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  1. The Pom Queen

    Pakenham - Victorias top selling suburb

    I can remember when Pakenham was just fields:wideeyed: A breakdown of the state's top-selling suburbs puts Pakenham at the top of the list, with 781 houses sold in the year to June, according to property research firm RP Data. The numbers include house-and-land packages. The suburb, popular with first-home buyers, has also stood its ground at a time when Melbourne's median house price has fallen by about 8 per cent. Pakenham's median house price rose 4.6 per cent in the year to August, although prices have begun to ease in recent months. Berwick and Frankston have also remained popular with buyers, recording 778 and 650 house sales each. Both suburbs also have defied a falling market, with the median house price in Berwick rising 2.3 per cent in the year to August, while it remained flat in Frankston. Harcourts Pakenham director Peter Blackwood said the area's affordability, as well as new developments such as the $80 million Pakenham Marketplace, had kept it popular with buyers. An entry-level, three-bedroom home on a standard block costs between $320,000 and $350,000. "I think it's safe to say the market here has performed better than most over the past 12 months," Mr Blackwood said. "It's an affordable area that is only 50 minutes to the CBD and an hour from the airport, and there is new infrastructure opening that will bring employment." Mr Blackwood said the area had also benefited from buyers downsizing from larger houses in more expensive suburbs. "What we have found over the past 12 months is that a lot of our buyers have been downsizing where they are looking to knock off a chunk of their mortgage," he said. Other suburbs high on Melbourne's sale list include Point Cook (771), Craigieburn (576), Werribee (574), Hoppers Crossing (560), Sunbury (559), Reservoir (461) and Mornington (429). Real Estate Institute of Victoria spokesman Robert Larocca said Melbourne's outer-ring suburbs had experienced smaller price falls than their top-end counterparts located within a 10km ring of the CBD. "We've found that the more affordable suburbs are more likely to experience reasonable demand in a softer market," he said. "That is all on the back of the supply shortage that was experienced in Melbourne. That is easing because our population rate is coming back and our builders are building more homes, but there is still strong demand from the average family looking for an average home." The snapshot comes as a review of Melbourne's real estate market shows the number of properties sold slumped to a 15-year low in the year to June. Melbourne recorded 72,666 property sales during the last financial year, 23.1 per cent below the previous 12-month period and the lowest transaction volume since the 1995-1996 financial year, when only 61,156 properties were sold. Across Victoria, 98,888 sales were recorded in the year to June, 21.2 per cent down on the previous 12-month period and the lowest transaction volume since the 1996-1997 financial year when 94,710 properties were sold. In dollar terms, the value of property sold in Melbourne in the year to June weighed in at about $43 million, close to 19 per cent below the value sold in the previous 12-month period. The total value of property sold across the state in the last financial year came in at $51.1 million, down 17.3 per cent on the previous 12-month period.
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