House prices remain steady

DESPITE a dramatic drop in the median price of units in Orange in the last quarter, it’s not all bad news.

Australian Property Monitors’ senior economist Andrew Wilson said while the average price of a unit had dropped by 15.4 per cent to $220,000 from $262,500 compared to the same time last year, house prices in Orange were still strong.

The median price of a house in Orange in the last quarter was $333,500, a rise of 1.5 per cent from the previous quarter.

Dr Wilson said the rise in house prices and decline in unit prices reflected the volatility of the Orange market and the fact that first time buyers were shying away from units.

“However the annual figures show unit prices have increased from the same time last year,” he said.

“Regional centres like Orange are robust, and pick up on the positive energy of the Sydney market.

“It’s reasonable to predict that given the strong market in Sydney this year, and low interest rates, there will be more confidence in the Orange market next year but we’re not going to see the same level of growth we had three or four years ago.

“I still think they’ll be a growth of three to five per cent in housing prices in 2014.”

John Cook Real Estate principal John Cook said he expects both the housing and unit markets to strengthen next year.

“It’s still fairly strong now but Orange is a market that’s ready to move, it tends to take a little bit longer than Sydney,” he said.

Mr Cook said the fact that first home owners can only get grants to purchase new homes has seen a softening of the low end of the market.

“Just the fact that you take people out of the market can weaken it but people just need to re-adjust to a different market,” he said.

tracey.prisk@bigpond.com.au

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