Generating even more attention are prestige units, which have seen an 18 per cent rise in sales numbers, according to LJ Hooker’s Prestige Property Markets White Paper for Q4 2014.
LJ Hooker national research manager Mathew Tiller said analysis of prestige properties in the cities – those priced in the 80th percentile of markets – shows the ‘top end of town’ had again embraced real estate.
According to the paper, the upper end of the market has taken off against a backdrop of a strengthened share market, rising executive remuneration, and buyers taking advantage of low interest rates to purchase prestige homes.
Low interest rates have also helped home owners renovate their properties to a prestige standard before selling.
The White Paper found that median house prices in the top 20 per cent of properties varied greatly between capitals, from Sydney at $1.58 million through to Hobart, $530,000.
The median price of prestige houses nationally in 2013-14 was $1.13 million, an increase of 9.2 per cent on the previous 12 months.
The median price for top-dollar units was $629,000, representing a six per cent gain on the previous year.
LJ Hooker head Christopher Mourd said there was an emerging trend of home owners utilising the low interest environment to renovate, often lifting the property into the prestige market.
“While median prices in the majority of markets have been on the rise over the past 12 months, there has been an emerging group who decided to super-charge their capital gains through improvements,’’ he said.
“Many home owners have been targeting big-ticket items in their renovations like the kitchen and the bathroom to really add appeal before selling.
“But it’s important to be mindful that there’s always a risk of over-capitalising on such improvements when they’re not suited to your market. It’s important for owners to talk to their local real estate agent, who has the best knowledge of what buyers are looking for.’’