Home range grows

Buy­ers look fur­ther afield in hunt for af­ford­able prop­erty

Herald Sun - - NEWS - SCOTT CAR­BINES scott.car­bines@news.com.au

RE­GIONAL Vic­to­ria’s more af­ford­able prop­erty mar­ket is pow­er­ing along as pricey Mel­bourne’s con­tin­ues to cool.

The me­dian house price in re­gional Vic­to­ria rose 4 per cent to $419,500 in the June quar­ter, al­most ex­actly half of Mel­bourne’s $840,000, which has slipped 0.6 per cent.

The Real Es­tate In­sti­tute of Vic­to­ria’s lat­est fig­ures also show the city’s me­dian unit price rose 0.5 per cent to $604,000 in the quar­ter.

Half of the top 10 re­gional sub­urbs for an­nual me­dian house price growth were in Gee­long, af­ford­abil­ity and prox­im­ity to Mel­bourne be­ing ma­jor driv­ing fac­tors.

REIV pres­i­dent Richard Simp­son said stamp duty con­ces­sions for first-home buy­ers in­tro­duced last July had been “a boon” for re­gional ar­eas.

“A new en­trant to the prop­erty mar­ket buy­ing a house at the re­gional me­dian will pay no stamp duty, while a firsthome buyer of an apart­ment in Mel­bourne at the me­dian price would pay stamp duty of nearly $25,000,” he said.

“Whether for rea­sons of hous­ing price or a change in life­style, more prospec­tive buy­ers are will­ing to look to re­gional Vic­to­ria to pur­chase. The pos­si­bil­i­ties of bet­ter trans­port con­nec­tions with Mel­bourne make that op­tion even more palat­able.”

Co­rio’s me­dian house price rose 33 per cent to $353,000, Nor­lane’s 32.7 per cent to $345,000, and New­comb’s 29.4 per cent to $440,000.

Wake­lin Prop­erty Ad­vi­sory di­rec­tor Jar­rod McCabe said more peo­ple were pre­pared to com­mute to Mel­bourne.

“This is a fa­mil­iar pat­tern, where up­swings in the prop­erty cy­cle in ma­jor cities lead to growth in house prices in nearby re­gional cen­tres, as peo­ple ac­cept longer com­mutes to buy af­ford­able prop­erty. The Mel­bourne-Gee­long ser­vice is V/Line’s busiest, and there’s now se­ri­ous con­sid­er­a­tion of a ferry ser­vice.

“Smaller towns within easy trav­el­ling dis­tance from Mel­bourne are also per­form­ing well … Many of the most ex­pen­sive ar­eas, such as Barwon Heads, Torquay and Wood­end, pro­vide beach or coun­try liv­ing with im­proved trans­port links to the state cap­i­tal.”

CoreLogic Vic­to­rian di­rec­tor Ge­off White said Gee­long’s clear­ance rate of 90 per cent clear­ance rate last week was the strong­est in the coun­try.

Mr Simp­son said re­gional me­dian house price growth in the June quar­ter was strong­est in Won­thaggi, Kyne­ton and Wal­lan. In­ner Mel­bourne’s me­dian house price fell 4.9 per cent to $1.459 mil­lion and mid­dle Mel­bourne’s 5.4 per cent to $974,500. In outer sub­urbs it rose 0.5 per cent to $681,000.

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