Reported by Herald Sun August 2008:
FIVE suburbs have joined Melbourne’s million-dollar property club in the last year, bringing the total to 20.
Albert Park, Brighton East, Caulfield North, Glen Iris and Sandringham have all made a grand entrance with the average value of homes jumping by as much as 77 per cent in 12 months.
Two suburbs — South Yarra and Surrey Hills — have exited the property elite in that same period with their median house prices dropping below the $1 million mark.
Trendy South Yarra dived 27 per cent from $1.2 million to $880,000 and Surrey Hills dipped 20 per cent to $925,000 since June last year.
Although Toorak’s median price fell by 15 per cent from just over $3 million to $2.565 million, it’s still the most expensive area to live in Melbourne.
Brighton climbed from third to second with a $1.8 million average knocking Canterbury off its $1.63 million perch.
Real Estate Institute of Victoria figures show that Albert Park experienced the strongest growth with median house prices soaring by 77 per cent in the last financial year from $880,000 to $1.56 million.
Overall there were 40 suburbs with up to 25 per cent of properties worth more than $1 million.
The REIV said properties in the inner east suburbs and those in bayside areas would always be in demand.
REIV chief executive Enzo Raimondo said the main factors that made premium suburbs more expensive was their excellent location and proximity to a range of amenities such as the seaside, restaurants, schools, the CBD and public transport.
City or water views, heritage housing and lifestyle also added attraction.
“In recent times we have seen the number of suburbs with a million-dollar median increase due to the natural increase in the cost of housing and demand has overflowed from nearby million-dollar suburbs,” Mr Raimondo said.
“Despite dropping from the million-dollar list, suburbs like South Yarra and Surrey Hills are still highly valued and popular due to their sought-after inner city location and investment in property there will provide a solid investment over time.
“Buyers and owners need to take a medium-term view to their investment in housing as property is a good long-term appreciator and you can’t count on boom years like 2007 occurring all of the time.”
Melton South was Melbourne’s most affordable area, with median house prices hovering at $190,000. Other cheap outer suburbs include Melton, Werribee, Meadow Heights and Hoppers Crossing, all with medians below $254,000.