Werribee Property Watch Q2 2012


The following Property Watch report is the result of an investigation into the
historic and current market trends of the Wyndham Local Government Area,
which encompasses the city of Werribee and surrounding suburbs including
Hoppers Crossing, Point Cook and Wyndham Vale. The Wyndham area
continues to be one of the fastest growing regions in Victoria, supporting the
Western development of Melbourne.

Transaction volumes have seen consistent increases from the start of the century
through to late 2009/10 for both houses and units. Since then volumes had been
softening steadily, the six months to March 2012 however has seen a sizeable
decrease on typical sales levels.

House sales have averaged 1,509 for a six month period for the five years to
March 2011. The six months to March 2012 saw only 838 houses transact, a
44.5% decrease on the five year average to March 2011. The same comparison
for units sees a decrease on the five year average of 66% based on the 89
transactions for the six months to March 2012.

Much of the Victorian market has seen significant decreases in transaction levels,
with faster growing areas (such as Werribee and Melton) seeing greater
reductions in volumes than traditionally slower growing areas. Consumer
sentiment seems to be behind most of the reduction in growth, with buyers
reluctant to commit to purchasing decisions. PRD Werribee director
Rohan Smith comments that numbers at open for inspections have increased
substantially in recent months, and that this is translating to more offers and more
sale activity. Whilst sale numbers have not yet returned to previous levels Mr
Smith feels the current trends are all moving towards higher volume levels.

Given the contraction in volumes it is not surprising to see price growth over the
last twelve months lower than in recent periods. The median price for houses
closed the six month period to March 2012 at $354,500 down marginally on the
$357,000 median from twelve months earlier. In spite of this negative growth the
five year growth rate stands at 7.2%, reflecting the longer term strength of the

The house price points table demonstrates the significant price growth in recent
years. Sales under $300,000 which represented 58% of all sales in the twelve
months to March 2009 have fallen to only 19% of the market for the March 2012
twelve months. Sales in the $300,000 to $399,999 bracket now dominate the
market with 47% of all sales occurring in this range. The top end of the market
over $400,000 has more than doubled in the comparison period from 14% of all
sales in 2009 to 34% in 2012.

Unit prices managed to post a small growth of 1.0% when the median for the
March 2012 six months closed at $290,000. Whilst a strong result in light of the
66% decrease in transaction levels, it remains well short of the five year average
growth of 6.1% per annum.

The decrease in vacant land sales for the March 2012 six months has been more
dramatic than either houses or units. In the five years to March 2011 the average
sales for a six month period were 2,205. The six months to March 2012 saw only
352 blocks transact, a decrease of 76.0%. Whilst this decrease is one of the
sharpest the market has seen, the sales cycle does show previous swings up and
down are substantial.

Despite encountering a greater downturn in transaction levels, vacant land prices
outperformed houses and units to record a strong 5.9% median price growth,
when the median for the March 2012 closed at $217,000 up from $205,000 of
twelve months earlier. The market is underpinned by strong underlying demand
for affordable land within reach of the Melbourne metropolitan area, and the
shortage of same.

The price points table shows some dramatic shifts away from the lower price
brackets towards the higher brackets. Sales under $150,000 which represented
half of all sales for the twelve months to March 2009, represent only 7% of all
sales as at March 2012. Sales over $200,000 represented only 14% of the
market at March 2009, represent 60% of all sales at March 2012.