Units favoured over houses

Herald Sun - Property - - DEVELOPMENT - KAMAHL COG­DON

UNIT and apart­ment prices are grow­ing more quickly than house prices in many sub­urbs across Mel­bourne, new data shows.

Down­siz­ers and buy­ers seek­ing af­ford­abil­ity are driv­ing up prices, mar­ket ex­perts say.

Ring­wood North posted the big­gest gain, with the me­dian unit price soar­ing $164,000, or 39.5 per cent, in the year to Novem­ber to $579,500.

At the same time, Ring­wood North’s me­dian house price rose just 4.8 per cent to $660,500.

In Clifton Hill the me­dian unit price rose $154,000, or 29.3 per cent, to $680,000, while a me­dian-priced house gained 9 per cent to $917,500.

And in leafy Can­ter­bury the me­dian unit price in­crease was $191,100, or 27.3 per cent, to $890,100. This com­pared to a 5.2 per cent rise in the me­dian house price to $2.004 mil­lion.

CoreLogic RP Data fig­ures show all but two of the top 20 sub­urbs for units recorded unit price growth that out­per­formed houses.

How­ever, the trend did not ex­tend across Mel­bourne, with the over­all metropoli­tan me­dian price up 2.7 per cent for units and 7.8 per cent for houses.

Real Es­tate In­sti­tute of Vic­to­ria chief ex­ec­u­tive Enzo Rai­mondo said apart­ments were grow­ing in pop­u­lar­ity with baby boomers in bay­side and eastern sub­urbs.

He said they were of­ten look­ing for a smaller, low- main­te­nance homes af­ter sell­ing a larger fam­ily res­i­dence in the same sub­urb.

And there was a grow­ing num­ber of new up­scale apart­ments and townhouses to cater for this de­mand.

“Melburnians have warmed to apart­ment living,” he said. “In the sec­ond half of last year alone, more than 11,000 were sold across Mel­bourne as buy­ers sought to se­cure their slice of high-rise heaven.”

Mr Rai­mondo said units and apart­ments were also a more af­ford­able al­ter­na­tive for bud­get-minded buy­ers.

“Many first-time buy­ers find this an ideal way to get a foot on the hous­ing lad­der,” he said.

WBP Prop­erty Group chief ex­ec­u­tive Gre­ville Pabst said it was tricky to com­pare unit and house prices, par­tic­u­larly where the unit or apart­ment was bought off the plan.

He said while the price of es­tab­lished homes re­flected what the mar­ket was pre­pared to pay, off-the-plan prices were set by de­vel­op­ers cov­er­ing costs.

A sub­urb’s me­dian unit price could be skewed if a new devel­op­ment sold a large num­ber of apart­ments, he said.

Mr Pabst said it was wise to do your own re­search when look­ing to buy a unit or apart­ment, by com­par­ing sale prices of prop­er­ties of a sim­i­lar style, age and qual­ity in the area.

up 39.5% to $579,500

up 29.3% to $680,000

up 27.3% to $890,100

up 26.9% to $530,000

up 26.5% to $507,500

up 24.1% to $531,000

up 23.5% to $795,000

up 23.4% to $600,000

up 23.1% to $720,250

up 22.5% to $585,000

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