Victorian House Prices Stronger

By Peter Sarmas on 3 May 2013
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The latest NAB Quarterly Australian Residential Property Survey revealed that Victorian home owners and local industry experts are optimistic about the future of the state’s housing market. According to the report, which surveyed around 300 panelists nationally, Victoria’s housing market is set for clearer skies with participants predicting a bullish 3.8 per cent rise in local house prices over the next two years. This is an improvement from the previously forecasted 1.9 per cent, and the second highest predicted growth in the nation, after WA.

The boost in confidence has been spurred by a 5.1 per cent jump in the residential median house price over the first quarter of 2013, to $561,500. According to the Real Estate Institute of Victoria (REIV), the figures are the strongest of any March quarter in the past decade. The REIV attributed much of the spark in buyer confidence to an easing in housing affordability, which it found has improved by 20 per cent since late 2010.

Despite the upbeat news, concerns over employment and the lagging state economy has many Garden State housing experts urging the government to do more to stimulate the industry. In a recent survey of 450 mortgage brokers by Loan Market, 55 per cent of participants circled ‘stamp duty relief’ as the priority action needed to be taken by the government to motivate buyers.

“Stamp duty serves as an important source of revenue for state-based governments looking to create balanced budgets, but in many cases this tax can erode a significant chunk of a homebuyer’s savings and sway their buying intentions,” said Paul Smith, corporate spokesperson for Loan Market.

On January 1 2013, the Victorian government increased the 20 per cent discount on stamp duty for first home buyers to 30 per cent up to a total purchase price of $600,000.

About the Author

Peter Sarmas is a Certified Property Investment Advisor (PIAA) and Vendor/Buyer Advocate. Before becoming the founder of Street News, Peter completed a Degree in Applied Science (Chemistry) and a Graduate Diploma in Property Valuations (Hons). Peter believes property investing is a major and potentially risky undertaking. In his view, everyone should have an independent person acting on their behalf when seeking property investment advice.

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