Melbourne demands bigger homes
Demand for larger homes is a growing trend in Melbourne according to the Real Estate Institute of Victoria. It means that capital gains are approaching double figures for 4 bedroom houses in suburbs such as Brighton East and Balwyn (8.5 and 9.1 per cent respectively). The median price of that property type rose in the last quarter of 2014 to $1.475 million in Brighton East and $1.8 million in Balwyn. Demand for 3-bedroom houses has grown significantly in Malvern East (up 22 per cent to a median of $1.185 million) and Balwyn North (up 20.1 per cent to a median of $1.3 million).

This trend was reflected across inner and middle Melbourne, with median prices for three and four bedroom homes showing greater capital gain than smaller homes in both the December quarter and 2014 as a whole. This also applied to apartment prices in those areas. The exception was one-bedroom apartments in outer Melbourne, with a capital growth of 18.7 per cent in 2014 – a reflection of shortage of supply and increasing interest from investors in those areas.
Source: REIV

Queensland population growth slows to 15-year low

The population growth in Queensland has slowed to its lowest rate for 15 years and no longer outpaces the national average. Figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics reveal that the state’s population in the year to September 2014 grew by 1.5 per cent which is the national average; the average for Queensland over the past 15 years was 2.1 per cent. Western Australia’s population has also slowed, to a 9-year low of 2.1 per cent from a peak of 3.7 per cent two years ago. Australia's total population increased by 354,600 people to reach 23.6 million by the end of September 2014.
Source: ABS

Bricklayer shortage threatening housing supplies

A shortage of bricklayers could slow the pace of building across Australia. The building products group Brickworks says that in some areas housing is being delayed by up to a year partly due to a lack of skilled workers. Nationally the industry is struggling to fill 200 apprenticeships says the firm’s managing director Lindsay Partridge.  The other big issue is a shortage of land being released housing development, especially in Sydney. Mr Partridge says that the result is lower supply, higher prices and smaller lots; and he called for larger and cheaper lots to be made available.
Source: Sky News