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House prices on the move

By Meighan Hetherington of Property Pursuit www.propertypursuit.com.au

In March I wrote about the differences in reported median house prices amongst the various research institutions in Queensland.  Anyone who has bought a property in the past few years would have endured confusion of trying to understand why the figures don't match up.  

Despite that frustration, median prices do give buyers a good opportunity to compare movements in house prices and provides a rough guide about how different areas compare.

The latest Real Estate Institute of Queensland figures have been released showing a very healthy 9.5% annual change over the 12 months to June 2007 in the Brisbane Local Government Area with the median house price now $405,000.  This is inline with our previous expectations that over the full year for 2007 we are expecting above 10% growth across Brisbane.

The standout performing suburbs in Brisbane across several price ranges were:
Albion with 28.8% increase to $490,000
Ashgrove with 24.1% increase to $558,620
Auchenflower with 29.7% to $655,000
Belmont (Bayside area) with 32% to $495,000
Hamilton with 29% to $1,056,250
Lota (Bayside) with 27.3% to $440,000
Manly (Bayside) with 25.7% to $550,000
Newstead with 51.7% to $1,137,500
Considering most, if not all, buyers are looking for the best house in the best suburb their money can buy.  It is no surprise the most common complaint about ‘median' house prices is that it is nearly impossible to find a house in or around the median price that isn't on a main road or next to the railway line. Median house prices are a good way to compare movements in house prices and to give you a rough guide about how different areas compare but don't expect to find a large number of opportunities around the reported median price.

So where to from here?  We are still seeing strong levels of buyer activity with low numbers of properties advertised for sale.  Interestingly in the past 2 weeks we have seen a slight slowing in the number of  buyers making early offers on new listings that are excessively higher than the asking price, indicating that buyers are prepared to be a bit more patient to find their ideal property.   But don't wait too long, the reality of the market is that if you were looking to spend $550,000 on a property in Brisbane 12 months ago and have delayed your decision you will now have to spend on average $602,250 (based on the reported 9.5% annual growth). The longer you wait, the more you will have to pay for the same property in the future or dramatically adjust your expectations!