By Nadia Surace
WHILE increases in median house prices up to 4.5 per cent were seen in other major Victorian regional centres including Ballarat and Bendigo during the March quarter, Greater Shepparton recorded a 3.6 per cent reduction with prices dropping to $280,000.
The Real Estate Institute of Victoria June quarter median price data reveals that the median price of a house in regional Victoria increased by 1.6 per cent in the March quarter from $320,000 to $325,000. Over the past 12 months the increase has been 8.5 per cent. This wasn’t the case in Shepparton.
Shepparton-based Kevin Hicks Real Estate Agent, Rocky Gagliardi said it was hard to gauge the exact cause of the decline, but said flow-on effects of natural disasters including Queensland’s flooding earlier this year and the current global economic climate were likely contributing factors.
“The area had a tough six months heading into the last three months. The rain had a huge impact on local farmers and retailers,” he said.
“Because Melbourne prices were also soaring last year, it was easier for people to buy in Ballarat and commute to Melbourne. Others cashed in on high prices and bought in Ballarat to downsize cash in and travel to work to Melbourne.”
The data also showed that Bendigo recorded a 4.5 per cent increase to $287,500, Ballarat a 1.3 per cent increase to $288,500; in Geelong the median fell by 3.9 per cent in the quarter to $370,000 but was stable over the year.
The Shire of Macedon Ranges saw a 17.1 per cent increase to $575,000, similar to the Shire of Mount Alexander, where the median increased by 16.5 per cent to $405,000.
Melbourne median house prices increased by 5.4 per cent to $590,000.
The Institute say the data confirms that following a few years of turbulent conditions in the residential market, the last 12 months have recorded moderate and sustainable price growth.
They say the result is reflective of a market that is now stable, following the Global Financial Crisis and corrective action taken in response.