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Advice , Community

Your winter market in review

While it’s true that you can buy a bargain in the summer and sell your home for a stunning price in the middle of winter, the season is typically known to be a slower with less stock on the market.

So, how is it really fairing this year? We asked our experts to set the record straight with their local perspectives. 

Tony Douglass, hockingstuart Ballarat

Ballarat is currently experiencing strong growth and a substantial rise in interest. In fact, over the past 6 – 12 months, Ballarat and local areas have seen a 20% increase in property values. With 48% of people moving to Ballarat coming from Melbourne, it’s clear that the appeal of the improved lifestyle and school opportunities in regional areas is proving too tempting to resist.

These areas continue to be very much reliant on private sales over auctions, with the average time on market staying under 30 days. First home buyers are also making a significant impact on the local market, particularly when it comes to buying blocks of land. For example, according to hockingstuart stats, in the new Ballarat suburb of Winter Valley we've sold 192 blocks of land since April 2017.

With the popularity of Ballarat growing – especially due to the 600 government jobs that were transferred to the area this year – the market is expected to continue surging.

Joe Mavrikos, hockingstuart Melton

Thanks to the news around the recent Royal Commissions, investors are being more cautious when it comes to the property market. This has opened the door to many first home buyers who are able to snag great properties for a good price in Melton. Auction clearance rates remain high at 63% with particular interest from owner-occupiers who are looking to get good value for money.

Melton remains one of Melbourne’s best kept secrets and is only around 35 – 40 minutes from the CBD. With upcoming infrastructure to help enhance the community, including the Woodgrove Shopping Centre and plans for a train station, Melton is definitely an emerging hotspot.

Joe Ledda, hockingstuart Preston

With families typically going away mid-year, winter is always a quieter month in family-friendly suburbs. As such, stock is lower, but we’re still seeing a healthy mix of first home buyers and investors. Apartments are also moving faster than family homes thanks to their lower price bracket.

Following such strong growth over the past couple of years, the market has cooled a little bit as those looking for a bargain turn their attention to neighbouring suburbs. With the selling prices remaining the same as last year, we’ve seen a drop off in the number of potential buyers and an increase in the days on the market to 56 days. For sellers, this means we’re still likely to get a great result at auction, but simply need to set realistic expectations from the outset since runaway auctions may not be as likely as in previous years.

Jenny Dwyer, hockingstuart Sandringham

Sandringham has always been a popular prestige market for established families and has continued to surge over the past few years to make the median house price sit comfortably at $2.46 million. However, as expected we have seen a slight decrease in the median house price over the past 6 months as buyers become a little bit more cautious, and lending restrictions come into play off the back of the banking commission findings.

Particularly in the market above $2million, we’re seeing an increase in the number of days on the market, but buyers across the pricing spectrum are feeling the effects of a market that has stabilised. With great local amenities, including public transport and school options, it’s a popular area among all price levels. For those that can’t buy in Sandringham, the rental market has been secure with low vacancy and rents that are staying steady.

There has been a diversification in the types of properties available, with an increase in the number of apartments being built attracting more young couples seeing an opportunity to get into the housing market. Townhouses are also proving to be popular because their smaller land size tends to mean lower costs, which is attractive for those wanting to live in particular areas but without multi-million-dollar budgets.