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Whitehorse homes power through the first quarter

‘Desperate buyers’ among factors driving house prices in Blackburn and Box Hill suburbs

Several Whitehorse suburbs have galloped into the new year with strong median price growth in the first quarter.

The median house sale price in Blackburn North jumped 17.2 per cent from $1.125 million to $1.318 million, new Real Estate Institute of Victoria data shows.

In Blackburn South, the hike was 11.1 per cent to $1.275 million from the previous quarter.

The strong showing in these suburbs was attributed to many family buyers keen to secure homes after selling last year, according to Barry Plant Blackburn agent, Casey Wang.

“There are desperate buyers who have seen the market rise strongly and who will pay whatever price vendors are asking,” Ms. Wang said.

“Many buyers have already sold and want to upgrade from smaller units, so they have to buy now.”

In Box Hill North, sellers have also done very well, with the median price rising 11.9 per cent from $1,161,500 to $1.3 million.

Box Hill South and Box Hill median house prices recorded 6.1 per cent growth to $1.4 million and $1.57 million respectively.

The median sale price for units in Box Hill rose an astonishing 53.6 per cent in the first quarter, from $487,5000 to $749,000.

Buyers have also extended their budgets because of low interest rates, Ms. Wang said.

“Even if buyers borrow an extra $200,000, they are not paying much more in mortgage payments,” she added. “Those with $1 million budgets are now increasing to $1.2-$1.3 million.”

Auction sales have seen vendors rewarded with strong results, with 56 Holland Road, Blackburn South, recently fetching $1.16.

“It was a crazy result as two similar houses on the same street sold for $800,000-plus last year.”

There were four bidders for the original three-bedroom house on 532sq m which had a $950,000-$1.02 price guide.

Several more buyers missed out on bidding because of the strong competition, and a young couple from the area won the keys to the entry-level property.

While the number of properties for sale has risen in recent weeks, many of the properties are either units or townhouses and not of sufficient quality for family buyers, Ms. Wang said.

“There is a lack of quality family homes on the market and buyers are keen to buy in areas good areas with infrastructure and schools, with strong demand in Box Hill North,” she added.

A Box Hill North property that went to auction last year and found no buyer has now sold with Barry Plant.

The home at 40 Twyford Street, which was listed with another agency last year, sold recently for $935,000, well above seller’s expectations, according to Ms. Wang.

Although prices grew strongly in the first quarter, she does not expect such growth to continue.

“The market should stabilise with greater supply and competition among sellers and we are not likely to see price rises of 10 per cent,” Ms. Wang said.