This well-established home, for sale with Alex Scott Cowes, on the golf-course side of Cowes, even with the price tag $895,000, is well within the price range of people looking to relocate out of Melbourne.

PHILLIP Island real estate guru, Greg Price, long-time Island resident and Director of Alex Scott and Staff, never ceases to be amazed at the twists and turns in the market.

Who’d have thought, that in the middle of a global pandemic it would be a “vendor’s market” along the Bass Coast and South Gippsland coastal strip with a shortage of listings and plenty of unmet demand.

“The real estate market is very strong down here at the moment. People are telling us that they want to get out of Melbourne, when the restrictions are lifted of course, and living by the coast, not too far from Melbourne really appeals.

“There is a desperate shortage of properties for sale, and with that demand, yes definitely, it’s a vendors’ market.

“People are consistently getting their asking price and sometimes more.

“I think as the restrictions continue to ease, we are going to see more people making their second house by the coast, their principal home, or leaving Melbourne altogether and coming here to live.

“On the flip side of that, though, I don’t see the sort of shift in population to Victoria that we have seen in the past two decades. I feel the negative publicity Victoria has received through the pandemic won’t have helped us long-term.”

Real estate agents are fond of telling us “there’s never been a better time to sell” but Greg Price says this is certainly the case in the present environment.

“We are telling people that if they want to sell, they should have their properties tidied up and ready to go on to the market in October-November for selling between now and over the summer.”

‘Window of opportunity’

It’s the same around Wonthaggi, in rural areas and along the mainland coast.

“We’ve got a shortage of all stock, residential, lifestyle and rural. People have been holding off while all this is going on and you wouldn’t blame them for not listing but the reality is there’s a real window there at the moment,” said Adam Mabilia at PBE in Wonthaggi.

“There’s not much stock but the demand is still very much there.

“And when Stage Four comes off in Melbourne and they open the gates look out.

“But we’ve got the interest there right away.

“It’s been especially strong on lifestyle properties, like we haven’t seen in a long time,” he said.

“There’s nothing stopping us from operating the way we normally do. We don’t do a lot of auctions here and it’s alright for private inspections. Obviously, we’re only showing regional buyers through but there’s a fair bit of that anyway.

“People who have listed have been getting their asking price or very close to it.

“I’d say there’s certainly been growth in prices since the first lockdown in March, contrary to the situation in Melbourne, and the inquiry is very strong across all sectors.”

How long this continues, says Adam, is anyone’s guess but he’s talking about “a window of opportunity” until March next year before we see the impact of Job Keeper coming off and other support measures.

Hopefully we’ll start to see a sustainable rebound in the economy by then, but either way, Adam expects Bass Coast to remain attractive as a residential, lifestyle and business relocation option.