Melbourne’s home buyer hotspots

The latest median house price data from the Real Estate Institute of Victoria (REIV) reveals that Melbourne’s top 10 growth suburbs for 2019’s first quarter are all in Outer Melbourne – and Regional Victoria continues to outperform Metropolitan Melbourne.

The reasons why are probably not all that surprising – and they could influence where you set your sights on to buy. For Leah Calnan, Senior Vice President of REIV, it comes down to lifestyle and affordability.

Leah, who spoke at one of our Connect Events, shares her thoughts on some of Melbourne’s top performers.

Melbourne’s top growth suburbs

Eltham and Greensborough

Eltham is the top growth suburb for the quarter. Its median house price increased 7.3% to $950,000, while Greensborough’s rose 6% to $808,000.

“There’s that green, leafy aspect – you feel like you’re in the middle of the bush, but you’re still nice and close to infrastructure, suburbia and the CBD.”

Narre Warren South

With its median house price increasing 7.1% to $677,500, it’s the second top growth suburb for the quarter. Leah sees the availability and affordability of house and land packages for first home buyers as a contributing factor.

“We’ve seen builders offering incentives and special packages over the last six months,” she says. “And because there’s a lot of land in and around the Narre Warren area, first home buyers are buying in that pocket.”

Point Cook

Leah describes Point Cook – which saw a 4.7% quarterly increase to $665,000 – as being a bit like Narre Warren because of its house and land opportunities.

Affordable housing and available house and land packages are also common features of other suburbs with strong growth over the last year – places like Wallert, Sunbury, Langwarrin, Officer, Pakenham, Craigieburn and Doreen.

Mulgrave and Glen Waverley

Mulgrave saw a 4.7% increase to $810,000 in the quarter. Leah attributes this to its proximity to Glen Waverley – a high performing suburb for many years.

“We often see that the next suburb on from a high performing suburb tends to get some traction as people see a chance for price and infrastructure growth."

The regional market

Some regional towns saw substantial gains of almost 10% in the March quarter, and there was a 1% increase overall in the median house price. Four of the top performing suburbs were in the Ballarat area – Redan, Ballarat East, Soldiers Hill and Brown Hill. Strong annual growth was also seen in Stawell, Bendigo, Irymple, Trafalgar, Mount Clear, Wallan and Maryborough.

“People are perhaps choosing to make a lifestyle change by moving into some of these regional towns, but they still have the opportunity to commute back into the city or surrounding suburbs for work.

“Plus, you could be able to pick up something for under half a million dollars, which is certainly seen as a good opportunity by some.”

What it comes down to

“The top suburbs change from time to time, but their characterising features remain similar – lifestyle offerings or the affordability of house and land,” says Leah.

“We continually see people buying in areas where they’re looking to make some sort of lifestyle change, and first home buyers purchasing properties in more affordable suburbs.”

Leah stresses that research is important when you’re looking to buy – and she points to local real estate agents as an under used, yet vital, resource.

“Pick up the phone and have a chat,” she says. “Not everything on the internet is 100% accurate and you want to make sure you’re getting on the ground information about where you want to buy."

“And don’t be deterred if lots of people show up to home opens – it doesn’t necessarily mean they’re all interested. Have that conversation with the agent to try and see what’s really going on.”

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