“There will be a tentative recovery for Melbourne, growth will be subdued for a while.”
Hot property investment opportunities in west, north and outer-east Melbourne suburbs: APM
The Melbourne property market is set for a tentative recovery in the short term, but there are currently buying opportunities for investors, particularly in the west, north and some outer eastern suburbs, according to Clinton McNabb, senior research analyst for Australian Property Monitors (APM).
Delivering a presentation at this weekend’s Melbourne Home Buyer & Property Investor Show, McNabb said investors needed to look for areas displaying the greatest population growth and where incomes are rising.
“There will be a tentative recovery for Melbourne, growth will be subdued for a while,” said McNabb.
But longer term, demand for housing will rise as the city’s population grows to beyond 6 million people over the next 20 years and overtakes Sydney, McNabb said.
“The biggest driver of house prices will be population growth,” said McNabb.
Investors should also look for suburbs, where incomes are growing.
McNabb presented a series of heat maps, with shades of blue, orange and red.
The heat map below shows which suburbs have displayed the greatest house price growth over the past two years.
Suburbs in shades of blue show where property prices have declined by 3% or more over the past two years, green suburbs have exhibited limited growth (up to 3%) orange indicates property prices rising around 10% and red zones show growth in excess of 15%.
The map shows much of the growth has been in suburbs around the city, but also good growth in some outlying areas such Narre Warren North and Beaconsfield Upper in the outer east.
In the west, McNabb says suburbs like Altona and Yarraville, where the median house price is around $500,000 – much cheaper than neighbouring suburbs – offer good potential.
Similarly, he picks unfashionable Footscray, West Footscray and Sunshine due to their affordability, closeness to the CBD and good transport connections.
In the north, McNabb says investors should look at well-located suburbs like Brunswick, Coburg and Preston.
They are affordable and also located close to the city with good transport connections.
Currently suburbs that have the highest average discount (the original listing price compared with the sale price) include Canterbury (15% discount), Toorak (12%), Footscray (11%), Brooklyn and St Kilda West.
Taking a wider view of the market, McNabb says the latest census data shows rising numbers of single person and childless couple housing occupants.
This he says indicates an increasing demand for higher-density living.
“In addition, more families are now willing to live in apartments and they will sacrifice space for location.
“Being close to transportation to the CBD is key. There has been a 47% jump in people using public transport since 2005,” he says.
“Compare suburbs and look at comparable sales – that’s the best way to avoid things like underquoting,” he says.