Property prices on the double

Four bidders competed for this modern three-bedroom Georgian-style family home on a small block in Canterbury.For months, property buyers and sellers have been concerned about the outlook for Melbourne house prices, but newly released long-term sales figures suggest the fundamentals of the market are in good shape.

The state government figures show house prices in most areas of the city have doubled in the past 10 years.

The Valuer-General figures compiled by the Australian Property Institute and the Municipal Group of Valuers show the median price of a house in the Boroondara area increased by 113 per cent between 2002 and 2011, jumping from $587,000 to $1.25 million.

Prices in other council precincts also spiked up. The median house price in Darebin rose by 109 per cent over the decade (from $298,000 to $624,000). Whitehorse was also up 109 per cent (from $317,000 to $663,000). Stonnington grew by 101 per cent ($605,250 to $1,215,350); Hobsons Bay by 100 per cent ($270,000 to $540,000); and Glen Eira by 99 per cent ($430,000 to $857,500).

API Victorian president Justine Jacano said every house sale in 2002-2011 was included in the statewide figures and they had “a high degree of credibility”. The figures show Melbourne’s median house price grew from $260,000 to $490,000 over 10 years.

Lower mortgage rates now appear to be favourably impacting on Melbourne’s market. RP Data figures released last week show property prices jumped 1.4 per cent in July, building on a 1 per cent increase in June. Yesterday’s auction clearance rate was 58 per cent for the 365 results reported to the Real Estate Institute of Victoria. The outcome of a further 56 scheduled sales is unknown. The institute says the total number of metropolitan sales so far this year is significantly down on previous years. It estimates there were 43,000 residential sales in Melbourne in the first seven months of 2012. This is slightly below the 44,570 sales recorded in the same period in 2011 by the Valuer-General.

REIV spokesman Robert Larocca said sales volumes in 2011 and 2012 are low when compared to every year since 2000. Sales volumes so far this year are down 24 per cent on the volumes in the first seven months of 2010 and 29 per cent down on 2009 volumes.

Mr Larocca said the flat market had contributed to a shift away from auction sales. “In the first seven months of 2010, 26 per cent of sales were at auction,” he said. “In 2011, it was 23 per cent and this year we are looking at 19 per cent.

“This is a year of low activity and low price growth. Overall, volumes are the same as they were in 2011 but there has been a sizeable shift to the use of private sales.”

Different segments of the market are now running at different speeds.

Paul Osborne, the head of the Carlton North-based buyers’ advocacy firm Secret Agent, said while Melbourne was generally well supplied with housing stock for sale, the outer suburbs were saturated with stock.

“It’s sitting there and not moving but, in some of the good inner suburban areas, there has been a reduction in stock, particularly of quality homes,” he said.

Home owners in these areas are financially secure and under little pressure to sell. “If they get an inkling that the market is not paying the right sort of money, they will not sell,” Mr Osborne said.

“That means you have less quality to choose from and the quality that is on the market still does very well because there is a lesser supply of it.”[email protected]苏州美甲培训学校

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