Top end suburbs lift Melbourne prices by 9%

By Nila Sweeney

After suffering from sharp losses during the past 12 months, the prime suburbs in Melbourne are surging once again, buoyed by the recovery in the financial sector.

The upper end of the Melbourne market posted 14.3% growth during the June quarter, while the affordable end of the market grew at a more modest 6.6% over the same period according to the latest data from the Real Estate Institute of Victoria (REIV).

This solid showing boosted Melbourne's median house price by a stunning 9% to $441,875. The unit and apartment market also had a healthy June quarter posting 8.3% growth in median unit price to $390,000.

Kew led the charge, recording the largest gain over the same period, followed by Albert Park, Toorak and Hawthorn East. Strong demand from first homebuyers boosted strong growth in affordable suburbs priced around the median.
Footscray notched up the biggest gain at 18.9% to $535,000, Craigieburn's by 18.5% to $320,000 and Diamond Creek's by 18.3% to $508,675

REIV CEO Enzo Raimondo said the Melbourne housing market has recouped almost all of the value lost during 2008 with the median price approaching the 2008 peak of $450,000.

"The previous three quarters of negative growth have been reversed and at it this stage the spring selling season looks like it will be very healthy."