What the median price now gets you in Australia’s priciest suburbs

110 views 2022-02-15 14:48:55

It’s no secret that buying a home in some of Australia’s priciest suburbs does not come cheap.

Multimillion-dollar price tags, once reserved for the likes of beachfront homes or glamorous mansions, have increasingly been achieved by more humble abodes thanks to rapidly rising prices.

While a multimillion-dollar budget will still score you a top address, it probably won’t stretch as far as you dream it could.

Median house prices across dozens of suburbs now top $3 million, with even fixer-uppers and knockdowns selling for sky-high prices in some suburbs.

Here’s how prices have changed in some of the nation’s more expensive markets.

Palm Beach

House prices on Sydney’s northern beaches have rocketed during the pandemic. Palm Beach is no exception, with the median rising 45.2 per cent last year to $5.7 million on Domain figures.

While buyers are likely to get a water view for such a sky-high median, they will have to choose between a smaller block or an older home if recent sales are anything to go by.

A four-bedroom semi on a 273-square-metre block, just steps from the beach, sold in October for bang on the suburb median.

A two-bedroom 1950s home on a large 847-square-metre block, with views stretching from Pittwater to the Central Coast, sold for $5.8 million a few weeks later.


In Bronte, in Sydney’s eastern suburbs, house prices jumped 41.5 per cent over the year to a median sale price of $5.45 million.

Although you can pick up a nice home, buyers dreaming of a waterfront abode will need to adjust their expectations. Sales close to the median last year included a four-bedroom home with ocean views on a 245-square-metre block which sold for $5.35 million.

A couple of blocks back, a 1920s three-bedroom California bungalow on a 571-square-metre block with water views sold for a lower price of $5.26 million in October, with the owners planning to rebuild on the site, according to selling agent Alexander Phillips of PPD Real Estate.

Such a budget would now get buyers a property five to 10 minutes from the beach, on between about 250 and 400 square metres of land, Mr Phillips said. It would buy the likes of a nice freestanding home, with potential for further upgrades, or a beautifully done four or five-bedroom semi with parking.


House prices in the affluent Melbourne suburb of Toorak rose 9 per cent last year to a median of $5 million.

Recent sales at that price point have been slim, but a five-bedroom renovated 1950s home on about 700 square metres sold for $5.2 million in October.

Earlier in the year, a five-bedroom 1960s home advertised sold for $5 million. The home was on a 906-square-metre block in a cul-de-sac and was advertised as an “exciting opportunity to renovate or build a generational family home”.

Marshall White sales director John Bongiorno said some lofty sales last year, including the $40 million-plus sale of 47 Lansell Road, had bumped up the median sale price.

Buyers looking at the median price point in the current market could pick up a large townhouse, or a pretty comfortable and fully renovated house on a smaller block, probably somewhere around the 500-square-metre mark, he said.


On Sydney’s lower north shore, a typical house in the suburb of Northbridge will set buyers back $4.55 million after the median price had an annual gain of 23.6 per cent.

That might pick them up something similar to this mid-1920s bungalow, which sold for about $4.5 million after hitting the market for the first time in more than 40 years late last year.

The four-bedroom house, on a 664-square-metre block, has character features throughout – including original leadlight windows and doors, plate rails and high patterned ceilings – but was ready for a renovation.


Buyers here would probably need to look to a semi-detached home if seeking to get into the market for the suburb’s median house price of $3.8 million, which rose more than 30 per cent last year.

Even when looking to semis, they could still have a project on their hands, with a three-bedroom semi in near-original condition – with wallpaper throughout, damaged ceilings and a dated kitchen – trading for $3.73 million mid last year.

The “blank canvas” was on a 322-square-metre block and less than a 10-minute walk from Gordons Bay.

One block back, a five-bedroom renovated Federation home on a smaller 260-square-metre block sold for about $3.7 million. It had a pool but no parking.


In Canterbury in Melbourne’s inner east, a subdivided block along the train line sold for just shy of the suburb’s median house price of $3,117,500.

A two-bedroom house, barn, garage, studio and shed were spread out across the two parkside properties, spanning almost 900 square metres combined.

The Kendall Street property sold for $3.1 million early last year, with plans to develop two luxury homes on the site, subject to council approval.

A few months later, buyers picked up a renovated a 1921 four-bedroom house on a 734-square-metre block on Highfield Road for $3.13 million.


In this beachside suburb, Melburnians will need to spend $2,967,500 to buy at the suburb’s median house price – which eased a marginal 0.3 per cent last year. Homes traded for a similar price last year included a five-bedroom red brick house with a pool on a 708-square-metre block and an unfinished four-bedroom house on a 476-square-metre block.

The latter sold for $2.92 million, despite being unfinished, with building materials, debris and equipment still scattered throughout the home, not to mention a gaping hole in the front facade.

Mermaid Beach

In this Gold Coast suburb, houses sold for a median of $2,375,000 last year, up 42.6 per cent on the previous year.

Buyers could pick up quite a modern home at that price point on the western side of the Gold Coast Highway. But they would be looking at a block of land, knockdown or a duplex, said Luke Henderson, of John Henderson Professionals Mermaid Beach.

A three-bedroom house without parking  that Mr Henderson sold for $2.4 million back in October would now probably fetch closer to $3 million, given continuing demand and rapidly rising prices. The new owner plans to rebuild on the 405-square-metre block.

New Farm

In riverside New Farm in inner Brisbane, house prices jumped almost 31 per cent last year to a median sale price of $2.15 million.

Buyers looking at the price will probably need to roll up their sleeves and get to work, with a classic Queenslander selling for $2,185,000 in November. The home, on a 374-square-metre corner block, was marketed as ripe to renovate.

Then there was the dilapidated two-bedroom cottage on a larger 570-square-metre block that sold for $2,109,000 early last year, despite needing an extensive renovation or rebuild.

This article is from Australian Financial Review, please click the following link for the original article: https://www.afr.com/property/residential/what-the-median-price-now-gets-you-in-australia-s-priciest-suburbs-20220210-p59v9n


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