construction works, another plus for Geelong,” said Mr Lyons in a February 6 statement.

source: article from Wide Bay Australia Corporate Information – In the News (

Bendigo, a regional success story

There is nothing of the frenzy of its gold rush past but for more than a decade, Bendigo has grown quietly into a model regional city that showcases the opportunities for business outside the big metropolises.

This success has created jobs, which, along with an enviable quality of life, has attracted new citizens. Bendigo’s unemployment rate is just below 5 per cent, less than the national average and comparable with Melbourne. The population has grown by just less than 2 per cent for a decade and this growth has fuelled economic growth which in turn has increased the population further, a virtuous circle of regional development.

The co-director of Bendigo-based furniture maker Jimmy Possum, Margot Spalding, cannot speak highly enough of the place. Spalding says there are a number of reasons for the city’s attraction – its proximity to Melbourne, its weather, the quality of its schools and entertainment areas and its thriving arts scene – particularly the Bendigo Art Gallery, jointly funded by the Greater City of Bendigo council and the state government. And, of course, the city is home to Australia’s best-known regional bank. “People all over Australia have a positive view of Bendigo Bank,” she says.

The director of the City of Greater Bendigo, Stan Liacos, says Bendigo Bank’s strong growth over the past 15 years has contributed to the city’s renaissance, fostering a regional finance and professional services industry.

“We are the Zurich of regional Australia,” Liacos says, only half joking. Liacos stresses the diversity of the economy, with a strong food, health, mining and manufacturing presence.

He says significant public sector investment – in water security, public schools, rail services and the Calder Freeway to Mebourne – have nurtured the city’s growth.

Margot Spalding says Jimmy Possum’s regional location is key to its success. A lot of this, she says, is to do with the quality of staff. “They are particularly resourceful and have a great work ethic,” she says.

She thinks the high quality of life in Bendigo has a direct benefit on the business. Greater Bendigo has about 100,000 people – enough to support good schools, health services and entertainment options but not enough to cause traffic problems. Work is at most 15 minutes away for her staff, she says. When people arrive they haven’t endured the misery of a big city commute. “We say here, every traffic jam in Melbourne is good for regional development!”

Real estate is also far more affordable. The average house is about $200,000 cheaper than in Melbourne, which is great for staff as well as business savings.

Steel castings manufacturer Keech Australia relocated from Sydney to Bendigo in 1994 for just that reason. The company – which has annual revenue of $50 million and employs about 165 people – designs and manufactures cast steel products for agricultural, earthmoving, dredging, mining and construction equipment. The key driver for the move was the ever-rising cost of land in Sydney.

“To have a foundry sitting in the middle of Mascot just wasn’t sustainable,” chief executive Herbert Hermens says.

He adds that there are a number of other benefits along with the reduced rent. Bendigo was chosen in part because it had a disused foundry, which Keech has redeveloped. He says the business-friendly nature of the City of Greater Bendigo council was also a significant driver. He sits on the council’s Bendigo Manufacturing Group, which he says is an important forum that allows the city’s business community to work with local government.

Bendigo is fortunate politically. As well as having a well-regarded government at council level, the city sits in state and federal electorates that are competitive to both sides of politics. It does not have the problem of neglect that some regional cities – banished in safe electorates – experience. And the city’s size helps, too. “You get the ear of decision makers a bit easier than if you were in a metropolitan area,” Hermens says.

There are downsides, of course, such as the lack of a rail freight centre and the small airport with its limited routes. It has also been difficult to attract engineers and technical staff because of the mining boom. But Hermens says all this is more than compensated for by the city’s charms and proud community.

“It makes business life easier when you have a happier community around you,” he says.

Article Source: BRW. – Inversting (

Homeowner valuations off the mark

Written by Staff Reporter (20 May 2014)

In one-quarter of Australian postcodes, owners significantly over- or underestimate the value of their property, an analysis by the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) has found.

The RBA report examined homeowners’ perceptions of their property’s value as compared to market value in postcodes around the country.

It found that owners in half of all postcodes estimate their asset within 11 per cent of the true price.

However, in a quarter of areas, owner’s average valuations are more than 20 per cent away from the average market value.

The research finds that a person’s belief about the value of their home may impact their financial behaviour.

“Postcodes that appear to overvalue their homes typically spend more, have higher leverage and choose riskier portfolios than postcodes that do not,” the paper states.

On the flip side, higher unemployment in a region is associated with underestimating the value of property.

The report states “households are less likely to be optimistic, or even are conservative (pessimistic), the more likely they are to experience an unemployment shock”.

Older homeowners seem particularly vulnerable to over-valuing their asset, with each yearly increase in the average age of homeowners adding 0.25 per cent in the valuation difference.

At the same time, this may be counteracted if the owner has lived in the property for a long period of time.

The report finds the longer people live in a property, the more likely they are to underplay the value of their home.

Article Source: Smart Property Investment: The magazine by investors for investors (

Golden Opportunity in Golden Square, Bendigo

An exciting opportunity will soon be available at Kronk Street, Golden Square. A total of 56 home sites are being offered to the public with the aim of providing residential exclusivity, stunning lifestyle and family friendly-neighbourhood. The “Last Piece” is a rare boutique lifestyle opportunity in one of Bendigo’s most sought after suburbs.

The “Last Piece” offers superior large lots, extraordinary landscaping with soothing effect of terraced parks and water facilities and natural surrounds will surely attract home buyers.

Initial civil work of flattening lots and constructing decorative water basins has already begun and is anticipated to be completed by August of this year.

Advance Homes offers a range of house and land packages for first home buyers, downsizers and families who wish to be a part of this exciting development.

Visit for more information. What are you waiting for, inquire now!

Life and Leisure in Curlewis Parks Estate this May!

In upholding their commitment to help people achieve their dreams through property, Advance Homes announces the release of new house and land packages at stage 9B Curlewis Parks Estate in Drysdale. This is a perfect opportunity for investors to purchase an investment for outstanding value or for first time home buyers who wish to realise the home of their dreams.

Curlewis Parks, Drysdale


Master Plan of Curlewis Estate Parks in Drysdale

Whether you are investing starting a new family, Curlewis Parks Estate is perfect. Aside from its modern and unique lifestyle approach, it is  a fully planned residential community on the Bellarine Peninsula. In addition, the master plan is geared towards establishing a perfect community with easy and comfortable access to a unified street forms, development of common parks and gardens without sacrificing the quality of building designs and structures.

Our Homes

New house facades first home buyers and investors

“Classic” house facade

The stunning “Newquay” home for example provides outstanding value for money with 4 bedrooms, 2 living areas and double garage. Offered at a price of $339,900, for a full turn key house and land package. It has a classic design just right for you.

Another is the incredibly good value, 3-bedroom house with elegant design – the “Harcourt.” This is ideal for downsizers who are looking for a functional, spacious home on a budget. Apart from these, there are also more choices of other house and land packages available with prices ranging from $300K to $350K.

According to the Advance Homes Managing Director, Scott Hunt, new house and land packages are a perfect fit for home buyers looking for modern home designs at a very reasonable price. He also added that there are substantial stamp duty savings for purchasers, first home buyers grant of $10,000 available, plus tax minimisation benefits through depreciation for investors. Detailed information about these properties is available at

Are you ready to Advance?

The unique advantage of dealing with Advance Homes is that we are a team of complete property experts. We are not just builders or sales people, we are a team of licensed and experienced property experts, builders, finance specialists, and real estate agents.

This allows us to provide you with a complete, end-to-end property consultancy service; from appraising and selling your current home if required, to sourcing and negotiating for the right block of land, to designing and building your home. We are with you throughout the whole process.

Whether you are an investor, first home buyer, downsizing, or simply looking for a high quality home for a fixed price, the Advance team have a solution that is right for you.