The month in review: Canberra
By Herron Todd White
2016 has been a strong year for the ACT property market with most Canberra suburbs recording a median price growth. Active sections of the market include standard housing at the entry level price points in some Canberra fringe and outer suburban locations. Generally purchasers are looking for large blocks within established suburbs that provide access to good education and employment services. Entry level price point for this style of housing ranges between $450,000 and $550,000. Most homes within this section of the market provide 3- and 4-bedroom accommodation, generally built circa 1975 and in many cases are ready for some renovation and upgrading.
Inner suburban locations in Canberra’s north and south set a higher price point at generally $1 million plus. This section of the market is also relatively buoyant with families looking to move up the property ladder with their second or third purchases. Again block size, location and proximity to schools and other services are the main drivers. This section of the market ranges from $1 million to around $2.5 million. Market activity for property in the $3 million plus price point is slower, although transactions have still been recorded at the higher levels throughout 2016.
Price points in the medium density market range from $250,000 to $300,00 for a 1-bedroom unit recently constructed in a fringe Town Centre location to $400,000 to $500,000 for a centrally located unit in Canberra’s inner north or inner south. Both investors and owner occupiers are active, however strong supply within the medium density market has had an impact on activity.
With similar results expected for next year, this year’s hottest suburbs include entry level areas on the fringe of the ACT right through to prestige suburbs in Canberra’s inner south.
Domain senior economist Andrew Wilson says that pinpointing the strongest suburbs is trickier in Canberra than it is in other cities.
The nation’s capital is home to a compressed market, with a higher entry point in affordable suburbs and a lower entry point in prestige suburbs, when compared to Sydney and Melbourne. “When the market rises, it rises as a whole,” Dr Wilson says. “Most suburbs will record price growth in 2016.”