The median price of a home in regional Victoria reached a record high in the last three months of 2013. Statewide, the December quarter median house price for regional areas was $320,500, an increase of 2.6 per cent on the September quarter price of $312,500.
But across the state there were huge variations in price growth with some areas increasing by more than 10 per cent while others fell. Median house prices in the three major centres – Ballarat, Bendigo and Geelong – all grew and their prices remain at their peaks. Bendigo was up 1.6 per cent on the September quarter, the highest growth of the three centres.
Such growth reflects the strong price increases in Melbourne over this period, with buyers taking advantage of record low interest rates. But across Victoria it was a mixed story with economic conditions and local factors impacting on prices. In Queenscliffe, for example, sought after by both retirees and holiday home buyers, the median price was $687,000 – an increase of 13.6 per cent on the previous quarter.
Among the other best performing areas were Ararat, where the December quarter median price of $179,750 was up 17.9 per cent on the September quarter, Colac-Otway where the increase was 8.1 per cent, Wellington Shire with 3.5 per cent and Wangaratta, with 7.3 per cent. By contrast the overall median house price for East Gippsland fell by 1.7 per cent, compared with the previous quarter, while Horsham’s fall was 7.7 per cent. There was a 2.2 per cent fall in Warrnambool.
Medians include the highest sales as well as the lowest , which can push up the median price. But this does not necessarily mean all homes in the area will reach such heights. This is worth remembering if using the medians to price your own house – they are a valuable starting point but many individual factors – location, quality and size, for example – may mean your home is worth more, or less.