By Derek Schlennstedt
Millgrove, Warburton and Warburton East have been identified in the Top 14 most affordable suburbs to buy a house, with Millgrove identified as number one on the list.
The median house price in Millgrove is reported as being $295,000 with average house prices at Warburton East reported as being $390,000 and Warburton the most expensive of the three at $405,000.
But, although Millgrove may be in the centre of those first home buyers’ sights, a catch-22 has meant there are no houses to buy.
Ashley Hall, director of Professionals Warburton and Yarra Junction said the median house prices had already gone over what was reported.
“The median price they are talking … it’s gone past that.”
“At the moment the market in Millgrove is very strong because there are not many houses for sale,” he said.
“We’ve been getting 10-15 people at our opens in Millgrove and out of those we’re probably getting 4-5 offers on each house.
“Some properties are selling above asking price because of the multiple offers.”
Properties are generally snapped up within a week of going on the market in Millgrove and while prices have gone above the reported median, it hasn’t discouraged first home buyers who make up around 50 per cent of the market.
As a result of cheaper housing prices, Mr Hall said that the demographic of Millgrove was changing and mainly consisted of ‘first home buyers,’ ‘retirees,’ and those looking to ‘downsize’.
“It definitely is changing, there were a lot more rental properties but these are slowly being sold off and being bought by owner occupiers.”
“A good 50 per cent of buyers are first home buyers,” he said.
In comparison Warburton is reportedly an extra $110,000 more than Millgrove’s median house average and the demographic attracts those wanting holiday houses and those looking for a ‘tree change’.
In March the Andrews Government announced it would double the first-home owners’ grant to $20,000 in regional Victoria from 1 July and will also abolish stamp duty for first-home buyers on properties up to $600,000.
Although the supercharged property turnover in Millgrove means few houses in Millgrove last longer than a week, Hall said that it was part of a wider cyclical trend.
“At the moment and quite often that happens through the cooler months.
“There’s not as many places for sale so what does come up, we get big numbers of buyers waiting – when spring comes along that supply may then push over the other way,”
“If people are thinking of selling – put it on the market now while the demand is strong and supply is low.”
For many first home buyers the choice is often between cost and travel time and Domain Group Chief Data Scientist Nicolla Powell said travel time was paramount to living a ‘good life’.
The drive from Millgrove to the Melbourne CBD is around an hour and 40 minutes and public transport takes around two hours.
“It is important that people are in a locality close to where they work, or if they are not, there needs to be good infrastructure and public transport to allow people to commute to work,”
“As the population grows and housing sprawls even further, it puts more and more pressure on governments to provide that infrastructure for people to live a good life.”