The graph below, as produced by RP Data, tells an interesting story, but that’s all – an interesting story. As I have said in previous articles, the median price statistics don’t always tell the truth, but it’s the best we have access to.
It seems the median price for single residential dwellings in the Local Government Area of Albury (Postcodes 2640 and 2641) has fallen by about $6,000 over the year. The graph also shows the median price of strata units have dropped by $13,000 from $188,000 over the last year, while median land prices have risen from $125,000 to $137,690.
In Wodonga it seems the median price of homes has risen slightly from about $310,588 to $316,714. Unit prices seem to have been steady at $210,000 and the median price of land has moved from about $123,000 to $136,000. Interestingly it seems volume is down by about 100 homes. Maybe that’s a slight lag in the available statistics. Time will tell.
Here’s where the problem lies. Strata units in Albury provide the best example. By saying the median price has dropped by $13,000 since last year doesn’t mean the market has dropped. It just means more cheaper units have sold in the last year. That’s why the statistics that talk about median price in Sydney and Melbourne don’t always tell the whole truth. The markets can be distorted by, for example, the number of high value sales in the expensive suburbs.
Locally, while residential home prices show a slight drop in price, in Albury our day to day market experience indicates prices have increased. It’s just that more of the cheaper houses have sold than expensive ones, so the median price is slightly lower.
Interestingly, RP Data (Core Logic) results show that the volume of sales in Albury has also dropped slightly over the last 12 months from 934 (Single residential dwellings) to 771 as at December 28, 2016. While there has been a drop in the number of homes sold in the last year, it is not far off the average of about 780 home sales over the last 10 years.
So, what’s all this mean? It means the volume of sales is about the same as it has been for many years. Overall there has been about a 15% increase in house prices in that time. Hardly a boom like Sydney or Melbourne.
The good news is that we still live and work in a strong and stable real estate market. It could be suggested there is equilibrium in supply and demand. It can also be said that for those who want to buy an “average” home, prices are very affordable.