With the first set of median price results for 2012 now released, it is clear that property prices have remained flat over the quarter, and the year. Clearance rates however indicate that some areas in Melbourne are not following the trend, with several suburbs well and truly exceeding the states 62% average.
Clearance rates shed some light
A review of the suburbs with the highest clearance rates in the first quarter tells you a lot about the local market right now. Firstly, it shows that some places are defying the overall trend. Secondly, the lack of a clear defining common theme shows that it is the location and quality of the homes for sale that is driving demand, rather than pressure at one particular price point.
The suburbs with the highest clearance rate in the March quarter were;
The clearance rate in the quarter was 62 per cent compared to 55 per cent in the December quarter of 2011 and 67 per cent in the 2011 March quarter. The volume of auctions held is 17 per cent lower than at this time last year, nine per cent lower than at this time in 2010 and 74 per cent higher than at this time in 2009.
Auctions and private sales deliver similar outcomes
Both methods of sale returned broadly similar outcomes for vendors, with the median price of a house sold at auction increasing by 2.3 per cent from $700,000 in the December quarter to $716,500 in the March quarter. For a house sold by private sale – as around three out of four are– the median price increased by 1.1 per cent from $465,000 to $470,000.
Buyers would be well advised to fully understand the local market in which they are looking to buy or sell, lest they turn up to an auction believing only six in 10 are selling under the hammer when, in fact, eight in 10 are – as in Mill Park, for instance.
There are three ways to gain a better understanding of your local market: firstly, keep in touch with REIV Member agents in that area; secondly, follow the local market through property portals such as realestateVIEW.com.au and propertyDATA.com.au as well as The Real Estate Institute of Victoria and, thirdly, attend auctions and open houses.