A wider spread of buyers and affordable homes should see the Mornington Peninsula ride the trend of buyer uncertainty.
Expatriate and interstate buyers keen to own property in the peninsula, and buyers from Melbourne and inner bayside and eastern suburbs, will continue to keep demand healthy, according to local agents.
“This is in addition to locals who are upsizing or downsizing within the peninsula,” Nicholas Lynch, who has been involved in real estate for three decades, said.
“Some pockets have seen some levelling off in prices but overall demand is still very strong.”
The region, Mr Lynch said, had not felt the full impact of the softening Melbourne market.
“The market here has always been different and there was strong spring and summer listings and, in fact, supply cannot meet the demand,” he said.
With prices affordable when compared with bayside suburbs, peninsula home are attractive to those buyers seeking a sea or tree-change, he added.
At the southern end of the peninsula, Kay & Burton Portsea director Liz Jensen noted prices had remained steady.
“The prices have been consistent and homes are selling mainly within the quoted range and in some cases, competition led to stronger results,” Ms Jensen said.
The peninsula market, once traditionally active in the autumn, spring and summer months and with a lull in winter, has now become a year-round market.
Some agents said more vendors were selling in winter due to less competition and demand.
“We saw good competition this year and most of our sales over the past 12 months have seen more than one buyer per property,” Ms Jensen said.
Agents noted a surge in listings in late spring, with vendors keen to close deals prior to Christmas.
There was also growing interest in lesser known suburbs in 2018.
While demand in a traditional buyer favourite such as Sorrento remained steady over the year, more buyers popped up in Portsea, Ms Jensen said.
“The stretch of beachside Sorrento has always been popular among buyers, but we are seeing more interest in Portsea although the homes are more expensive,” she said.
Another industry veteran, Quentin McEwing, said the strong start to 2018 started to wane around August with signs some parts of the peninsula were affected by the overall softening market.
“There were lower inspection numbers and we saw buyers finding it more difficult to get bank loans and banks being more diligent about who they gave loans to,” Mr McEwing said.
But one segment that has remain unaffected was the Baby Boomers.
“They are in a position to buy and willing to pay for single-storey houses close to amenities and the prices for such homes will remain strong,” Mr McEwing said.
He noted conveyancers and real estate photographers were busy in the spring as vendors were keen to list their homes prior to Christmas.
The increased stock levels and longer time to sell would continue to impact prices in some peninsula suburbs, Mr McEwing said.
“Auctions are therefore a good way to sell in this market because they identify buyers willing to pay market value and force them to make a decision with a deadline,” he said.