Units favoured over houses
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