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CEO AllenWargent Property Buyers, & WargentAdvisory (institutional). 6 x finance author.

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Friday, 7 April 2017

Melbourne land

Melbourne land

I looked at some residential property price figures for Victoria.

It's not a market I'm particularly familiar with, but the 2015 figures from the DTPLI clearly showed land and house prices rising faster in metropolitan Melbourne (8.3 per cent) than in regional Victoria (2.5 per cent).

That's not that too surprising, as metro Melbourne where almost all of the record population growth is happening, and where most of Australia's jobs are being created too

Drilling in to the metropolitan Melbourne figures, below I plotted median land prices against median house and unit prices. 

The first thing of note is that since 2012 house prices have been outperforming unit prices, reflective of the high level of supply in the new apartment sector. 

The second point - which initially I found confusing - is that the land to dwelling price ratio has remained constant for three decades. 

That's not what I was expecting to see at all; rather I was expecting the land component to account for most of the price gains.

The reason the chart presents as it does is that it covers only the median and mean value of vacant land, which is often located further from the city.

The figures show that Melbourne’s median sale price for vacant residential land increased by 4.3 per cent from $210,900 in 2014 to $220,000 in 2015. 

Median land values in landlocked suburbs have often risen much faster over time, in turn resulting in very high house prices in blue chip suburbs.  

Noted the DTPLI:

The 10 suburbs in metropolitan Melbourne with the highest median house sale prices in 2015 were Toorak at $3,850,000, Deepdene at $2,720,000, Canterbury at $2,481,500, Jolimont at $2,350,000, Middle Park at $2,317,000, Brighton at $2,272,500, Malvern at $2,210,000, Balwyn at $2,200,000, Armadale at $2,160,000 and East Melbourne at $2,100,000."

Cheaper land

As a general rule Melbourne has fewer geographical constraints than Sydney, and this has been reflected in a higher rate of building and completions, particularly for houses. 

This is even visible in the percentage increase in the number of dwellings since 2011, which has comfortably outpaced that of New South Wales. 

Melbourne still has land which is "reasonably" affordable, however that may defined, although you might have to travel more than 20 kilometres from the Central Business District (CBD) to find it.

This is a comparative advantage that Melbourne has over Sydney, where this is demonstrably not the case. 

Even 50 kilometres from the city land prices in Sydney have soared to excruciating levels over the past half decade. 

It's another possible reason for the recent migration to Melbourne, as even some Sydneysiders opt to relocate for a more affordable housing options.