Real estate activity has decreased as much of Australia is in lockdown due to the spread of the Covid 19 delta variant. In the Australian Capital Territory (ACT), the lockdown is extended to September 17. In New South Wales (NSW), the lockdown of Greater Sydney is extended to the end of September, while the lockdown of regional NSW is extended to September 10. In Victoria, the lockdown is extended to September 23, when the state expects 70 percent of its population to have one vaccination dose.
There will still be restrictions until October, when the state expects 70 percent of its population to have full vaccination. Regional Victoria, however, except Shepparton, may be allowed to ease restrictions in the second week of September. The good news for potential homebuyers is that by September 23, Victoria will allow private visits to inspect unoccupied homes to purchase or lease.
The Suburbs are Attractive
Because of the pandemic, potential homebuyers are gravitating toward suburban areas such as the Ashbury Armstrong Creek Estate in Geelong, Victoria. The wide-open spaces, greenery, and fresh air are attractive as people shy away from densely populated communities during the pandemic.
According to the January to June 2021 data from realestate.com.au, the most popular suburb in the country was Surfers Paradise, in Gold Coast, with 447,843 serious potential buyers. This was followed by Buderim in the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, with 323,755 serious potential buyers. Also, Camp Hill in Brisbane, Queensland, had 195,646 serious potential buyers.
The third most popular suburb overall was the seaside area of Brighton in Melbourne, Victoria, with 275,746 serious potential buyers. Within Victoria, other popular suburbs were Ocean Grove with 191,202 potential buyers for houses and Geelong with 103,167 potential buyers for apartment units.
The fourth most popular suburb overall was Kellyville in Sydney, NSW, with 248,626 serious potential buyers. This was followed by Byron Bay with 202,363 potential buyers and Mosman with 189,511 potential buyers. Another popular seaside suburb was Wollongong, with 167,261 potential buyers. Also, in NSW, the seaside suburb of Coalcliff had an increase of 1,047 percent in potential buyers.
Overall, the seventh most popular suburb was Sandy Bay in Hobart, Tasmania, with 176 137 serious potential buyers. The eighth most popular suburb overall was the outskirts of Adelaide in South Australia, with 170,551 serious potential buyers.
Overall, the tenth most popular suburb was Baldivis in Perth, West Australia, with 159,830 serious potential buyers. This was followed by the coastal Margaret River suburb with its vineyards, attracting 105,296 serious potential buyers.
Overall, the twelfth most popular suburb was Humpty Doo near Darwin, Northern Territory, with 53,438 serious potential buyers. The suburb of Gillen in Alice Springs had 22,263 potential house buyers and 9,596 potential buyers for apartment units. Overall, the thirteenth and last most popular suburb was Kambah in Canberra, ACT, with 52,206 serious potential buyers.
Housing Prices are High and Still Increasing
According to ABC News, housing prices nationwide increased by 1.5 percent in August compared to July. Against the previous quarter, nationwide housing prices increased by 5.2 percent. Meanwhile, nationwide home prices increased by 18.4 percent from 2020. The median price of houses nationwide as of August 31 was $666,514. This showed an increase of about $103,400 compared to August 2020. The annual rate of increase is the fastest in the past 32 years.
The highest increases were in Hobart, with a 2.3 percent monthly increase, 7.2 percent quarterly increase, and 24.5 percent annual increase. This brought the median housing price to $639,219. However, the highest median housing price was in Sydney at $1,039,514 after a monthly increase of 1.8 percent, a quarterly increase of 6.4 percent, and an annual increase of 20.9 percent. The lowest median housing price was in Darwin at $486,248 after a monthly decrease of 0.1 percent, a quarterly increase of 2.4 percent, and an annual increase of 22 percent.
Properties in the Suburbs are Cheaper
There is a wide gap between the prices of houses in capitals and those in regional areas. The combined median price of houses in capitals as of August 31 was $751,014. In contrast, the combined median price of houses in regional areas was $493,925.
In Victoria, for instance, the overall median housing price in Metropolitan Melbourne is $1.01 million. $1.04 million for a four-bedroom house, $980,000 for a three-bedroom house, and $846,000 for a two-bedroom house. In contrast, the overall median housing price in regional Victoria is $560,000. It is $611,000 for a four-bedroom house, $435,000 for a three-bedroom house, and $357,000 for a two-bedroom house. The suburbs also offer larger properties because land prices are lower.
It is indeed best for potential home buyers to look to the suburbs. For a much lower cost, a more spacious home can be purchased surrounded by nature, whether the coast or greenery.