Melbourne may be one of the declining markets at the start of the year, but some areas in the city are showing great potential for investment. Geelong, for instance, has been bucking the downward trend of the capital and recorded some of the highest capital growth in percentage terms in Victoria over 2018.

Herron Todd White’s February issue of Month in Review reported that while Geelong’s eastern suburbs are expected to experience price drops before stabilising in the latter part of the year, areas located near the city centre will offer good opportunities to those willing to undertake small renovations and updates, with the area showing signs of gentrification.

These areas are also likely to log increased demand with the commencement of construction for the Franz development and the completion of large commercial developments such as NDIA’s Malop Street project in mid-2019.

The outer southern suburbs of Belmont, Grovedale and Waurn Ponds, meanwhile, appear to have continued providing good value. These suburbs boast large allotments that provide future development potential within close proximity to Waurn Ponds Shopping Centre, university and the Waurn Ponds train station. This area is set to attract first-home buyers who are taking advantage of stamp-duty concessions and reduced competition so they can finally enter the market.

Geelong’s northern suburbs such as Geelong West, Hamlyn Heights, Herne Hill, North Geelong and Corio recently posted solid growth, but lack of key infrastructure projects has been evident. With the tightening of lending credit legislation, specifically for investment-grade properties, prices are anticipated to decline before steadying later on.

The Surf Coast and Bellarine have shown signs of weakening over recent months and are likely to stabilise moving forward. There were fewer sales over the period and properties stayed longer on market than before. The cheaper secondary areas remain the key drivers of these locations, thanks to buyers who prioritise affordability.