melbourne skyline
The March quarterly increase is the largest since December 2009. Image – Canva
  • First time Melbourne house median has entered the seven figures
  • Median price increased by 8.8% the past quarter
  • Regional Victorian houses recorded a median above $500K for the first time

Data from the Real Estate Institute of Victoria (REIV)’s quarterly March report has revealed that the median house value in metropolitan Melbourne has hit the $1 million mark for the first time.

The 8.8% increase to $1,004,500 is the largest quarterly increase in the median value for houses in Melbourne since the December quarter in 2009.

Median house prices reached $900,000 only in January 2021, according to REIV.

Melbourne now joins cities such as Sydney and even Auckland which all have median house prices above $1 million.

REIV says many Victorian families embraced the opportunity to upgrade their homes after spending a significant amount of time home due to intensive lockdowns since the pandemic began over a year ago.

Middle Melbourne – the typical suburban family belt – saw a 6.9% increase to reach a median of $1,148,500.

Units saw a 4.8% quarterly increase to $672,500, however, this represents an annual increase of 3.4%.

Regional Victoria saw houses surpass $500,000 for the first time with a 4.1% increase in the quarterly median price to $510,500, representing annual growth of 12.3%. Regional units saw a larger quarterly increase of 5.9%  – making unit prices 19.1% higher than a year ago.

The March quarter also saw an estimated 35,000 property transactions – the most seen in the first quarter of a calendar year since 2015.

Data from SQM Research shows both the clearance rate and the total number of auctions remained low throughout most of 2020 in Melbourne, with recovery only occurring recently.

[Select part of the chart to zoom in on various weeks, and ‘reset zoom’ button to return]

For example, the week of 20 September 2020 saw just 16 auctions – by contrast the week of 28 March 2021 saw 1,965 auctions. In fact, from early April to early December there were no more than 1000 auctions on any given week.

Leah Calnan, REIV President, expects the market to settle down as a sense of normality slowly begins to return across Victoria, noting most auctions were cancelled during the lockdowns.

“Market statistics show unprecedented levels of buyer interest across Victoria. Sellers and buyers didn’t waste any time getting active in the market.

“House prices have been boosted by incentives for First Home Buyers, mortgage repayment holidays, and low interest rates.

“High demand across the state has also been fuelled by an increase in activity following Victoria’s lockdowns which saw thousands of auctions cancelled.”

Leah Calnan, REIV President

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