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By Narelle Coulter

Officer’s median house price has hit $605,000. Pakenham is not far behind with a median house price of $540,000 according to figures complied for Star News by the Real Estate Institute of Victoria.

Pakenham’s median unit price is $400,000.*

This compares to metro Melbourne’s median house price of $855,000.

Peake Real Estate director Kristen Turner, whose firm recently opened a branch in Officer, said investment in reinvigorating the town centre was fueling strong demand and price growth.

“A lot of public money has gone into developing the town centre, the new Cardinia Shire Offices, roads and the train station are waiting for the population to explode,“ Ms Turner said.

“ The amount of schools of every denomination are a testament to what the future holds for the area. We are very excited to be a part of this growth in our community and anticipate prices to be held strong and the market to continue to increase.

“ We believe that there is a lot of good things to come in Officer. Many new land releases will soon start to emerge.“

Ms Turner said the housing markets in both Pakenham and Officer were strong because of grants offered to first home buyers.

“The influx of new home buyers to the Victorian market is the cause of the extreme increase in the median prices in Officer and Pakenham areas. The very generous grants offered to first home buyers is too enticing to pass up, so our young generation are taking up the opportunity to secure the Australian dream.

Barry Plant Pakenham managing director Dan O’Loughlin agreed that there had been an “incredible“ increase in median prices since the introduction of the first home buyers stamp duty exemption.

“All of a sudden the first home buyer believes they can compete again in a market that was heavily dominated with investors,“ Mr O’Loughlin said.

“This competition has been the driving force behind the skyrocketing median. Even at the level it sits now we still seem to be a much more affordable market than our neighbouring towns such as Officer and Beaconsfield.

“In saying that we are now seeing the buyer interest spreading to areas such as Bunyip and Drouin and it wouldn’t surprise to see the same surge in median in those towns in the near future as well.“

* No unit figures were available for Officer because the sample size was too small.

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