Market Update March 2022

March rounded out the first quarter of 2022, with the industry enjoying the most restriction-free trading period it’s experienced in the past two years.

Melbourne’s outer-east, where Noel Jones predominantly operates, recorded an auction clearance rate of 75.1% in March. Eclipsed only by the Mornington Peninsula with a result of 76.3%, it highlights continued buyer confidence within our territory.

The table below shows how each of our offices performed in their local markets in the March quarter, and also the year-on-year change.

In the first quarter of 2022, Melbourne declared a modest decline of -0.3%; pleasingly 5 of the 8 Noel Jones offices we can report on challenged this trend, not only performing above the average, but recording positive growth in their home base suburbs. It is also incredibly pleasing to see double figure growth year on year for each of our offices in their local patch. Wantirna, which was named Melbourne’s fourth most liveable suburb by PWC in 2021, was the highest performer year on year with an annual change of 22%; a staggering result in a 12-month period that presented ongoing challenges across the industry. When analysing the recent REIV data, strong performances were also seen in the past quarter, and year on year in Blackburn South, Nunawading, Ringwood North, Knoxfield, Wantirna South, and Rowville, all of which are well serviced by our offices.

Dylan Hare, Senior Property Consultant and Auctioneer at the Wantirna office has worked in the local area throughout his 11-year career and has watched both Wantirna and Wantirna South grow in popularity. “Buyers that are priced out of suburbs such as Glen Waverley, Mount Waverley and Wheelers Hill have started to see Wantirna and Wantirna South as favourable alternatives. On 23rd March, I sold 10 Armiston Grove Wantirna South, a three-year-old, 4 bedroom/3 bathroom custom built home, at a twilight auction, for an Knox Gardens Estate record of $2M; the previous highest sale price was $1.55M. The home was inspected by 71 groups throughout the campaign, and there were 3 registered bidders on the night, proving that the suburb is certainly being seen in a favourable light by an increasing audience”.

There was also more positive news in relation to Melbourne’s rental market which has just recorded its lowest vacancy rate since March 2020, suggesting that it is now very much a landlord’s market. Vacancy rates improved for the third consecutive month, with the March result of 1.8% showing a substantial improvement on the 3.2% that was recorded in December; it also marks a 2.5% improvement year on year. The City of Maroondah, which houses our Ringwood and Croydon offices, is one of those leading the charge, with a vacancy rate of just 0.6%, the fourth lowest of Melbourne’s LGA’s.

The federal election has been confirmed for 21st May 2022, right in the middle of the June quarter. A forthcoming election often creates a sense of uncertainty, as such, many people put major spending decisions on hold, deciding instead to take a wait and see approach. To date, the focus of both parties appears to be on helping more people enter the housing market; there have been no substantial announcements targeting current homeowners or renters. As such, we may see people who are already in the market forge ahead with their existing plans rather than placing them on hold until we have an outcome. There is certainly a great potential for this in Melbourne, and the cities that are seen to be at, or close to, their pricing peaks, as vendors will be conscious that if they hold off marketing their property, they may end up selling in slightly less favourable conditions. Some may also make decisions based on the continued discussions of interest rates starting to rise later this year. Each of these factors will likely see stock levels remain at inflated levels – they’re currently around 8% higher than the 5-year average – for the near future.

If you’d like to discuss your own personal situation, contact your local Noel Jones agent who will be happy to guide you.

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