Melbourne’s median house price rose by more than 7 per cent in the final quarter of 2013, to a new high of $643,000. REIV CEO Enzo Raimondo said that the increase was driven by several factors. “Low interest rates, a record number of auctions, and an increase in million dollar-plus sales all led to an impressive quarter for the market,” he said.
He said buyers were “out in force”, leading to a healthy average clearance rate of 70 per cent for the quarter. “Sellers were also confident of making a sale with about 12,800 auctions held during these three months, an average of more than a thousand auctions a week,” Mr Raimondo said.
But this rapid increase in the median house price would continue to place pressure on affordability this year, he said. “Victoria’s unemployment rate has continued to increase, which may dampen consumer sentiment and moderate price growth in the next six to nine months.”
Mr Raimondo said Melbourne’s inner and middle suburbs, in particular Prahran, Donvale and Fitzroy North, continued to have the highest price growth in the final quarter of 2013. There was also strong growth in some outer suburbs such as Wantirna South, Mount Martha, and Hoppers Crossing.
“While auctions comprised a higher share of sales this quarter, there was stronger price growth for houses sold by private sale,” he said. “This has driven some of the price increases in the outer suburbs, where private sales are more popular.” Demand for houses continues to outstrip demand for units with Melbourne’s median unit price increasing by 3.9 per cent to $498,000 during the quarter.
“The regional market also improved in December quarter with the median house price increasing by 2.6 per cent – the highest since the 2013 March quarter,” Mr Raimondo said. “The regional median house price is now at a new record of $320,500 with the three major centres of Geelong, Ballarat, and Bendigo also showing growth,” he said.