The news editor from realestate.com.au approached me this week for comment on Prahran and its appeal.
The context being that Prahran has bucked the trend of stagnating prices by posting a quarterly median house price gain of 10.6%, and they would like to know why I thought this might be the case.
At the risk of almost certain censorship (omission) for disagreeing with their narrative, my first comment was that median house price data on a single suburb for a single quarter is inaccurate at best, misleading at worst.
Why? The sample size is too small and, therefore, just a few extra higher or lower priced sales will skew the median up or down.
A quick search on PropertyData shows that 22 house sales were reported over the last three months in Prahran.
A deeper dive reveals that 14 of the 22 sales were above $1,800,000, which is the current median house price of Prahran according to REA.
This is an unusually high number of larger, more expensive homes that have sold in the last three months. No wonder the median house price jumped.
If instead, a few less family homes had sold and a few more two bedroom single fronts had sold the median price would have fallen.
Nevertheless, I eventually took my ‘cynical statistician’ hat off and put my ‘estate agent’ hat on and made the below comments about why Prahran genuinely is one of the most popular suburbs in Melbourne…
Prahran is a perennial favourite amongst buyers due to the proximity to great amenity, the lifestyle appeal, and the walkability.
Whether you prefer the urban appeal and buzz of Chapel Street and the Prahran Market, or the quiet leafy streets of Prahran East and village feel of Hawksburn, there are pockets of Prahran to suit all types of buyers and stages of life.
Large swathes of Prahran are protected by blanket heritage overlays, meaning the streetscapes remain quaint and charming, lined with attractive Victorian and Edwardian homes. A great example of this is Bowen Street, which is almost entirely comprised of freestanding block-fronted Victorian cottages built in the 1890s.
Whilst the density continues to increase with new apartment developments in the activity centres, there are only a finite number of detached and semi-detached homes in Prahran that will become scarcer and more desirable over time. For this reason, quality houses in Prahran will always be highly sought after and see competition, in any market.
It’ll be interesting to see what makes the edit, if anything.
Post edit: you can see the REA article here: Bulletproof suburbs set to defy the cooling property market
Image: Maples Corner in 1954 (Corner of Chapel Street and High Street)