With a growing number of baby boomers purchasing holiday properties along the Victorian coast, more and more homes are being reported as vacant by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, according to the latest census data. Reason being, census data is typically collected on weekday evenings in August — a time when said baby boomers are most likely in their city homes instead of in their holiday property. This rise in downsizers purchasing multiple properties emerged during Melbourne’s exponential house-price growth. The equity many Melbourne home buyers had acquired during the real-estate boom was borrowed against or sold to be able to afford coastal property purchases. The real-estate trend has resulted in 50 Victorian towns that have more vacant properties than occupied properties.
The Victorian town most affected is Taylor Bay near Lake Eildon, where 89 per cent of private properties were reported as unoccupied on census night. At least 80 per cent of private properties were reported as vacant in Separation Creek, Sandy Point, Wye River, Silverleaves, Smiths Beach and Kennett River.
The majority of downsizers who have elected to purchase homes along the coast are looking to make a lifestyle shift. Their children have moved out from their large family home, and they have fewer professional responsibilities. With more time on their hands, the empty nesters are looking to split their time between the city and the beach. So, it’s important to keep in mind that a great number of Victoria’s holiday home buyers aren’t necessarily making property investment decisions, instead they are making a lifestyle decision.
Read more about Victoria’s rise in empty homes on Illawarra Mercury.