Property Ancestry

Who owned your house before you? How much did they pay for it? What about 50 years ago (if your home is that old)?

These are questions often asked by the public and, not unlike working out your family tree, they don’t have simple answers – but there are a range of tools you can use to find out.

One source is publically available sales records. Each weekend the sale price of most homes sold at auction is available at and in the newspapers. If the sale occurred more than seven days previously, and that is likely to be the case if you are trying to find out a home’s history, then you can consult websites such as, where, for a small fee, you can search historical sales records.

This can be very useful for homes sold at auction; however, due to Victorian privacy laws, the street or unit number of homes sold by private sale cannot be disclosed.

Another rich source of information is the Land Titles Office. The Victorian Government allows you to search the public register of land titles for a small fee. The title will tell you the details about the size and location of the property, the details of encumbrances, who owns it and – importantly, if you intend finding out more – the date of the transfer.  What the title won’t tell you is how much was paid.

So, not unlike tracing your personal ancestry, there is no simple answer or method to finding out your house’s history; however, you can find out a lot if you have the time and tenacity.