This article was originally published by SAMANTHA LANDY, Property reporter, Herald Sun,
JUST three suburbs within 20km of the Melbourne CBD still offer affordable median house prices below $400,000, a new report shows.
And househunters wanting to live within 10km of the city face medians above $700,000 and even $800,000, unless they opt for Braybrook or Maidstone.
But the report by Aussie Home Loans and CoreLogic shows that while the affordable portion of Melbourne’s market is shrinking as house prices rise, the city’s situation is far less dire than Sydney’s.
Aussie chief executive James Symond said Melbourne’s median house price of $693,886 was $300,000 cheaper than its northern rival, where there were only two suburbs left within 20km of the CBD with medians below $800,0000.
The report names Melton, 34km west of the CBD, as the cheapest place to buy a house in metro Melbourne with a median value of $284,915.
Those wanting to live a little closer to the action would be best to buy in the Hume region, with Coolaroo (median value of $338,598), Dallas ($346,688), Meadow Heights ($379,207) and Broadmeadows ($404,546) boasting the best value houses 20km from the city.
And the Maribyrnong area offers four of the five most affordable suburbs within 10km — Braybrook ($613,399), Maidstone ($697,649), West Footscray ($763,177) and Footscray ($774,319).
Albion, 13km west, is the cheapest suburb for units in Melbourne at a median of $230,454.
And Kingsville’s units are the most achievable within 10km of the city at $363,296, followed by West Footscray ($372,646), Carlton ($381,544) and Travancore ($389,321).
REA Group chief economist Nerida Conisbee said Melbourne unit prices had risen by just 3.9 per cent this year, keeping them more achievable than houses, which boomed 12.2 per cent.
The fact Melbourne property values dipped “for the first time in ages” last month should also be encouraging for buyers, she said: “We may see more moderate conditions going forward. And if prices start to grow more in line with wages, affordability with improve.”
YPA, Glenroy, agent David Taylor said buyers seeking a bargain in Hume had better get in quick, as developers, Sydney-based investors and homebuyers from Melbourne’s east had been pushing up prices in Broadmeadows, Jacana and surrounds.
“Two and a half years ago, our median house price was about $350,000. In the last two months, we’ve started to see $500,000 being achieved,” he said.
Longtime Jacana resident Leanne Heywood said her suburb was “the perfect place” for young families to enter the Melbourne market, as it was quiet, close to schools, and just “25 minutes to town on the Ring Rd”.
Ms Heywood is auctioning her three-bedroom brick house at 52 Hales Cres at 2.30pm on Saturday, with price expectations in the low-$400,000 range.
MELBOURNE’S MOST AFFORDABLE SUBURBS
For houses within 10km of the CBD:
Braybrook: median value $613,399
West Footscray: $763,177
Pascoe Vale South: $837,911
South Kingsville: $842,964
North Melbourne: $864,320
For houses within 20km of the CBD:
Coolaroo: median value $338,598
Meadow Heights: $379,207
Kings Park: $412,838
Deer Park: $415,795
For units within 10km of the CBD:
Kingsville: median value $363,296
West Footscray: $372,646
For units within 20km of the CBD:
Meadow Heights: $296,404
St Albans: $327,917
For Melbourne overall:
Melton (houses) $284,915
Albion (units): $230,454
Source: CoreLogic and Aussie Home Loans