Melbourne's most popular suburbs for house sales this year

Stockland Melb 100517 afr pic by Erin Jonasson. The New Stockland housing development - Stockland, Highlands in Craigieburn, the outer northern suburbs of Melbourne. Builders are gearing up for the next residential housing boom. generic hold for files, Building and construction of new residential property, new suburbs.- story Scott Elliot- property. att rob harley DIGICAM STOCKLAN
Stockland Melb 100517 afr pic by Erin Jonasson. The New Stockland housing development - Stockland, Highlands in Craigieburn, the outer northern suburbs of Melbourne. Builders are gearing up for the next residential housing boom. generic hold for files, Building and construction of new residential property, new suburbs.- story Scott Elliot- property. att rob harley DIGICAM STOCKLAN
A new housing estate off Cardinia rd, next to the Pakenham bypass. Photo: Penny Stephens. The Age. 12TH JUNE 2015

A new housing estate off Cardinia rd, next to the Pakenham bypass. Photo: Penny Stephens. The Age. 12TH JUNE 2015

Melbourne's outer suburbs have been the most popular for house sales this year and it's all down to new homes and affordability, experts say.

Point Cook topped the list with 1325 house sales in the 12 months to December, while Pakenham came in second with 1116 house sales, according to Domain Group data. The two suburbs also had the highest number of house sales in the country.

For unit sales, Melbourne CBD topped the list in Victoria with 1697 and had the second largest in Australia, with Surfers Paradise in Queensland taking the top spot, with 1796.

Craigieburn, Berwick and Werribee also made the top five Melbourne suburbs for house sales.

LJ Hooker Point Cook director Silvana Masalkovski said though the outer western suburb was 15 years old, there was still land being released and new houses being sold, giving it a high volume of sales.

"It's a large suburb as well, there are approximately 15,000 properties in Point Cook," Ms Masalkovski said.

She said Point Cook was more attractive than outer suburbs in the north and east because it was closer to the city and "eclectic" aspirational suburbs such as Williamstown and Yarraville.

"You don't have that across in the south east in those newer estates with a similar median price," she said. "If you look at the northern suburbs, you don't have that freeway access to the city."

Ms Masalkovski said more people were selling their established properties in Point Cook and buying new properties in the suburb, which also contributed to the high volume of sales.

"We also have a lot of interstate buyers that come in," she said. "They see it on a map and say 'OK, wow, that offers really good value for money'."

Domain Group chief data scientist Nicola Powell said the top suburbs for house sales were all well below Melbourne's median house price of $880,902 - Point Cook's median, for example, is $590,000.

"It does emphasise that those entry-level areas are dominating in terms of sales," Dr Powell said.

Barry Plant Pakenham agent Stuart Sheppard said demand from first-home buyers looking to take advantage of the state government's stamp duty savings pushed house prices in the suburb up slightly in the past year, leading to a large number of sales.

"Agents were able to convince more homeowners to sell because they were getting a better price for their home," Mr Sheppard said.

He said though prices had risen, Pakenham was still affordable for first home buyers.

Ray White Craigieburn agent Daniel Diamantopoulos said the outer-northern suburb had become popular due to a combination of affordability and new amenities.

"That's what's fuelled the demand," Mr Diamantopoulos said. "There's a state of the art splash park, a shopping centre with 180 retail shops - there's a constant flow of infrastructure that keeps getting poured into Craigieburn."

Though the outer suburbs dominated for house sales, Domain website data showed Melbourne's inner city suburbs were the most popular for searches on the site.

Aside from the overarching search of "Melbourne", the top suburb searches were South Yarra, Richmond, Brunswick and Hawthorn.

Dr Powell said this could be due to people's aspirations more than their intention to buy in those suburbs.

"It might be people having a bit of a stickybeak - some of them are very expensive suburbs and don't have that high volume of transactions," Dr Powell said.

Along with the high-priced inner suburbs, three regional towns - Warrnambool, Ballarat and Wodonga - made the top 15 most searched.

Dr Powell said the state government's stamp duty cuts for first-home buyers and the $20,000 grant for new properties in regional Victoria could be starting to temp some buyers.

"These three regional coming up in the most searched areas this year is fascinating - perhaps we're seeing buyers out there starting to look at what they can get out in regional Victoria."

This story Melbourne's most popular suburbs for house sales this year first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.