Melbourne housing downturn leaves just five growth suburbs: REIV
Just five Melbourne suburbs have higher median house prices than they did a year ago, but experts say the market doom and gloom is fading.
New Real Estate Institute of Victoria data — which excludes postcodes with fewer than 30 sales per quarter — found Sunbury was leading the quintet, with a 2.3 per cent annual increase taking its median house sale price to $545,000.
Donvale’s median also rose 1.6 per cent to $1.29 million, with Ascot Vale (1.3 per cent to $1,202,500), Officer (0.4 per cent to $567,500) and Cranbourne North (0.1 per cent to $581,000) rounding out the five.
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REIV president Robyn Waters said the suburbs appeared to have “escaped the property market correction”, which had seen Melbourne’s citywide median shed 2.4 per cent, or $20,000, over the year to hit $810,000.
The data only takes into account houses that have sold.
Ms Waters said house prices had now fallen for five straight quarters, but the rate of decline had softened from 2.5 per cent in the three months to December to 1.1 per cent in June.
Notably, the $894,000 median house price recorded by Melbourne’s middle ring in the latest quarter was the lowest since September 2016, creating “ideal opportunities for those wanting to trade up into coveted … areas such as Eltham, Forest Hill and Mitcham”, Ms Waters said.
But she said signs of improvement were creeping into the market, following two interest rate cuts and the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority relaxing lending standards.
Mornington, Beaumaris, Donvale and Templestowe all recorded double-digit growth in the June quarter.
“With auction clearance rates at their highest levels in well over a year (above 70 per cent), the REIV expects the market will continue to pick up in spring,” Ms Waters said.
Raine & Horne Sunbury agent Brendon Grech said sale prices in his suburb had held strong throughout the downturn, with continued affordability, decent block sizes, and easy access to the CBD and Mt Macedon region among the drawcards for buyers.
Selling conditions had improved further since the federal election was decided, he said: “My expectation is we’ll start turning back into an auction town due to increased buyer competition.”
Downsizers Marisa and Elio Martiniello are selling their four-bedroom, three-bathroom home in Sunbury with a $800,000 to $880,000 asking price, after 16 years.
The couple is hoping to cash in on the northwestern suburb’s strong sales and growth.
“We love the area so we are staying in Sunbury but we are downsizing now that the kids have moved out,” Ms Martiniello said.
“We were one of the first in this street and everything around us has developed over the past 16 years.”
Monique Sheridan and her partner Mitchell Kook, both 24, are selling a property in Sunbury’s Fullbrook Dve to upgrade to a bigger home nearby.
“Mitchell has lived in Sunbury his whole life so he loves the area and for me I am a flight attendant so it’s only 20-minutes to work,” Ms Sheridan said.
REIV also found 14 Melbourne suburbs recorded median unit price growth over the year, led by Caulfield North (12.1 per cent to $782,500).
Regional Victoria’s house median rose 3.8 per cent to $405,000, with the Wonthaggi market skyrocketing 21.7 per cent to $365,000.
Ballarat suburbs Redan and Wendouree came next, both rising about 17 per cent to $357,000 and $326,000 medians.
McQueen Real Estate director Kim McQueen said Ballarat had been “booming right through the downturn”, with its affordability notably luring buyers from Melbourne.
Also working in the regional city’s favour were its top schools, transport links and relative closeness to Melbourne, and developing foodie and cultural scene.
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TOP ANNUAL GROWTH SUBURBS
1. Sunbury: median price up 2.3% to $545,000
2. Donvale: 1.6% to $1.29m
3. Ascot Vale: 1.3% to $1,202,500
4. Officer: 0.4% to $567,500
5. Cranbourne North: 0.1% to $581,000
Minimum 30 sales per quarter required
Regional Victoria houses
1. Wonthaggi: median price up 21.7% to $365,000
2. Redan (Ballarat): 17% to $357,000
3. Wendouree (Ballarat): 16.8% to $326,000
4. Bendigo: 16.5% to $460,000
5. Stawell: 13.2% to $215,000
Minimum 50 sales per year required
1. Caulfield North: median price up 12.1% to $773,500
2. Port Melbourne: 9.1% to $782,500
3. Richmond: 4% to $619,000
4. Toorak: 3.7% to $975,000
5. Northcote: 3.4% to $600,000
Minimum 25 sales per quarter required
Source: REIV, year to June 30