Torquay. Surf Coast Colossus.
From central Geelong it’s 26 minutes to Torquay, with the Geelong ring road providing better economy from Melbourne. Blessed with beautiful Norfolk pine fringed beaches and celebrated surf, Torquay’s appeal to both young families and affluent retirees underpins the boom.
From humble hippy origins, Torquay is experiencing rapid and consistent growth. From 2001 to 2011, more than 5,000 new residents took the plunge, moving into the Torquay area. Today the population stands at around 15,000, going head-to-head with Ocean Grove as the biggest coastal township in the region.
Beyond the surf brand industry stalwarts, Torquay supports significant commercial activity, reflecting the endeavour of enterprising new residents and businesses keen for a slice of the action that growing populations generate. New supermarkets are opening. There are less needs that can’t be catered for locally.
Food and booze options are flourishing including a burgeoning coffee roasting industry. It’s little wonder then that the Surf Coast Shire is anticipating a population swell of 25,000 to 30,000 come 2040, in line with broader growth projections for the region.
There’s several distinct hoods to choose from in Torquay, each with their own appeal.
Taking in Gilbert St shopping and the beachfront esplanade, ‘Old Torquay’ commands some of the highest prices in town. Your investment here delivers walking distance shopping and easy beach access. Homes are a mix of renovated older style beach beauties and modern multi-story coastal fare. Water views over Fishermans Beach will set you back a pretty penny, and there’s still some lovely old homes groaning in anticipation of eventual and inevitable demolition. Land values will see them replaced by slicker, cleaner lines and multi-story dwellings soon enough.
East Torquay, The Sands
This patch sits east of the Surf Coast Highway, culminating in the Sands Estate. Abutting the highway in the old Wombah Park estate there’s a range of block sizes on offer with 90’s era homes dominating. From town, head east past the newly spruced bowls club with its killer ocean views, and you’ll land at the Whyndham resort. Further east, the Sands Estate golf course community incorporates a Peppers Resort and retirement living options. There are other new home builds around the Zeally Sands Estate (formerly an old caravan park). The new Surf Coast Secondary College is located within the recently completed civic complex in this patch. It’s walking distance for residents north of Darian Rd. Surf Coast Shire offices are here too, along with footy, netball and soccer playing fields and courts.
Westside, Frog Hollow, Ocean Acres
West of the Surf Coast Highway around the Coombes, Duffields and Grossmans road precinct are lifestyle properties for families seeking more open space.
For young families, homes behind the Surf Museum and retail complex may be more appealing with no busy crossings to get to either primary school. These include Torquay College (P-6) and St Therese’s (Catholic) Primary.
Behind the footy ground rising uphill with commanding ocean views from many blocks is Spring Creek. This was a contentious development when it kicked off back in the 90’s. A new section west of Duffields Rd alongside the Great Ocean Road opposite Jan Juc is now approved for further development and will feature a private school and shopping centre.
Rentals are popular with Deakin students and relocating couples and families aiming to try before they buy. Like many coastal locations, the rental yield is meh, but much better than other coastal yields in this region. Despite steadily increasing supply levels from new developments over the years, prices overall are holding up and capital growth is solid for the time being. Armstrong Creek may add pressure over time. Further Spring Creek development certainly could. But this may not hurt much if demand keeps up with forecast projections.
Evidence to date suggests that Torquay’s growth and increasing amenities are attracting new residents rather than repelling them, to the chagrin of old timer’s. With its urban lifestyle creature comforts, Torquay presents as less of a culture shock for ex-Melbournian’s than other smaller coastal locales might.
Until you know the exact coordinates of Cosy Corner and your car’s branded with a Torquay Auto sticker, you’re no-one here. But despite the rampant growth, Torquay and Jun-Juc offer a community that’s welcoming of new blood, especially if you make the effort to give good party.