Homebuyers can time travel back to 2014 in a bunch of Melbourne suburbs offering their cheapest prices in years.
The median sale prices in more than a dozen unit markets are more affordable than they were five years ago — a result of the city’s market slump and inner-city oversupply, experts say.
Finder.com.au crunched CoreLogic data to find Abbotsford’s unit median had slipped back the furthest from 2014 levels. The figure was $577,000 then, and it’s now $450,000 — a 22 per cent decline.
The typical Travancore unit is also 18 per cent cheaper than it was in 2014, at $350,000.
There have also been big price reversals in Windsor (unit median down 14 per cent to $460,000 in five years), Bundoora (9.5 per cent to $400,000), and Melbourne postcode 3006 and Carlton (both down 9 per cent to $573,750 and $370,000 respectively).
The majority of the unit markets that have gone backwards are in the oversupplied inner-city, with Port Melbourne, Docklands, Southbank, Moonee Ponds and North Melbourne also among them.
Finder.com.au insights manager Graham Cooke said the barrier for first-home buyers entering the market was “shrinking”.
“In the last five years, we’ve seen a major drop in unit prices across Melbourne, which is likely a result of a misalignment between supply and demand,” he said.
The Melbourne market downturn had also caused house prices to decline over the past year, with leading economists tipping a further fall of up to 8 per cent by the end of 2019, Mr Cooke said.
“So Victorians thinking of entering the market might want to hold out for further price drops,” he said.
Biggin & Scott Richmond director Edward Hobbs said Abbotsford’s new apartment stock in particular offered affordability “at its best level in years”.
He said those who bought into modern apartment complexes, like Acacia Place on a bend of the Yarra River, also gained access to quality communal facilities, including cafes, pools and wellness centres.
But Mr Hobbs warned buyers looking at new apartments they may face challenges when it came time to onsell, with an oversupply of inner-Melbourne units diluting demand and as a result, sale prices.
“Anything on a bit of dirt is always going to have stronger demand,” he said.
First-home buyers and investors were the most common purchasers of Abbotsford apartments, with the latter often achieving solid rental yields.
Melbourne suburbs where buyers are paying less than in 2014
Abbotsford (units) — median sale price now: $450,000, 2014 median: $577,000 (down 22% or $127,000)
Travancore (units) — $350,000, $425,000 (down 18% or $75,000)
Windsor (units) — $460,000, $535,000 (down 14% or $75,000)
Bundoora (units) — $400,000, $442,000 (down 9.5% or $42,000)
Melbourne (units, postcode 3004) — $573,750, $630,000 (down 9% or $56,250)
Carlton (units) — $370,000, $404,750 (down 9% or $34,750)
Port Melbourne (units) — $666,000, $725,000 (down 8% or $59,000)
Docklands (units) — $600,000, $643,000 (down 7% or $43,000)
Melbourne (units, postcode 3000) — $460,000, $490,000 (down 6% or $30,000)
Southbank (units) — $550,000, $585,000 (down 6% or $35,000)
Moonee Ponds (units) — $471,000, $499,000 (down 6% or $28,000)
North Melbourne (units) — $457,500, $484,000 (down 5.5% or $26,500)
Unit medians have also fallen since 2014 in Prahran, Maribyrnong, Doncaster, Sandringham, Box Hill
Sources: finder.com.au, CoreLogic. Current median for year to January 31, minimum 50 sales required per suburb in that period