Melbourne February house listings up 50 percent from January: Secret Agent

Melbourne February house listings up 50 percent from January: Secret Agent
Melbourne February house listings up 50 percent from January: Secret Agent

GUEST OBSERVER

The dawn of Autumn brings a fresh round of listings to the residential market, as vendors who have been waiting patiently for the holiday season to conclude begin to put their property up for sale.

Listings in February are up by 50% for houses, 9% for townhouses and 14% for apartments compared to last month, albeit coming from the lowest turnover month of the year.

Increased supply equates to more choice for buyers. While bidding at auctions was strong and nominal prices were higher than last year, many properties in the inner suburbs have seen a decrease in real values since February 2015.

Average house prices in the inner suburbs were down 2% over the rolling quarter. After adjusting for inflation, the worst performer was the inner North, with median prices consistently falling each month since October 2015. Brunswick, Brunswick East and North Melbourne are all on Secret Agent's bust list for three or more rolling quarters. At the other end of the market, real prices in the inner South are on par with the highest point reached in 2015. With only small sale volumes, this statistic might be exaggerated, but it is supported by the underlying trend of rising house prices in this region.

South Melbourne and Port Melbourne are the best performers, each experiencing four and three consecutive rolling quarters of price growth, respectively.

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Melbourne February house listings up 50 percent from January: Secret Agent

Townhouses saw the biggest drop in price of all property types, down 4.5% over the past three months. This is great news for buyers, who were able to obtain more value for their money. The median price per square metre was down 16.5% to $6,300. Despite being well above the median price per square meter for houses, which currently sits at approximately $5,000 per square metre, this is well below the usual premium charged for the convenience townhouses offer to homeowners.

Apartments are the only market that saw a price increase this quarter compared to last, by nearly 2%. With mortgage rates still at an all-time low, many potential buyers are able to enter the market at the bottom end. Fitzroy is again on our apartment boom list, with Collingwood also joining as a high growth suburb in recent months. On the other hand, CBD apartments continue to fall in value, down 11% in real terms since this time last year.

This trend is likely to continue as the year progresses and more supply is released to the market. The Melbourne CBD and Southbank areas have both experienced three rolling quarters of price decline. Secret Agent notes that precedents are still being broken at the higher quality end of the market. Our data does not accurately represent this part of the market and it needs to be considered from an observational perspective. Quality has been in short supply in the early parts of 2016. As a result, quality offerings are snapped up quickly once discovered by the general public.

The next few months will help set the tone for the rest of the year. The property market is highly topical at the moment with the expectation of a slow down in the economy. This could bring the debate of a potential bubble burst back into the public arena. However, the latest GDP figures show an economy that is still proving to be resilient. Over the coming months, Secret Agent intends to delve deeper into the economy and look at current expectations for the short to medium term.

Quarterly Scorecard

DEC 2015 - FEB 2016

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Melbourne February house listings up 50 percent from January: Secret Agent

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Property News Residential Market

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