Buyers camp out for blocks

Number-on buyers Faith Wood and Jason Reeve.

Geelong’s property market posted a strong return to form last weekend with buyers camping overnight at Lara and Armstrong to secure highly-sought residential lots.

Developer Villawood Properties posted more than 20 sales after buyers fronted sales offices early Friday afternoon at its new Coridale project in Lara West and its flagship Armstrong at Mount Duneed.

Buoyed by price point, value and a signature Villawood residents’ club, Coridale had more than 90 sign up for lots when it launched its sales office late last month. Villawood has, for months, also claimed more than 60 per cent of sales in the Armstrong Creek growth area.

The arrival of campers, the first locally in two years, reflected a return of confidence to the broader market, driven also by low interest rates, first home buyer concessions, an easing of banking restrictions on lending and a new government deposit guarantee scheme.

Coridale sold 14 lots over the weekend and Armstrong another seven, chiefly in a special release within its Sanctuary precinct. Eight campers slept in cars overnight at the two sites to secure their dream lots.

“Everyone’s come back to the market,” Villawood Properties executive director Rory Costelloe said.

“People have been waiting and waiting and waiting. We’ve got population growth happening here and people need to find a house.

“Everyone coming to Coridale were locals, from Lara. It’s a great show of support when locals start camping out to buy.

“This is our seventh residents’ club project, we’ve had camp-outs for them for 12 years. Why people love them so much – beside the pools and gyms and bells and whistles that go with it – is because they get to know each other so well.

“Through our club facilities, they become friends in swimming groups, riding groups, reading groups. There are so many new friendship groups that form out of these clubs.”

Mr Costelloe said Villawood didn’t release its Coridale lots until it had a planning permit, and its engineering sorted, in order to minimise title delivery times.

“We’ll be starting construction around Christmas and we’ll be able to deliver titles next year and people can start building houses by the end of next year,” he said.

“I think the first residents could move in in mid-2021. It will take us about 12 months to build the first stage and take them six to eight months to build their homes.”

Jason Reeve and Faith Wood, the first buyers at Coridale, were both excited and delighted with their purchase.

“We’ve been waiting months, we had a builder lined up already and we knew exactly what we wanted,” Faith said.

Mark Dela Paz, who snagged number three at Coridale, knew exactly what he wanted also.

“I work in sales with Hotondo builders, I’ve been waiting especially for this,” he said.

Buyer Joel Matich had been waiting, and casting about, before arriving at Coridale.

“We’d been thinking about buying for the last year. We looked elsewhere in Lara but came to Villawood on price,” he said.

Coridale, the first development in the new Lara West growth precinct, will ultimately comprise 1100 lots.