Buyers are back in business across the north-western suburbs, with The Reserve Bank’s July decision to cut the official interest rate for the second consecutive month spurring renewed activity.
Historically low interest rates, the banking watchdog’s plan to ease lending restrictions and the federal election outcome have combined to deliver a significant boost to buyer confidence. Increasingly strong turnouts at open for inspections, rising inquiry numbers and multiple bidders at auctions are again part of the real estate landscape. The positive sentiment has translated to more offers on quality properties across Melbourne’s north-west, and a noticeable improvement in the auction clearance rate. It hit about 68 per cent in early June as buyers stopped holding back and started to get in on the auction action.
“There’s now a vibe that buyers are genuinely looking to make good decisions, not bargain hunt – and banks have come on board a bit with their lending policies,” according to Brad Teal Real Estate founder and director Brad Teal. “Buyers have also come to terms with the bottoming out of prices, which in hindsight occurred around March or April this year.”
Market conditions are ideal for buyers looking to upgrade, with more expensive properties hit harder by the market downturn over the past 12-18 months. “So a home previously valued at $750,000 might still be priced at $750,000 but you could buy a property previously worth $1.7 million for $1.5 million in today’s market,” Mr Teal said. “Buyers can benefit from that percentage drop in the higher price bracket.”
CoreLogic data confirms relatively affordable areas in the north-west have defied the market downturn.
The Macedon Ranges townships of Riddells Creek, Woodend, Kyneton, Romsey and Gisborne recorded median house price growth of 22.6, 17.2, 11.3, 9.8 and 6.1 per cent respectively for the 12 months to April.
Median house prices range from $565,000 in Kyneton to $760,000 in Riddells Creek.
The Melton suburbs of Diggers Rest and Kurunjang were also strong performers. Diggers Rest’s median house price grew 6 per cent to $495,500 and Kurunjang’s was up 5.7 per cent to $428,000.
Essendon notched the inner north-west’s best house price growth at 3.6 per cent to a median $1,450,000.
Airport West led the way in the unit market, with a 12.3 per cent increase pushing the median price to $615,000 for the 12 months to April.
It was followed by Sydenham, where the median unit price grew 10.2 per cent to $435,100.
Brunswick had the highest number of unit sales at 222, while Craigieburn took the honours for house sales with 799 in the 12 months to April.