Creswick Area PropertyWatch Q1 2013

CRESWICK AREA MARKET OVERVIEW

The following Property Watch report is the result of an investigation into the historic and current market trends of the Creswick Area located approximately 130 kilometres northwest of the Melbourne CBD and only 18 kilometres north of central Victorian regional hub, Ballarat. The Creswick Area encompasses the suburbs of Creswick, Creswick North, Clunes, Gendonnell, Broomfield, Allendale, Smokey Town, Springmount, Newlyn, Dean, Wattle Flatt, Cabbage Tree, Sulky, Bald Hills and Ascot primarily within the Hepburn Local Government Area (LGA).

After consistently improving its housing median sale price since the most recent economic downturn spurred by the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) the Creswick Area housing market has seen an irregularity in median housing price aligned with diminishing transactions, closing 2012 with a median price of $247,500. While this represents a positive 6.4 per cent per annum increase since December 2002, a correction seems inevitable with a corresponding 8.4 per cent per annum decline in total sales with only 68 total sales registered in the 2012 calendar year.

The Creswick Area housing markets 14 per cent growth in median price over the 6-month period to December 2012 directly correlates to the 35 per cent increase in total sales over $300,000. This too has been influenced through the similar decline of 23 per cent drop in sales between $150,000 and $250,000 since June 2012, an historically recognised sweet spot for the housing market in the Creswick Area over the past decade.

As the Creswick Area housing market has been dependant on the general affordability of the region, it can be expected the recent median price increase along with dwindling total sales will lead to a correction in the market and continue to see more affordable housing for the Creswick Area.

When comparing the Creswick Area with local markets, it is interesting to note the similarities with the Ballarat LGA housing market which remains a true indication of median price within the central Victorian region consistently achieving at least 1,000 transactions per annum.

This median price gap between two regions, in part due to the total transaction figures, also relates to the Creswick Area having 38 per cent of house sales with lots greater than 1,500m and only 16 per cent under 750m which demonstrates the areas appetite for larger lifestyle and rural residential living.

The Creswick Area median house price remains solid with the sales cycle corresponding to the Ballarat LGA only down 13 per cent at December 2012. Similarly, the Ballarat LGA housing market has plateaued since the period ending December 2011 while a positive 12 per cent shift, up $30,000 from $215,000 has been demonstrated in the Creswick Area suggesting a continuing trend towards parity within the region.

The Creswick Area vacant land market transaction numbers have fluctuated significantly in the past decade due to inconsistency of total sales figures averaging approximately 25 transactions per half year period. Since the robust showing of 92 lot sales at the 6 month period ending 2003, the vacant land market has been consistently decreasing at 6.9 per cent per annum.

This being said, the Creswick Area vacant land median price market has been climbing consistently, registering a 15.1 per cent per annum increase since 2002 closing the 2012 calendar year at $102,000. This increase is primarily due to the proportion of total sales between $100,000 and $200,000 climbing 35 per cent while the historically strong sub-$100,000 market has declined 28 per cent since December 2010 resulting in the recent median price spike