Strongest March Quarter In Over A Decade

The Real Estate Institute of Victoria (REIV) has recently released its March quarter data, revealing the strongest March quarter in just over a decade.  The Melbourne residential market has continued to record improvements, recovering ground that was lost over the past two years.

Median house price on the rise

In the March quarter, Melbourne’s median house price was recorded at $561,500 (seasonally adjusted), following a 5.1 per cent increase from $534,000 (seasonally adjusted) in the previous quarter.

Things are looking positive, and importantly, there was an increase in buyers in the December quarter and this has continued through the first quarter of this year with increased volumes, prices, and clearance rates.

The highest increases in the median house prices were recorded in a range of suburbs including:

Unit and apartment market remains subdued

The quarter also saw more subdued price increases in the unit and apartmentmarket than that for houses.  Strong growth in supply saw current levels of affordability maintained.

The REIV recorded a 1.4 per cent increase in the quarter to a median price of $456,000 (seasonally adjusted) from $449,500 in the December quarter.

Increase in supply impacts the market

On a broad geographic basis increases in prices were recorded in the middle and outer suburbs whilst the inner city, where most of the increase in supply has been located, a small drop in prices was recorded.

The most expensive suburb in this market segment is once again Brighton with a median of $885,000 followed by Toorak at $717,500 and Port Melbourne at $650,000. That fact that all three of these suburbs recorded increases means that the impact of increased supply is being mainly felt in the middle and more affordable segment of the market.

To look in more detail at the result in every suburb visit the REIV website forclickable maps for houses and units.

Regional Victoria

In regional Victoria the median house price was $311,500 (seasonally adjusted) in the March quarter following a 2.1 per cent increase from $305,000 (seasonally adjusted) in the previous quarter.

These results further emphasise that the residential housing market is slowly improving.

Median prices increased by 3.2 per cent in Bendigo to reach $320,000 contrasting against a drop of 3.4 per cent to $280,000 in Ballarat and a 1.3 per cent drop inGeelong to $390,000.

Some centres continue to have short term fluctuations but it appears that the underlying trend is positive.

Looking forward

For those looking to buy over the next few months the fact that in most suburbs prices remain below their peak means that in conjunction with the low interest rates, property will remain relatively affordable.  The increased level of transactions also reflects the greater choice available for buyers compared to 2011 and 2012.