Melbourne has an allure that few cities in Australia – or indeed, anywhere – have. It’s a cultural hub, with amazing nightlife; home to one of the best coffee and food cultures on the planet; there’s plenty of jobs and has a high quality of life. Indeed, it consistently ranks as one of the most liveable cities on the planet, usually ahead of other Australian cities like perennial rival Sydney or good ol’ BrisVegas.
Well, it certainly used to have an allure. Rising property prices and the severe restrictions the city has suffered through thanks to COVID have seriously dulled the Victorian capital’s shine. The former is particularly shocking: Sydney remains the country’s least affordable city but Melbourne’s property market is fast approaching Sydney’s craziness, with the median house price now officially over the $1 million mark, Domain reports.
It’s because of this that an increasing number of Melburnians have instead been flocking to Victoria’s next biggest city, Geelong, instead of chancing the increasingly silly Melbourne property market.
It’s not hard to see why. As this ABC News article relates, Geelong boasts a similar commute into the Melbourne CBD to some outer suburbs like Cranbourne and Frankston, yet property prices are far cheaper: according to local government area data, the median house price currently sits around $695,000. When you also consider how nice the Geelong beachfront is, as well as Geelong’s growing reputation as a foodie destination, it really makes a lot of sense.
Geelong’s had mixed fortunes over the years. Some Melburnians snobbishly deride Geelong as being ‘rough’ or ‘bogan’ – and it’s true that the decline of the automotive and other heavy industries was keenly felt in the coastal city – but it’s an entirely undeserved reputation. A huge amount of investment from state government in the city in recent years has really rejuvenated Victoria’s second city, making it an attractive place to raise a family.
It’s not all good news, though. Naturally, the influx of Melburnians seeking greener pastures in G-Town has started to push up property prices. More crucially, Geelong faces a housing supply problem, the Urban Development Institute of Australia calculating that Greater Geelong only has around 2.3 to 2.8 years of residential land supply currently available to the market.
The other alternative, of course, is to do what this Melburnian did and take advantage of a property ‘loophole’ to move to an island in Far North Queensland… But if you do that, it might be a little harder to get to a Cats game.