Buninyong Property Watch Q3 2012


The following Property Watch report is the result of an investigation into thehistoric and current market trends of the Buninyong Local Government Area. Thearea includes the Ballarat suburb of Mount Helen, the rural township ofBuninyong, and several regional areas including Yendon, Scotsburn and DurhamLead. Being in close proximity to Ballarat and the university precinct theprospects for future growth are strong.

Transaction volumes for houses in the Buninyong LGA have averaged 63 for asix month period over the last ten years. Volumes have not ranged widely,typically falling between 50 and 70 transactions. The six months to April 2012saw an exceptionally low volume period with only 36 transactions recorded. Thisrepresents a 39.0% decrease on volumes from the same six month period of ayear before.

Unit sales volumes are at much lower levels and have been far more volatile as aresult. Rarely have transaction levels exceeded ten in any six month period andthe sales cycle below shows two periods with no transactions at all. Buninyongand Mount Helen dominate unit sales, and with the University of Ballarat close bythis market may well develop in the future.

The fall in transaction volumes in the Buninyong LGA has been less dramatic than in many other Victorian markets. PRD sales consultant PhiCrosbie notes that many of the properties they are listing are selling quickly tobuyers on their database, and the market is facing a shortage of stock. This is avery different scenario to most markets where consumer confidence levels haveseen volumes dropping due to a lack of genuine buyers.The six months to April 2012 saw the median price for houses close at $328,500 down from $332,000 the year before. Mr Crosbie observed that enquiry levels

The six months to April 2012 saw the median price for houses close at $328,500 down from $332,000 the year before. Mr Crosbie observed that enquiry levels twelve months ago put strong upward pressure on prices with exceptional competition for houses. Whilst available stock is still selling strongly, lower competition levels have seen prices remain at similar levels. The current shortage of stock appears to be placing a floor on prices, and the Spring market with typically increased levels of buyer interest, may see another period of price growth with buyers competing for limited stock.

The ten year growth rate in the Buninyong house market stands at 7.2%, and the steady upwards movement in prices can be seen in the price points table. Sales below $300,000 which represented 66% of all sales for the twelve months to April 2009, have dropped to represent only 31% of the market to April 2012. The largest single price bracket at April 2012 with 48% of all sales is the $300,000 to $399,999 bracket, which has more than doubled its share of total sales since April 2009.

With such low volumes the Buninyong unit market is difficult to assess in terms of price trends. Whilst there have been some significant upward and downward movements, the period since April 2003 has seen a reasonably consistent upward trend line, which results in a 5.1% per annum average median price increase over this period, based on the April 2012 six month median of $265,750.

Vacant Land sales have fallen to only 14 for the six months to April 2102, well below the average of 35 sales for a six month period seen over the last ten years. A large part of the downturn is due to the lack of available land in Buninyong. Since the Tandarra Estate has sold out, blocks have only become available as one off lots, and there are limited numbers of these.

The median price for land in the Buninyong area has surged to a new high of $154,000 for the six months to April 2012. Price grow had been relatively subdued recently, with a five year median price average growth of 7.0%. The latest median price increase results in a 14.1% annual growth, and may well reflect the shortage of stock producing strong competition for available land.

The price points table shows significant trends towards the higher priced brackets with sales under $149,999 falling from a commanding 88% of all sales in the year to April 2009, to more than halve by April 2012 at 43%. Sales above $200,000 which were less than 5% of the market have grown to 28% of the market in the same comparison period.