Epping, Mill Park and Doreen have been named as suburbs to watch this year, with the Real Estate Institute of Victoria tipping them to be among Melbourne’s strongest property markets.

The suburbs were among 10 named by the REIV, following steady price rises in 2017.

President Richard Simpson said Epping recorded some of Melbourne’s highest auction activity in 2017, with more than 350 houses under than hammer and a clearance rate of 85 per cent. The median house price rose more than 20 per cent last year, reaching $633,000 in December.

“Strong buyer demand in Melbourne’s outer ring has boosted values in the suburb. Homes sold by private sale have also been highly sought after with properties selling in a median of 30 days in November,” Mr Simpson said.

In Mill Park median prices rose 21 per cent  to $687,500 in 2017, and the REIV expected  the suburb to remain popular with buyers this year.

Mr Simpson said the private sale market in Mill Park was one of the best in Melbourne, with houses selling in a median of just 25 days.

In Doreen, prices rose 12 per cent last year to $612,000. Mr Simpson said the Mernda rail extension project was helping to drive up house prices in the suburb, despite it being 30 kilometres from the city.

The list of suburbs to watch comes as  the REIV reveals its top-10 Melbourne growth suburbs for 2017 – including Thomastown and Lalor.

The median price in Thomastown rose 29 per cent last year, to $688,000, while in Lalor prices rose by more than 26 per cent to $699,000.

Love Real Estate Thomastown director Ryan Di Natale said prices in Lalor have been steadily climbing for the past three years.

“I think its affordability is attracting buyers. It is still one of the most affordable areas in the northern corridor,” he said.