The Age (Domain) published an article on Saturday, ‘The Melbourne suburbs where property values are back to pre-pandemic levels’, which cited median house price data for various suburbs whose prices are lower today than they were in March 2020… Or so they say.

Leading the fall, apparently, was Windsor, where prices are down 14.1% from March 2020 to today.

Malvern East had the fourth largest decline with -11.3% growth and Prahran was seventh with -9.9% growth.

In complete contradiction, according to Realestate.com.au, the median house price for Windsor was only $1,400,000 in March 2020, while today it is $1,640,000.

But this would mean that prices have actually gone up 17% over that period, not down 14.1%.

How can there be a discrepancy of 31% between REA and Domain’s reporting on house prices over the same period? Who is right? Who is wrong? They both use third party data – be it CoreLogic or PropTrack.

I’ve said this time and again – median house price data for a single suburb are misleading. Especially if it is for a single quarter.

There are only around 20 house sales in Windsor each quarter, so if you get a handful of larger or more expensive homes selling in that period, the median price can jump up precipitously. And vice versa.

REA is currently showing that house prices in Windsor are up 16.3% over the last 12 months, based on 93 sales.

I disagree. I believe prices have softened since November last year. It’s clear to any agent or buyer working or looking in Windsor that prices have come off a bit since the heady days of last year.

But I also think that prices are still up on March 2020, and certainly not 14.1% below where they were just before the pandemic hit. 

House price statistics make for good reading and catchy headlines, but they are just as much fiction as fact.

Just as you shouldn’t base your opinion of Prince Philip solely from the way he is portrayed in the Netflix series, The Crown, you shouldn’t base your opinions of the market on a couple of articles on Domain or REA.  

You certainly shouldn’t make decision around buying or selling based on articles citing median house price data, or even worse, predictions of house prices.  

It’s best to focus on today and whether the timing is right for you. We can’t control the uncontrollable.

Each property transaction is unique, with a multitude of factors impacting the price.

Timing and market trends are but a small piece of the puzzle. You can have an exceptional result or a poor result in any market. A good agent can move the needle in the right direction in all circumstances.

Jellis Craig Stonnington sold 10 out of 10 at or before auction on Saturday. 100 percent clearance.

Not all of them were competitive auctions, but half of them had two or more bidders. The rest were negotiated with one main buyer.

Stats aside, the market in Stonnington is holding up very well.

Feature Property: 3 Millicent Avenue, Toorak

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