Melbourne home values rise for first time since March

Melbourne property values have risen for the first time since the city was gripped by the pandemic, ending seven months of coronavirus-driven downturn.

House and unit values increased 0.7 per cent in November to a $672,172 median, which property experts say shows the Melbourne market has turned a corner.

The values jump was the first positive result recorded for the city by CoreLogic’s Hedonic Home Value Index since March, after a 5.85 per cent fall wiped about $30,000 from house and unit prices between April and October.

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CoreLogic head of research Eliza Owen said the tide was turning now that a “sense of normality” had returned to Victoria, coupled with low interest rates and government incentives.

“After seven months of consistent decline, this is a really strong result for November,” Ms Owen said.

“Melbourne has been moving into recovery for the past few weeks … I believe we’ll see momentum to this growth.”

She said the property market had been “very responsive to social distancing restrictions”, which was why it had quickly sprung back to life after lockdown ended.

“From late October to late November we’ve seen the amount of new stock average 8100 properties,” she said.

“Listings have shot up across Melbourne and we’re starting to see the market stabilise to levels around the same time last year.”

Buxton Hampton East director Matthew Gray said November had been a “really strong” month, during which vendors collected strong results from intense competition.

“There’s an urgency from buyers at the moment who are scrambling over the stock that has recently hit the market,” Mr Gray said.

“We’re getting convincing offers on properties within a week of them going online and a lot of properties are not making it to auction day.”

He expected real estate activity would continue across the holiday season and create a strong start to 2021.

Every state capital recorded a positive result during November, with Sydney trailing slightly behind Melbourne with a 0.4 per cent rise.

Values also rose in regional Victoria by 1.3 per cent to a $403,525 median. Ms Owen noted that the Mornington Peninsula’s lifestyle appeal helped it become the state’s strongest market in November with a 2.2 per cent rise.

But Melbourne’s apartment rental market continues to plummet, with a 7.6 per cent drop in rent prices since March 31.

“The negative economic shock of COVID-19 to the inner-city unit market came at a time where supply had been ramping up,” Ms Owen said.

“It’s historically a more exposed market because it relies on demand from overseas migrants and those working in sectors like hospitality, tourism and the arts, which were all disproportionately impacted by COVID-19.”

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Melbourne house and unit values rises and falls during COVID-19

November: +0.7%

October: -0.2%

September: -0.9%

August: -1.2%

July: -1.2%

June: -1.15

May: -0.9%

April: -0.3%

March: +0.4%

Source: CoreLogic

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