Making millions

BY HAMISH HEARD
The amount of Surf Coast home owners sitting on million-dollar residential properties has jumped nearly 65 per cent in the past two years, according to the latest figures.
And unprecedented demand for coastal homes in recent years has boosted homes valued over $1 million from two in 2000 to 284 in 2006, an increase of more than 14,000 per cent.
Latest Property Victoria figures show that the amount of million-dollar-plus properties along the coast has risen 64 per cent since 2004, eclipsing the statewide average increase of 18 per cent.
Torquay First National property consultant Matthew Hutchinson said cashed-up locals had joined buyers from Melbourne and interstate in a rush for premium coastal homes.
Mr Hutchinson said booming commodity prices had led share investors from the city to buy up coastal properties ahead of completion of the Geelong bypass.
“Last month we had six groups of buyers that came in from Western Australia with money they had made from the resources boom and they invested heavily in properties in the Torquay area,” he said.
“And I don’t know how many millionaires the local surf industry has produced in the past few decades.”
Mr Hutchinson said agents noticed in 2005 that many house values jumped from around the $750,000 mark to over $1 million in less than six months.
“This was because properties were selling publicly at good prices and once the buyers became aware of recent sales, vendors’ expectations went to the next level,” Mr Hutchinson said.
“An increasingly affluent brand of home buyer was able to quite comfortably meet that level.”
Mr Hutchinson said several million-dollar plus properties on his company’s for-sale board had attracted plenty of interest from potential buyers.
“I think the majority of home owners would get a very pleasant surprise if they were to have a valuation done on their home,” he said.

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