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The median house price in Orange is now $713,500, up 85 percent in five years

February 13, 2023

A house auction in Orange in 2022. Copyright: Orange News Examiner.

By Peter Holmes

As Sydney house prices tanked by 10.9 percent in 2022, Orange house prices rose by 9.3 percent, pushing the five-year growth rate to a staggering 85.3 percent.

Nine Reserve Bank cash rate rises since May 2022, aimed at curbing inflation, and hikes in many groceries that outstrip inflation, were seemingly yet to bite in Orange, although figures for January and February 2023 may show a different story.

The median or “middle sale price” (see below) house price in Orange in December 2022 was $713,500, according to figures published on Monday by Domain.

At the end of 2021 it was $652,500.

Five years ago it was $385,000.

Units in Orange were up 6.6 percent in 2022, with a five-year rise of 65.7 percent.

The median price increase for houses in Orange in 2022 was above the growth in “Combined Regional Australia” (9.3 percent versus 3.6 percent).

“Regional areas and the more affordable capitals of Adelaide and Perth remain Australia’s strongest housing markets,” said Domain.

Orange Real Estate's Brad Randahl told The Orange News Examiner that the lion's share of the five-year growth in Orange occurred in the first two years of Covid - 2020 and 2021.

Local first home buyers jumped into the market to take advantage of low interest rates - which at the time could mean mortgage repayments lower than the cost of renting - and their snapping up of entry level properties helped fuel growth further up the chain.

Investors and tree changers then chose Orange, and kept pushing the middle and upper markets north.

A number of real estate agents have told The Orange News Examiner that there has been a notable increase in the people of retirement age selling up farms around the district and moving into town to take advantage of restaurants, cafes and other facilities.

"We won't see the same growth that we've seen in the last three years," Randahl predicted. "That has been very unique for this market."

Pointing to Orange house price affordability when compared to Sydney, and local job opportunities and medical facilities, he said he didn't envisage decreases similar to Sydney. More of a return to the slow growth Orange was used to.

One Agency's Ash Brown told The Orange News Examiner that the annual rise of 9.3 percent for houses in Orange in 2022 was a tale of two time periods. The first three months of 2022 saw a rapid rise in the city's house prices, but this was tempered as prices dropped throughout the rest of 2022 following Reserve Bank rate rises.

The median house price in “Combined Regional Australia” was $566,732 in December 2022, up from $560,892 in September 2022.

RBA rate rises.

The median house price in Sydney in December 2022 was $1.41 million, more than double Orange’s median.

Bathurst had a median house price of $664,000 in December 2022, up from $600,000 in December 2021. At 10.7 percent, this represented greater annual growth than in Orange, although the five-year median was well down (85.3 percent versus 58.1 percent).

“Sydney and Brisbane recorded the steepest quarterly house price decline and have also fallen furthest from their respective peaks, along with Canberra,” said Domain.

“They are more expensive and recorded some of the highest rates of house price growth during the upswing, plus Sydney hit a peak earlier than the other capital cities. Today’s high household debt heightens households' vulnerability to rising interest rates and this has become more evident in our higher-priced cities.”

Domain measures house and unit prices in two ways, depending on the size of the market from which it can extract data.

In smaller non-capital city markets including Orange it uses a simple median or “middle sale price”.

House auction in Orange in 2022. Copyright: Orange News Examiner.

This means, for example, if 301 houses sold in Orange over one year, the median price would be the value of the house ranked number 151 in price, meaning there were 150 houses sold for less, and 150 houses sold for more.

This is meant to give a better overall picture than using averages (the value of all houses sold divided by the number of houses sold), where a group of high end or low end sales can distort the market.

In capital cities Domain uses “stratified median”, which it says gives an even more detailed picture as it accounts for the type of stock being sold.

It does this by grouping housing in similar areas into categories, and taking medians from each group.


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