John McGrath - A Million Dollar Median Has Created Wealth For Many Homeowners
Back in the 1980s when I began my career in property, Australian entrepreneurs of the time aspired to become millionaires. That was what it meant to be successful in those days.
As it turns out, you didn’t need to ‘make it big’ in business to achieve this goal. All you needed to do was buy a house!
Latest figures from CoreLogic show there are now 801 suburbs on the East Coast with median house or apartment values above $1 million. This includes an extraordinary 188 new suburbs that have breached the million mark over the past 12 months (to May 2021).
A million dollar median means the owners of typical properties in each of these suburbs are either millionaires already (home paid off) or on their way (paying off a home loan).
Here are the million dollar markets of the East Coast.
In Sydney, there are now 419 suburbs with a million dollar house price or apartment price, which is almost half of Sydney’s 900 suburbs. The split is 340 house markets to 79 apartment markets with a million dollar median.
In the year to May 2021, 54 new suburbs breached the $1 million median, led by the house market of North Avoca on the Central Coast with a median value of $1,466,568 (up 48% from $991,507 in May 2020).
Making up the rest of the top 5 (in order of median price) were the house markets of four other Central Coast suburbs - Copacabana, Bensville, Wamberal and St Huberts Island.
Bellevue Hill in Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs is the top million dollar market with a median house price of $7,616,288.
In regional NSW, 55 suburbs (53 house markets and two apartment markets) now have million dollar medians.
There are 30 newcomers, led by Lennox Head in the Richmond-Tweed region of the NSW North Coast with a median house value of $1,402,024 (up 42% from $990,798 in May 2020).
Making up the rest of the top 5 were the house markets of Skennars Head (Richmond-Tweed) and three Illawarra region suburbs - Kiama Heights, Gerringong and Kiama.
Byron Bay, also in the Richmond-Tweed, is the state’s No 1 regional million dollar market with a median house value of $2,343,546.
In Melbourne, there are now 184 house markets and 8 apartment markets with median prices above $1 million.
There are 35 new million dollar suburbs, led by Mount Macedon in the city’s north-west with a median house price of $1,319,881 (up 37% from $961,495 a year ago).
Making up the rest of the top 5 were the house markets of four Mornington Peninsula suburbs -’ Blairgowrie, Somers, St Andrews Beach and Balnarring.
Brighton is Melbourne’s No 1 million dollar market with a median house price of $3,316,986.
Regional Victoria now has 11 house markets in the millionaires’ club, with 5 newcomers led by Jan Juc near Geelong with a median house price of $1,321,185 (up 38% from $954,495 in May 2020).
Making up the rest of the top 5 were the house markets of four other Geelong suburbs - Queenscliff, Torquay, Newtown and Ocean Grove.
Connewarre, also in Geelong, is the No 1 million dollar market of regional Victoria with a median house value of $1,671,374.
There are now 51 suburbs across Brisbane with a median house value of at least $1 million, with 22 newcomers led by Ashgrove with a median house value of $1,207,524 (up 25% from $969,877 over the year).
The rest of the top 5 were also house markets in the inner city, namely Norman Park, Seven Hills, Toowong and Red Hill.
Teneriffe is Brisbane’s inner city is the top million dollar market with a median house value of $2,063,937.
Queensland is the only state where the combined regional areas have a similar number of million dollar markets to the capital city.
There are now 46 suburbs across regional Queensland with a median house or apartment value of at least $1 million, driven largely by the Sunshine Coast and Gold Coast areas.
There are 25 newcomers, led by Buddina on the Sunshine Coast with a median house value of $1,283,111 (up 31% from $978,041 a year ago).
Making up the rest of the top 5 were the house markets of Palm Beach (Gold Coast), Alexandra Headland (Sunshine Coast), Burleigh Heads (Gold Coast) and Tallebudgera (Gold Coast).
The No 1 million dollar market of regional Queensland is Sunshine Beach with a median house value of $1,924,577.
Australian Capital Territory
There are 27 million dollar suburbs in the ACT, with 17 newcomers led by Hughes in Canberra’s Woden district with a median house price of $1,363,733 (up 41% from $965,290 in May 2020).
Making up the rest of the top 5 were the house markets of fellow Woden districts Farrer, Curtin and Isaacs, followed by Weetangera in the Belconnen district.
Griffith is the ACT’s No 1 million dollar market with a median house price of $2,198,510.
CoreLogic says the proportion of national sales above $1 million hit a record high of 16.6% in the year to March 2021.
While we can’t ignore the affordability issues that this creates for younger generations of buyers, it is worth noting that a growing proportion of home wealth is being passed down not so much via inheritance, as we’re all living longer, but through the bank of mum and dad, where parents use their own home equity to part-fund their child’s first purchase.
The views expressed in this article are an opinion only and readers should rely on their independent advice in relation to such matters.
This article originally appeared in The Real Estate Conversation (June 28, 2021)
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