Property market in period of stability

The REIV 2012 March quarter median prices show that property prices have remained flat over the quarter and year. The median house price in metropolitan Melbourne was $535,000, representing a minor increase of 0.9 per cent from a revised December quarter median of $530,000.

REIV CEO Enzo Raimondo said that demand for residential property over the past year reflected the broader state of the economy and that buyers would continue to find that prices will maintain their current levels in the short term.

“The property market moves in cycles and now we are in one of stability, with overall median house prices showing no real growth. The median house price has increased $5000 since March 2011, confirming a very stable market in relation to prices.

“The last twelve months also reflect both an easing in population growth and improvement in the supply of new homes.

“In many suburbs, such as Coburg and Footscray, demand increased this quarter after buyers found median prices well below their peaks.

“Other suburbs that have recorded strong demand this quarter were Wheelers Hill, Glen Iris, Camberwell, Tarneit, Doncaster and Ringwood.

“The unit and apartment market is also mostly stable, with the median price falling by 1.1 per cent to $445,000 from $450,000 in the December quarter.

“Over the median term both classes of dwelling have provided similar returns: the median house price has increased by 43.4 per cent over the past five years and it has increased by 39.1 per cent for units and apartments.

“Demand in regional Victoria has mirrored metropolitan Melbourne, with the median house price increasing by 1.3 per cent to $314,000 from a revised December quarter median of $310,000. Of the three main regional cities demand was strongest in Bendigo, where a 5.2 per cent improvement has caused the median house price to reach a new high of $305,000. In Geelong demand is also stable, with a 2.1 per cent increase to $385,000, and in Ballarat there was a minor reduction of 0.3 per cent to $288,000.

“Until the economy and confidence improve, the market is likely to remain as it is now. Buyers and sellers over the next quarter in particular will be watching interest rates over the next quarter,” Mr Raimondo concluded.