Boom times for the east

Herald Sun - Property - - REGION REPORT - KYLIE DUL­HUNTY

A RIP­PLE ef­fect is push­ing eastern sub­urbs prop­erty prices sky­ward, with growth in many ar­eas eclips­ing over­all Mel­bourne price gains.

CoreLogic RP Data fig­ures show units were the among the re­gion’s strong­est price per­form­ers in the year to May as house hun­ters searched for more af­ford­able ways to buy in the eastern sub­urbs.

Ash­bur­ton recorded the high­est unit price growth, with the me­dian price soar­ing 35.2 per cent to $950,000, although there were rel­a­tively few unit sales.

The Ash­bur­ton unit price spike com­pares to a 1.1 per cent jump in Mel­bourne’s over­all unit me­dian price to $460,000.

Units in Ring­wood North also sig­nif­i­cantly out­per­formed the Mel­bourne me­dian, with growth of 31.8 per cent to $613,000.

Ris­ing unit prices pushed six sub­urbs into the top 20 price per­form­ers of the east, although there were al­most three times as many house sales as unit sales.

Box Hill was tops for house price growth, its me­dian price climb­ing 29.1 per cent to $1,095,945 in the year to May.

It was fol­lowed by Mt Waver­ley, where the me­dian house price jumped 23 per cent to $1.05 mil­lion, neigh­bour­ing Box Hill South with 22.9 per cent growth to $1.008 mil­lion and Wan­tirna South with a 22.4 per cent in­crease to $757,500.

The over­all Mel­bourne me­dian house price rose 3 per cent in the same pe­riod to $551,000.

Har­courts, Mt Waver­ley, di­rec­tor Martin Giles at­trib­uted Ash­bur­ton’s growth to ris­ing prices in neigh­bour­ing sub­urbs, and off-kil­ter sup­ply and de­mand.

“Stock lev­els aren’t meet­ing de­mand and when that hap­pens prices are go­ing to be strong,” he said. “Ash­bur­ton is also ap­peal­ing as it’s more af­ford­able than Glen Iris.”

Mr Giles said Ash­bur­ton units were pop­u­lar with down­siz­ers and young ex­ec­u­tives who were look­ing for a low main­te­nance lifestyle.

He said the sub­urb’s other ben­e­fits in­cluded strip shop­ping on High St, easy ac­cess to two train sta­tions and be­ing near premier schools. He said he ex­pected the mar­ket to “cool slightly” when more prop­er­ties hit the mar­ket in spring.

Stock­dale & Leggo, Mt Waver­ley and Glen Waver­ley, di­rec­tor Mark Brown said cashed-up Asian buy­ers were a ma­jor force in his patch. He said Asian buy­ers, par­tic­u­larly those of Chi­nese ori­gin, had been drawn to the area’s schools — in­clud­ing Glen Waver­ley and Mt Waver­ley sec­ondary col­leges, pri­vate schools and Monash Univer­sity — over the past 10 years.

“That’s been the driv­ing force, par­tic­u­larly for our in­ter­na­tional clients and that’s where the money is com­ing from,” he said.

“But what has started to hap­pen now is that it has be­come a com­mu­nity and as that com­mu­nity has grown we’ve found some of the pe­riph­eral ar­eas that are not in any di­rect school zone have also grown in pop­u­lar­ity.”

He said the area’s ris­ing pop­u­lar­ity had pro­duced “a lot of sales fig­ures that bear no logic” but were fan­tas­tic for ven­dors. Har­courts, Ring­wood, di­rec­tor Kathy Guthrie tipped prices would con­tinue to rise in her area, with the multi-mil­lion dol­lar re­de­vel­op­ments of East­land shop­ping cen­tre and the train sta­tion.

“I think peo­ple will have to move fur­ther down the line for af­ford­abil­ity to Croy­don, Ring­wood East and even Moorool­bark,” she said.

Barry Plant, White­horse, di­rec­tor Terry Bur­goyne said:

“I’ve seen strong, buoy­ant mar­kets be­fore but it’s like some­one has in­jected this mar­ket with a gi­ant dose of steroids. A lot of peo­ple are buy­ing into Box Hill South be­cause Bur­wood has gone through the roof and you’re pay­ing $1.2 mil­lion to $1.4 mil­lion for land in Bur­wood.”

Woodards, Black­burn, di­rec­tor Cameron Way said the knock-down-re­build trend was also driv­ing growth in his lo­cal mar­ket. Owner-oc­cu­piers wanted to build a new dream home, while de­vel­op­ers were af­ter larger blocks for mul­tiu­nit re­builds.

He said he be­lieved the Black­burn area had been un­der­val­ued in com­par­i­son to sur­round­ing sub­urbs for the past few years.

“Buy­ers have been see­ing good value and good pur­chas­ing in those sub­urbs in re­cent times, that’s prob­a­bly driv­ing a bit of the de­mand and the in­crease in prices,” he said.

“They’re sub­urbs that are very well ser­viced.’’

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