Finding a happy median
WITH Melbourne’s median house price nudging $600,000, affordable homes are getting harder to find across the city.
The median house price jumped $47,000 to $597,000 in the 12 months to January, new figures from CoreLogic RP Data show.
But homebuyers hoping to snap up a house at that price in Melbourne’s inner suburbs will have their work cut out for them.
Braybrook, 10km west of the city, is the only inner suburb with a median price below the overall city median mark. Its median price is $550,000. Burnham Real Estate director Tony Gerace said house prices were on the move in the ex-commission house area. “Traditionally Braybrook has had a bit of a stigma but that has slowly been eradicated,” he said.
Mr Gerace said it was one of the last suburbs in the area where buyers could get a house on a 500sq m block from $500,000 to $550,000.
The relatively affordable blocks of land had attracted developers, which had been pushing up house prices across the suburb.
In February, Mr Gerace sold the three-bedroom house at 5 Kenneth St, on a 585sq m block, to an investor for $570,000.
Realestate.com.au economist Nerida Conisbee said it was possible to find a three-bedroom house in the Melbourne median price realm but most were in outer areas.
“In the main, these areas are situated some distance from the inner city and include lifestyle locations such as St Andrews and Ferny Creek to established suburban areas such as Croydon, Watsonia and Croydon North,” she said.
But how would a homebuyer fare with a $570,000 budget in other states? Their dollar would stretch further in half the capital cities, including Brisbane, Adelaide and Hobart, where the median house price is at least $100,000 less than Melbourne’s benchmark.
CoreLogic RP Data senior research analyst Cameron Kusher said it was more affordable for homebuyers to live closer to the city centres in these capitals.
In Brisbane, the closest suburb under the Melbourne median was Stafford Heights, 7km from the city, for $565,000, he said.
Mr Kusher said the Adelaide suburb of Mile End, 3km from the CBD, had a median of $560,000, while homebuyers could live in Hobart’s city centre, with the median price at $527,500.
Looking at recent sales in Brisbane, buyers can find real bargains among the middle suburbs near Moreton Bay, such as the renovated Queenslanders at 10 Valarie St, Clontarf, that sold for $581,000 in January or 97 Birkdale Rd, Birkdale, that fetched $570,000 in March.
In the city of churches, the traditional period home at 15 Harris St, Edwardstown, 6km from the Adelaide CBD, sold for $585,000 in February.
And in Hobart, the capital with the lowest median house price at $356,000, buyers really have their pick of the crop.
The hilltop four-bedroom house at 26 Jindabyne Rd, Kingston Beach, with uninterrupted bay views and just 11km from the CBD, sold in January for $571,100, while the the idyllic beachfront cottage at 102 Pipe Clay Esplanade in Cremorne sold last November for $575,000.
But not all capital city rivals boast much better value for money than Melbourne.
Perth’s median house price is only $57,000 less at $540,000 and Canberra’s is on par at $595,000.
Sydney is in another league, with a median house price of $880,000 and a median unit price of $660,000.