Canberra is blessed by its diverse surrounds. Framed by mountains to the south and west, it’s just a short trip to the snow. The summer draws Canberrans in their thousands to sunny destinations along the coastline. And those after a taste of rural life are just a short drive away to the delights of the countryside. It’s no wonder so many ACT residents are investing in holiday properties.

According to experts, now is the right time to invest. Australian Property Monitors’ senior economist, Andrew Wilson, said holiday properties were usually the last to recover from an economic downturn because they were a prestige investment.

“Prestige property sales have been a bit flat in the market and are behind in terms of growth,” Dr Wilson said.

“The positive is those in the market will certainly find good value opportunities because prices have been quite weak in the holiday home market.”

The best place to buy will very much depend on your interests and what you hope to get out of your holiday home. As the ski season approaches, Snowy Mountains real estate agents receive a lot of inquiries for properties in Thredbo, Lake Crackenback and Jindabyne.

“Out of all the sales that we do, close to 20 per cent of our market comes out of Canberra,” Forbes Styne Real Estate principal Michelle Stynes said.

You may not be able to get in before the ski season starts though, as sales usually require a 10 to 12-week transaction period. But summer in the Snowies offers a beautiful cool climate, breathtaking scenery and a hive of activity including water sports, fly fishing and mountain biking.

“The summer doesn’t get enough attention,” Ms Stynes said. “Summer here is just as dynamic as winter, there’s lots to do.”

Ms Stynes said many buyers used their properties as a summer retreat and rented it out during the more profitable winter months. Properties netted an annual average of 3 to 4 per cent on rent returns.

For those who favour surf over slopes, the NSW coastline is sprinkled with an assortment of seaside havens, from bustling summer getaways to serene hidden gems. LJ Hooker Batemans Bay principal Michael Skuse said the holiday buyer market had started to pick up since Christmas.

“Interest rates are low. The market has seen an increase in turnover, but not an increase in price,” he said. “The locals in the know think it’s time to buy, that’s for sure. Holiday properties struggled during the GFC but holiday homes are back in vogue.”

Elders Merimbula principal Nicole Cooper said the majority of her inquiries came from Canberra buyers attracted to the region’s forests, beaches and climate. She said now was an ideal time to buy in the area as real estate agents were starting to see a change in the market.

“We’re finding that we’re at the tipping point in the market at the moment,” Ms Cooper said. “Previously we’ve had more properties than buyers and the buyers have had the upper hand, now we’ve got more buyers than properties so the prices are starting to rise.”

This trend is not just limited to the coast. The Southern Highlands, a picturesque holiday destination characterised by its distinct seasons, vineyards and award-winning restaurants, could soon see a shift in the market, according to Belle Property Bowral principal Di Dixon. “There’s a shortage of stock under $1 million,” she said. “Now is a very good time to buy because if stock continues to be short it will turn around into a sellers’ market.”Quirkly retreat perfect place to de-stress

When Brendan and Jo Jackson need a break from the stresses of the city they escape to the Retreat on Matthew, their three-bedroom holiday home in Batehaven.

“When you stay in Canberra, it’s hard to forget about work, but once we cross the Clyde Mountain, it’s a whole different atmosphere. It’s relaxing,” Mr Jackson said.

The couple bought their holiday home in 2010 and they picked the Batemans Bay location for its proximity to Canberra.

“The house that we picked was because it’s so quirky,” Mr Jackson said.

“It’s very small from the front, it looks like a hut, but as you go in it gets bigger and bigger.”

The Jacksons’ beagle, Zoe, accompanies the couple on their coast trips. The home is fully fenced and pet-friendly, a feature that makes it popular with holidaymakers.

“We normally get people with dogs; there’s not that many pet-friendly places down there,” Mr Jackson said.

The Jacksons usually rent the property out during the peak season and visit more often in winter when they can they enjoy the home’s wood fireplace.

Mr Jackson advises those in the market for a holiday home to look for locations close to services. Their home is just moments from the Batehaven shops and Corrigans Beach.

Bookings for the Retreat on Matthew can be made through Eurobodalla Tourism at eurobodalla爱杭州同城论坛 Bodalla Place, MerimbulaFor sale: $975,000

Life doesn’t get much better than waking up to the beautiful views of Merimbula Lake and the sounds of cascading waterfalls in your backyard.

Located in the picturesque coastal town of Merimbula, this stunning waterfront residence, on three levels, isn’t just a fabulous family holiday house or a dream sea-change home, but also a potential investment opportunity for the astute buyer.

The ground floor with separate entry is currently being used by the owner as a studio and art gallery, but could be easily converted into guest accommodation, more living areas or rental accommodation.

The second level has four bedrooms and three living areas with lake views. The light-filled kitchen opens onto an expansive outdoor entertaining area with magnificent lake views, perfect for entertaining guests.

The owners of this property are spoilt for choice with entertaining options, as there are three more outdoor entertaining areas, two decks and a paved terrace that flows into the backyard.

The master bedroom occupies the entire top floor and resembles a luxury hotel room, with a huge walk-in wardrobe, en suite, sitting room and uninterrupted lake views.

Walking out to the backyard, you would be forgiven for thinking you were in a tropical resort, with tranquil lush gardens, waterfalls, ponds and the lake at your doorstep.

There’s plenty of room for cars and boats, with a double garage and a carport.

With the home located on the Merimbula Lake boardwalk, it’s a scenic 15-minute walk into town to enjoy Merimbula’s cafes, restaurants and shops.

7 Bodalla Place, Merimbula, is for sale for $975,000, through Sails Real Estate agent Kim Poso, 0418 699 591, and Elders Merimbula agent James Cravana, 0428 248 008. More photos: Domain爱杭州同城论坛

Revived interest in holiday homes