Why this region is so hot right now

Easter has not been the same along the Surf Coast since the arrival of COVID-19. Normally this holiday season sees Torquay and the surrounding seaside towns teeming with people drawn to the Rip Curl Pro, the internationally renowned surfing competition held at Bells Beach every year since 1961.

It is said to bring in $ 8 million to the region each year, along with 35,000 visitors, so it was no small beer when COVID-19 forced the competition to be canceled in 2020 and moved to NSW This year.

Bells Beach, best known for hosting the Rip Curl Pro. Photo: Mark Chew

But surfers and businesses alike can breathe a little easier with the announcement of an agreement between the state government and the governing body of surfing to commit to hosting the competition at Bells Beach next year. until at least 2024.

The pandemic has resulted in the cancellation of other major events on the Surf Coast, including the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road international cycling race and this year’s Torquay race.

But where organized sport left off, the real estate market picked up. “This is absolutely crazy,” says longtime agent Marty Maher of Great Ocean Properties.

Moon Cafe - Lorne
Local agents have seen an increase in demand from all kinds of buyers. Photo: Belinda VanZanen

“I had an auction in Anglesea where there was a reserve of $ 1.8 million, and it went to $ 2.38 million. There were 12 bidders who pushed it to the top.

The successful group bought it to use as a vacation home, but in a new trend on the Surf Coast, which stretches from the outskirts of Geelong to Lorne just after, they swapped their vacation home. existing Anglesea.

“People see the money they can get right now and just think, ‘Why not?’ Maher says. “Zoom warrants the exchange, and they already have a commitment in the region.”

Cuddling the coastline is a priority for many Victorians, as people plan their vacations closer to home. This is good news for the Surf Coast bull market hotel scene, with restaurants enjoying much higher footfall (albeit with density restrictions) than during less unusual winter seasons.

Split Point Lighthouse, Aireys Inlet
There are reports of summer activity along the coast, even in the depths of winter. Photo: Rob Blackburn

Chef Graham Jeffries, co-owner of the Tulip Hat Restaurant in Geelong, chose Torquay to open his latest restaurant, Samesyn, at the end of 2019.

“There are a lot of people here right now,” he said. “There are a lot of people around, so it’s summery even though it’s the dead of winter.”

A long-time Torquay resident, Jeffries has seen the city go “from Holden Commodores to Land Rovers,” although it isn’t necessarily good for everyone.

“One of the big problems with a hotel business is that there is nowhere for staff to live here. There are literally no rentals, and homes are sold for millions to put on Airbnb. Many friends have moved to Winchelsea (in the Surf Coast hinterland) where they can find something affordable.

For sale in the area right now.

34 McMillan Street, Anglesea VIC 3230

34 McMillan Street, Anglesea VIC 3230

Large enough for the extended clan and sleek enough to satisfy the most design lover, this lavish home exudes a Hamptons vibe with its luxurious interiors and its 0.2 acre of resort-style grounds containing a swimming pool and tennis court. There is also a separate guest house and a wonderful covered terrace.

3/9 rue Albert, Lorne VIC 3232

3/9 rue Albert, Lorne VIC 3232

The beach is only a short walk up the hill, but you can enjoy a magnificent view of the ocean from your elevated terrace. On the third floor of the modern townhouse in a boutique block of just four, this is the crown jewel of a large, open concept family area heated by a cozy log fire.

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