Boom times for the east
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.’’