By Larry Schlesinger
14th June 2013
The trendy inner city suburb of South Yarra, just four kilometres south east of the Melbourne CBD, was the top performing Melbourne suburb in 2012, according to the latest Victorian Property Sales report prepared by the office of Victorian valuer-general Robert Marsh.
It led a strong but patchy recovery in the Melbourne property market in the final quarter of the year, with Metropolitan Melbourne sales statistics show an increase of 4.8% for median house prices to $495,000 following a 1.6% decrease in the September quarter.
South Yarra, home to the glitzy shopping strips of Chapel Street and Toorak Road, registered a 19.9% increase in its median house for the December 2012 quarter compared with the previous corresponding period.
The South Yarra median house price increased from $1,037,500 in the December quarter of 2011 to $1,243,500 in the December quarter of 2012 with 158 sales recorded over 2012.
Over the December quarter the South Yarra median house price increased by 25.6% from 36 sales.
Other inner city suburbs to record strong annual quarter-on-quarter gains were Malvern (up 10.8%), Footscray (10%) and Fitzroy North.
However, there were also significant corrections in some prominent inner city suburbs with Toorak, Melbourne’s most expensive suburb, recording a 15.9% annual correction with its median house price falling from $2.68 million from $2.26 million with 113 sales recorded over 2012.
There were also an 11.5% decline in St. Kilda (103 sales) and an 11.3% decline in South Melbourne (105 sales).
“The data does not indicate the general location of the 4.8% increase in metropolitan Melbourne housing values,” says Marsh.
“It does indicate the need for data analysts to undertake their own detailed research,” he added.
However, the overall trend was for an increasing number of suburbs to record increases in their median house prices.
“It has generally been observed that there are fewer suburbs showing a decrease in median house price in the December 2012 quarter compared to the September 2012 quarter,” says Marsh.
The December quarter figures show that 134 metropolitan suburbs with 10 or more sales showed a decrease in median house price for this quarter, compared to 182 suburbs in the September 2012 quarter.
In addition, 77 metropolitan suburbs with 10 or more sales in both of the last two quarters shifted from showing a median price increase for the September 2012 quarter to a median price decrease for the December 2012 quarter compared with 112 metropolitan suburbs shifting from an increase in the June 2012 quarter to a decrease in the September 2012 quarter.
In the Western suburbs, the strongest annual gains were in Altona (up 3.4%) and Derrimut (2.6%) but with steep falls in Keilor East (-9.5%) and Sunshine (-5.8%).
In the outer-western suburbs, Taylors Hill house prices lifted 12.6% followed by Hillside up 9.1%. However Werribee median house prices fell 6.6% over 2012 and by 4.4% in Tarneit.
In the outer-eastern suburbs, Heathmont recorded a 6.8% rise, but Wantirna prices fell 6.9%.