Quarterly Market Wrap – April 2018

melbourne looking east

Off the back of a bumper year for house price growth, Melbourne’s real estate market has experienced a much flatter summer quarter, with experts remaining divided about what’s in store for the property market in 2018. Some economists forecast house price growth to ease but remain positive, while others predict prices will fall.

Melbourne’s median shot up 3.2 per cent to $903,859 in the December quarter, but recorded consecutive 0.2 per cent decreases within the first two months of 2018.

In any market, buyers relish the news of a price decrease and in most circumstances, may choose to hold out in hope for further price reductions. This has been evident across the Melbourne Municipality in recent weeks, with open for inspections numbers down and the current auction clearance of 67 per cent being 14 per cent lower compared to this time last year.

Experts warn though, that waiting and wishing is not advisable when it comes to buying property, as the cycle is not only unpredictable, it can sometimes see you missing out on your ideal home, or being priced out of the market entirely when prices unexpectedly start to pick up again.

In Our Own Backyard

A quick look at the suburbs where Noel Jones offices are located reveal mixed results this quarter, with quite a few suburbs experiencing a slight decrease in median house pricing. Mitcham and Ringwood both show an increase in median house pricing with Ringwood showing the largest increase of 5.2 per cent. Box Hill median house statistics are not available for this quarter, however a look back on the past twelve months reveals the suburb has experienced an annual price growth of more than 21 per cent.

Suburb Median Days on Market  Quarterly Change
Balwyn  $ 2.34 Million  35  – 5.1%
Blackburn  $ 1.45 Million  31  – 2.9%
Box Hill  $ 1.8 Million  33  + 21.2% (annual price change)
Camberwell  $ 2.23 Million  34  – 2.8%
Croydon  $ 823,000  26  – 0.3%
Doncaster  $ 1.33 Million  41.5  – 6.7%
Glen iris  $ 2.06 Million  38  – 1.2%
Mitcham  $ 1.09 Million  29  + 1.9%
Ringwood  $ 988,000  27  + 5.2%
Wantirna $ 939,000 29 – 3.7%

 

‘School Zone’ Properties Achieving 6-Figure Premiums

It is fairly well known that in order to secure a spot in some of Melbourne’s top performing government schools, you need to secure residency within the boundaries of their set catchments. Subsequently, homes located within those catchments are achieving six-figure premiums compared to neighbouring properties which fall just outside the zone.

The latest REIV data reveals the median house price in highly sought after public school catchments is up to $400,000 more than homes within a one kilometre radius of the zone.

REIV President Richard Simpson said “Access to quality public schools remains a key factor for many buyers, with families preferring to buy into areas zoned for some of the city’s best public schools, rather than paying the equivalent in private school fees.”

Some of the east’s most highly coveted school catchments include: Box Hill, Balwyn, Blackburn, Camberwell, Glen Waverley, Mount Waverley, South Yarra and Ringwood.

Victorian Government Promises Faster Planning

As our population grows, it is imperative that housing supply continues to grow with it. Even more important, these new homes need to be connected to jobs, education and public transport.

With Victoria’s population growing at more than 100,000 people a year, the need for new housing has been recognised by the state government as a priority. Housing approvals are currently running at record levels and this strategy aims to keep them at an average of more than 50,000 new homes per year.

In the past, unnecessarily slow approvals by councils and utilities have delayed developers and also driven up costs. To address this issue, the Victorian government will make a number of changes including speeding up development approvals in the inner and middle suburbs, zoning more growth corridor land for future development, expediting planning approvals for new subdivisions and addressing current planning backlogs. Smarter planning and faster approval is a win-win for developers and home buyers alike.

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