Melbourne lockdown Suburbs to watch as the property market reopens
Melbourne’s housing market is preparing to reopen after weeks of lockdown, with buyers set to face stiff competition and bullish prices to secure their dream home.
And the hottest neighbourhoods for spring have been revealed, with new data showing the areas where buyer demand has soared.
After prices rose by double digits over the past year in some sought-after suburbs on the back of ultra-low interest rates and a lockdown-fuelled desire for more space, agents say there are still good opportunities to get into the market if buyers consider a nearby location or different type of property.
Well-heeled neighbourhoods are high on shopping lists. Buyer demand is up 77.6 per cent in the Stonnington (east) statistical region, compared to this time last year, and up 34.3 per cent for Stonnington (west), on Domain data.
Demand in Bayside has jumped 73.8 per cent and Boroondara is up 42.5 per cent, while there have also been strong rises in the tree-change hotspot of the Macedon Ranges and more affordable options such as Keilor and Tullamarine/Broadmeadows. The indicator measures active buyers on domain.com.au who are more likely to purchase, such as shortlisting a home or sending an enquiry, over the week to September 5.
Kay & Burton’s Michael Armstrong said he was expecting a busy time and further price growth in the leafy inner eastern suburbs once Melbourne restarted private inspections of unoccupied properties — when the 70 per cent first-dose vaccination milestone is achieved, tentatively September 23 — but potentially as early as next weekend.
“A lot of people don’t want to sell a property unless they get a clear run of it,” he said. “There are a lot of buyers that are pretty eager to transact … we can see an imbalance in terms of supply and demand for family homes.”
He suggested there were still good value opportunities in townhouses or boutique apartment blocks in the inner east instead.
As for the rule that listings must be unoccupied? “I think there are a lot of agents and vendors trying to manoeuvre their way around the legislation on that,” he said.
For buyers priced out of the inner ‘burbs, Fletchers’ Tim Heavyside suggested Box Hill North instead of neighbouring Balwyn North and Mont Albert North.
“There are still excellent buying opportunities there but you’re still so close to a lot of the amenities and facilities and schools,” he said. “Buyers are definitely starved for property … those people that have sold something and need to buy something, they’re very frustrated.”
Some vacant listings were rental properties sitting empty, some vendors had moved out, and some tenancy arrangements would be ended to sell former rental properties as vacant, he said.
By the bay, Nick Johnstone of the eponymous real estate agency said he had empty homes ready to sell and expected the market to go “ballistic”.
“A few of them were empty,” he said. “We’ve also been encouraging owners to move out if they can if the government are going to stick to unoccupied properties.
“There’s plenty more upside in Brighton, Brighton East, Hampton and Sandringham.”
As for more affordable options nearby, he suggests Mordialloc, Edithvale or Aspendale further south, or Hampton East or Moorabbin inland.
And what of the suburbs where prices have already jumped?
In Warrandyte, house prices rose 25.8 per cent in the year to June, Domain figures show, the biggest rise in Melbourne, excluding the Mornington Peninsula.
Barry Plant Manningham’s Theo Politis highlighted Warrandyte’s village vibe and community feel near amenities and schools. At a more affordable price point but still popular, he suggested North Warrandyte, Eltham, Eltham North or Research.
“There’s been a big shift towards lifestyle properties; the more time people spend in their own homes they realise they’d like a bit more space,” he said. “Where we would have had one to two buyers we’re having eight to 10.”
In the northern suburbs, prices jumped over the past year in Brunswick East, Pascoe Vale South, Northcote and Thornbury.
Ray White Preston’s Ian Dempsey said he had seen inner-city buyers move further north for more space, and said there were still good value opportunities on good land sizes for those willing to move perhaps 12 or 14 kilometres from the city.
He still suggested Thornbury but added its northern neighbours Preston, Reservoir, parts of Heidelberg or Heidelberg West.
“I personally think the buyer demand is going to outweigh the stock levels,” he said. “I don’t think there’s going to be enough stock.”
Preston homeowner David Soon said he was hoping to sell his townhouse once the market reopened more fully, and to buy a standalone house a few suburbs further from the city.
He had seen houses in his neighbourhood advertised for $1.2 million regularly selling for about $1.4 million pre-lockdown.
“From my observation, I think that market’s hot,” he said. “That is sought-after, for some people to be throwing in an additional $200,000 from what is advertised.”
Ref: ELIZABETH REDMAN| SENIOR NEWS PRODUCER (on 11 Sep 2021). Melbourne lockdown Suburbs to watch as the property market reopens. Retrieved from https://www.domain.com.au/news/melbourne-lockdown-suburbs-to-watch-as-the-property-market-reopens-1087111/.
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