Australia’s best and worst performing suburbs of the past 12 months have been revealed. New data shows the hotspots that have completely bucked the national downward price trend and those that have borne the brunt of it.
The figures, released as part of Domain’s June quarter house price report, showed the Ballarat suburb of Mount Pleasant took out the number one growth spot in the country, its median house price having increased by a whopping 26.2 per cent in the 12 months to June this year, while Brisbane’s riverfront haven in the western suburbs, Chelmer, recorded a 25.2 per cent rise in its median house price.
Other suburbs that grew strongly included the wealthy Sydney eastern suburbs neighbourhood of Vaucluse, the Yorke Peninsula town of Wallaroo in South Australia, East Devonport in Tasmania and the seaside town of Wonthaggi in Gippsland, Victoria.
For units, the top performing suburb was Noosa Heads on the Sunshine Coast, where the median price of an apartment increased by a massive 24.8 per cent.
It was closely followed by the outer eastern suburb of Blackburn in Victoria, where units were up by 24.4 per cent and Broadbeach Waters on the Gold Coast, where units rose by 19.8 per cent.
At the other end of the scale, some of the areas that recorded the biggest falls in median house prices across Australia included the suburb of Minyama on the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, the Townsville suburb of Rasmussen and a clutch of Melbourne suburbs like St Kilda, Toorak, South Yarra and Hawthorn.
For units, the West Australian suburb of Victoria Park was down 32.1 per cent, while the Sydney suburb of Cammeray was down 28.4 per cent.
Leigh Hutchinson of Doepel Lilley Taylor said that although Ballarat had bucked the national downturn in prices, recording strong growth across the board, Mount Pleasant had performed exceptionally well as a suburb because it had been underpriced for too long.
“About 12, 18 months ago, the prices weren’t reflective of its proximity to the city centre,” he said.
“What’s happened over that time is that Melbourne buyers have recognised how much cheaper it was than the suburbs around it. I think anything under $400,000 is still attractive to the majority of buyers, whether they’re investors or first-home buyers.”
In the leafy riverfront suburb of Chelmer, house prices soared by 25.2 per cent, in stark contrast to Brisbane’s overall largely stagnant market.
Agent Jason Adcock of Adcock Prestige said Chelmer was the kind of suburb where people bought and stayed for 15 to 20 years.
“Because it’s so tightly held, there’s always a lack of stock,” he said. "When something does come up, it generally sells very quickly and with multiple offers.
“This would be the number one most desirable suburb in the western suburbs and one of Brisbane’s most desirable in general. More than a third of our sales right now are going to interstate and expat buyers, who are driving prices up.”
At the other end of the spectrum, house prices in some parts of Australia fell significantly over the 12 months to June.
In Minyama, a Sunshine Coast suburb located on the Mooloolah River, the data showed house prices were down by -33.7 per cent.
But local agent Karen Jones of Next Property Group said that figure was not a reflection of the state of the local market.
“That figure does not mean there’s a downward trend,” she said. “What’s happened is that during the previous year, there had been a couple of really high end sales, one for $6.7 million and another for $5 million.
“Those sort of properties are rarely on the market and the past 12 months we’ve seen a lot more sales on dry blocks off the river, which would have dragged down the result. Overall, the current market is very good.”
Melbourne’s ritzy inner suburbs were among some of the Australian neighbourhoods that took the biggest hit to house prices over the past year.
St Kilda’s house prices fell by the most significant amount across Melbourne, dropping by 32.1 per cent to a median of $758,000 over the 12 months to June 30.
It was closely followed by exclusive Toorak where prices dropped 31.7 per cent to a median of $2,812,500 and South Yarra, which saw prices fall by 31.4 per cent to $1,262,500.
But Domain economist Trent Wiltshire said it was because a greater number of lower-priced homes had changed hands, dragging down the median price, while higher-end house sales had been less common.
“The higher-priced suburbs tend to be more volatile – they rose the most in the boom and have also dropped the most as prices cooled,” Mr Wiltshire said. “Volatility among Melbourne’s expensive houses has been 70 to 80 per cent higher than for less expensive houses.”
This story first appeared at Domain.
Courtesy: Ellen Lutton AFR News editor