Melbourne buyers are abandoning their hopes of finding a home under $750,000, real estate site data shows

APRA needs more convincing before it will step into a hot property market.
  • More than half of all searches for Melbourne houses on Realestate.com.au are now for properties valued over $1 million.
  • Conversely, searches for properties in the $750,000 and under price range has tanked over the past three years.
  • The data suggests widespread price hikes are forcing Melbourne’s would-be homebuyers to stretch their budgets even further.
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Melbourne homebuyers are abandoning the search for houses under $1 million, according to Realestate.com.au data which shows spiking interest in properties with seven-figure values.

The Herald Sun reports that searches on the real estate portal are skewing into more expensive territory, as property prices around the country rocket skywards.

More than half of all searches in April were for properties valued between $1 million and $1.5 million, the data suggests, while searches for Melbourne homes worth more than $1.5 million have also spiked 5% over the past three years.

Meanwhile, searches for homes valued below $750,000 have reportedly tanked 20% since 2019, with just 26% of searches targeted at these more ‘affordable’ properties through April.

The search data correlates with Victoria’s white-hot property market, which has been revved up by record-low interest rates, government incentives, and well-off Australians whose fortunes expanded through the COVID-19 pandemic.

In April, the Real Estate Institute of Victoria stated Melbourne’s median house price cracked $1 million for the first time.
Realestate.com.au competitor Domain provided a more conservative estimate — but only just. The site reported house prices climbed to $974,000 over the March quarter, with prices rising an astronomical 4.8% over the quarter.

Melbourne’s property market has been pumped up by official interest rate of just 0.1%, which the Reserve Bank of Australia intends to keep in place until at least 2024, or when overall inflation starts to pick up.

New home developments were also bolstered by the federal government’s HomeBuilder scheme, which originally provided grants of $25,000 to eligible Australians looking to construct or extensively renovate a home.

Such low rates and government guarantees have encouraged would-be buyers to borrow, bigtime. The Australian Bureau of Statistics revealed on Friday that new loan commitments for housing hit a record high of $31 billion in April.

There are some signs property prices will continue to climb through 2021, albeit not at the phenomenal rate seen through the first half of the year.

And with that increase, even more Melburnians will tweak their search filters, blowing out the budget even further.