Aerial of SydneyAccording to new industry data, the increase in house prices in Melbourne and Sydney is redefining what buyers determine as a commutable distance.

The data also compared last year’s top 100 suburbs, determined by view per property, against the data that has emerged this year.

Hopper’s Crossing in the outer west of Melbourne is in front, with price per unit rising by 285%. Thornleigh in Sydney’s north west is heading the city’s market, with an increment of 142%.

What did the data compare?

The data, gathered from listings, measured the number of visits per property for each suburb, across two 6-month periods. Any suburbs that had less than 24 listings for each 6-month period were excluded from the study.

The date ranges for the data collection were 1st October 2016 to 31st March 2017 for the first set, which was then compared against data from between 1st October 2015 and 31st March 2016. The median house prices for the study were soured from CoreLogic RP data between 1st April 2016 and 31st March 2017.

Alfords Point and Gladstone park in outer Melbourne led the charge as the top for houses, with Melbourne suburbs Tullamarine and Langwarrin coming in at 2nd and 4th place respectively.

Queensland’s Gold Coast also ranked highly for sought-after units, with Currumbin Waters and Elanora both featuring in the top 10.

Buyers are still driven by affordability

Although buyers are still driven by commutable affordability, the distance that they’re determining as travelable from Sydney is shifting.

Interestingly, two suburbs in Wollongong (Alfords Point and Unaderra) are in the top 10 for houses. Alfords Point is one of Sydney’s more prestigious suburbs, with Wollongong is still affordable when compared with median market prices.

Last year, the trend of people from Sydney looking towards the central coast emerged and this year, buyers are setting their sights towards Wollongong.

The sheer demand for affordable housing is pushing buyers out towards the northern points of the city. In Victoria, however, the popularity of inner-northern suburb Thornbury has been driven by buyers who have been priced-out of inner suburbs such as Northcote. The data has shown that the void between what buyers define as affordable in Melbourne and the comparative prices in Sydney is only increasing.

Affordable properties in Sydney have now reached the $1 million mark, whereas in certain suburbs of Melbourne, you can still pick up a reasonable property for half of that price, with the median resting at $540,000.

More housing required in the outer suburbs?

With the popularity of units on the rise, real estate experts are questioning the need for expansive developments in the outer suburbs of both Melbourne and Sydney.

Four of the top 10 unit-led suburbs in Melbourne are in the outer areas, which could well be because the rise in demand hasn’t been met with equally increased supply.

Chiswick and Rozelle, two Sydney suburbs popular with younger buyers who simply can’t afford any closer to the CBD, are also prime targets for unit development. Currumbin Waters in the Gold Coast also falls within that list, ranking 2nd in the country for unit demand.

Until this demand is met by increased housing developments in these areas, the price of properties will only continue to rise.

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