Property Market Outlook for Whittlesea City, VIC

Located in the Northern suburbs of Melbourne is the City of Whittlesea. With a land area of approximately 490 sq. km, the City of Whittlesea features urban as well as rural areas with majority of population concentrated in the urban areas.

Some of the most prominent suburbs in the City of Whittlesea are Mernda, Wollert, Mill Park, Thomastown, Epping and Morang. Most of the commercial and industrial areas are present in these suburbs.

The economy of the City of Whittlesea is divided into construction, healthcare, manufacturing and retail trade in the urban areas while farming and grazing are characteristic of the rural areas. A substantial amount of construction projects indicate growth in Whittlesea City with building approvals valued at $645m as of 2019-2020 Jan fiscal year to-date.

The City of Whittlesea is one of the most promising LGA in Melbourne in terms of growth, a trend that is expected to continue in the future. In Australia, it is among the fastest growing municipalities while the fourth largest local government in Victoria.

The current population of Whittlesea City is around 223,000 with approx. 8000 new residents welcomed to the city every year.

The unemployment rate in Whittlesea City has witnessed a decrease in recent times and by the 3rd quarter of 2019 was noted at 5.1%. The city’s industry contribution to employment in Victoria is marked at 2.2% in 2018-19 with a value add of 1.8%.

The City of Whittlesea enjoys a rather advantageous position by being just about 20 kilometres from the Central Business District and the Metropolitan Ring Road providing direct freeway access to central Melbourne, docks and airports.

Dwelling Type Demand Profile

According to the demand profile bar chart below, three- and four-bedroom houses have the highest demand in the city by far whereas one-, two- and three-bedroom units garner a very small portion of the demand profile.

Three- and Four- bedroom houses have the highest demand in the property market in Whittlesea City. However, median rent for units outperformed that of houses growing at 0.75% as compared to 0.18% for houses. Notably there is very little demand for one- and two- bedroom dwellings.

As of Q1 2020, the rental yield is 3.38% and 4.30% for houses and units respectively.

How do Whittlesea City houses & units compare to neighbouring LGAs?

According to HtAG property market data, the median house price in Whittlesea City is around A$630,000 with a variance of -123K to +519K compared to the neighbouring LGAs.

The Darebin City has a significantly higher median house price as compared to Whittlesea City while Banyule City also has a much greater median house price than Whittlesea City.

House prices in Whittlesea City have not quite been off to a positive start in 2020, decreasing by -1.71% as shown on the heat map. Out of the five neighbouring LGAs, only Nillumbik Shire and Mitchell Shire saw a positive growth in Q1 2020 while the remaining three exhibited negative growth.

  • Mitchell Shire: 4.22%
  • Nillumbik Shire: 0.45%
  • Hume City: -2.86%
  • Darebin City: -3.65%
  • Banyule City: -4.65%

The median unit price in Whittlesea City is lower compared to houses, with units valued at a median price of A$403,000. Prices in the neighbouring LGAs vary between a range of -75k to +302k, with median unit prices as follows:

The first quarter of 2020 has seen a positive growth in Whittlesea City units median price with a 1.95% increase which is the same as Hume City. Unlike the housing market, all neighbouring LGAs have shown positive growth in Q1 2020:

  • Mitchell Shire: 7.25%
  • Banyule City: 4.79%
  • Nillumbik Shire: 3.67%
  • Darebin City: 2.15%
  • Hume City: 1.95%

Property Market Forecast for Whittlesea City Houses

HtAG property market data for the City of Whittlesea shows that sales volumes had been steadily increasing in 2018-19 but started to drop from Q4 2019 and have stayed the same up until the current quarter.

Rental volumes have been increasing gradually since 2018 Q4 and the trend has continued through to the current quarter.

Median prices for houses have stayed steady since 2019 Q4 at a value of A$630,000. HtAG forecasts suggests this trend to continue until Q1 2022 where prices will maintain their current levels.

The median value of 2 bedroom houses has increased from A$460k to A$470k in the current quarter whereas the median value of 3 bedroom houses has dropped since Q4 2019 from A$590k to A$580k. Similar trend has been witnessed in 4 and 5 bedroom houses where median value has dropped from A$680k to A$670k and A$800k to A$790k respectively in the current quarter (Q2 2020).

Median rents for houses in Whittlesea City has been steadily increasing since 2019 Q1 and is currently priced at A$410 per week. The median rental price of 2, 3, 4 and 5 bedroom houses is A$340, A$380, A$430 and A$500 respectively.

HtAG forecasts that the median price and median rent is expected to stay at the current levels of A$630 and A$410 by Q1 2022 respectively.

Property Cycle Position of Whittlesea City Houses

The market cycle graph for Whittlesea LGA shows a huge variation in the median price change from 2008 to the present year.

Growth dropped down to as low as -1.45% in 2012 before growing gradually, reaching as much growth as 13.15% in 2017.

From that point, growth started to slow down and by 2019 had dropped to -0.84%, while in the current year it lies at -1.71%.

According to HtAG forecasts, positive growth is expected in 2021 and 2022 for Whittlesea City houses and the property cycle appears to have reached its’ trough.

Median prices for this LGA are expected to grow by 0.3% in 2021 and a further 0.75 % by 2022.

Suburb Capital Growth and Price Variance Heatmaps for Houses in Whittlesea City 

The heat map below represents median price growth in this LGA on an annual basis.

The red and orange areas show the suburbs that have decreased in value by 1-4% in 2020. Suburbs that have shown negative growth include Wollert Houses (A$548,000) at -4.36% and Mernda Houses (A$564,000) at -2.05%.

The yellow and green areas show the percentage increase in median price growth ranging from 1%-7% with the highest growth recorded in Whittlesea Houses (A$642,000) at 6.65%.

Yearly Capital Growth for Houses in notable Whittlesea LGA suburbs as of April 2020:

  • Whittlesea Houses: 6.65% (A$642,000)
  • Mernda Houses: -2.05% (A$564,000)
  • Eden Park Houses: -2.34% (A$858,000)
  • Doreen Houses: -2.70% (A$688,000)
  • Wollert Houses: -4.36% (A$548,000)

The scatter plot below shows individual sales over the past year and their concentration in Whittlesea City.
Sales in the range of 800K-1M occurred mostly in the suburbs of Bundoora and Mill Park while a few also occurred in Wollert and Mernda.
Majority of sales occurred in the suburbs of Doreen, Mernda, Wollert, Epping, Mill Park, Lalor, Bundoora and Thomastown however most have been in the 400k to 600k range.

Property Market Forecast for Whittlesea City Units

As of Q2 2020, median price for units in Whittlesea City is A$410k, whereas the median price for houses is A$630k. 1 bed units have a median value of A$310k, whereas 2 and 3 bed units have a median value of A$390k and A$590k respectively.

Median Rent for units have been growing steadily since 2009 and as of Q1 2020 are valued at A$330. As of Q1 2020, 1 bed units have a median rental price of A$300 while 2 and 3 bed units have a median rental price of A$330 and A$370.

According to market forecasts by HtAG, the median price of units will continue to stay at the current levels of A$410k as far as Q1 2022.
In contrast to that, the median rent forecast for units, shows an upwards trend signifying an increase to A$340 by Q1 2022 from the current level of A$330.

Property Cycle Position of Whittlesea City Units

Market cycle graph for Whittlesea City units below shows the yearly median price change starting from 2008. Prices have had one major fall in 2012 with the lowest point in growth reported at -1.33%. From there on, prices started to grow, witnessing the highest growth in in Jan 2017 at 10.36%.

From the graph below, it can be seen that prices are nearing the low point of the current cycle where the growth is forecast at 1.95% in Q1 2020.

According to the HtAG forecast, median unit price for this LGA is expected to continue growing at a slower rate, as represented by the dark orange line and would reach 0.62% by 2022.

The property cycle for this LGA is likely nearing the bottom of the property cycle in years 2021-2022.

Suburb Capital Growth & Price Variance Heatmaps for Units in Whittlesea City

The heatmap below represents median price growth on an annual basis for units in Whittlesea City in 2020.

Out of the 5 highlighted suburbs, Thomastown has seen the strongest growth at 8.32% in 2020 while the lowest growth has been recorded in South Morang at 0.81%.

Looking at the scatter plot below, there are much fewer unit sales in this LGA as compared to houses. Majority of these sales are concentrated in the suburbs of Lalor, Thomastown and Epping in the range of 300k to 400k. A handful of sales have also occurred in Wollert and Mernda.

The higher priced sales occurred in Thomastown and Lalor, though small in number, with 3 bed units priced in the range of 400k to 500k.

Conclusion

Whittlesea City seems to be kneeling towards the the bottom of the property cycle. However, a number of suburbs within the LGA exhibit signs of strong growth headed into the following year and 2022.

With the city in easy access to Metropolitan Ring Road and considerable amount of building approvals, the median values are expected to head into another growth phase after 2021-22.

In 2020, there has been a 3.34% growth in the median price of houses in Whittlesea City whereas the suburbs of Wollert and Mernda have seen 3.81% and 3.54% growth on an annual basis.

HtAG forecasts show that Wollert and Mernda median house price is expected to grow by 3.57% and 3.47% respectively over the next two years.

Wollert prices are expected to decline marginally by -0.23% to the median value of A$547,889 by Q1 2022 with high confidence. Mernda is expected to decline by -0.36% to the median value of $563,792 by Q1 2022 with high confidence.

According to HtAG forecasts, Epping (-0.72%) and Doreen (-1.03%) will likely see weaker growth in the coming 2 years.

Suburbs that are expected to see strong growth over the next two years and assessed with high confidence are Whittlesea (+5.56%), Mill Park (+4.44%), Bundoora (+4.42%), South Morang (+2.72%) and Lalor (+2.66%).

Eden Park houses are expected to grow at +4.94%, however the confidence is low based on just 3 sales in Q1 2020.

The suburbs that are expected to show the strongest rental yields by Q1 2022 are Wollert (3.57%), Mernda (3.47%), Lalor (3.39%) and Epping (3.39%).

In the unit market, the suburb of Epping is predicted to grow at +9.39% by Q1 2022, with medium confidence, and yield at 4.37%. Similarly, Thomastown is expected to grow at +7.16% by Q1 2022 and the yield of 3.50%. There is limited sales data for unit market data for other suburbs.

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