Bridesmaid suburbs will continue to drive property price growth in Hobsons Bay and Maribyrnong as the two municipalities recorded their highest annual growth in seven years, experts say.

The top-five suburbs for annual growth in 2017 were Altona Meadows (26.7 per cent), Altona (21.4 per cent), Seabrook (19.4 per cent), Braybrook (19.1 per cent) and Brooklyn (18.5 per cent), data from the Real Estate Institute of Victoria shows.

Williamstown, regarded by real estate agents as “the Toorak of the west”, had the highest median house price of $1,650,000 and annual growth last year of 15.5 per cent.

The next highest medians were in Maribyrnong ($1,205,000), Newport ($1,070,000), Spotswood ($1,060,000), Seddon ($1,020,000) and Altona and Kingsville (both $1million).

Melbourne recorded an annual median house price of $821,000, according to REIV data.

REIV president Richard Simpson said ‘bridesmaid’ suburbs – where the median house price was well below the inner city median of just over $1.5million – were the areas to watch.

“Suburbs which remain below the citywide median house price, such as Laverton and Seabrook, are expected to experience price growth in the coming year while the bridesmaid effect will continue to drive price growth in Melbourne’s inner west,” he said.

The five lowest medians for Hobsons Bay and Maribyrnong were Laverton ($565,000), Seabrook ($605,000), Altona Meadows ($701,500), Braybrook ($825,000) and Maidstone ($862,500).

Sweeney’s Estate Agents Williamstown director Wayne Sweeney nominated Altona North – which recorded a median house price of $915,000 and annual growth of 13.7 per cent – as a top spot to buy.

He described Brooklyn and Maidstone as “sleepy hollows” where people could still buy affordable housing.

“Maidstone’s been on the fly for years,” Mr Sweeney said.

“It’s close to Highpoint, to the city, good-size blocks. When they did all these inner city subdivisions all that time ago they were very generous.”

He said Braybrook was being snapped up by buyers.

“That Braybrook area was so affordable and people are jumping on it left, right and centre,” Mr Sweeney said.

“Some of the big development sites are $1million-plus now so Braybrook’s gone through the roof.

“I’m expecting a growth through the west of five to 10 per cent this year.”

Greg Hocking Elly Partners director Wayne Elly predicted a “fairly strong market” for 2018.

“Anywhere in close proximity to the city is really strong,” he said.

“Yarraville/Footscray’s very strong. Altona Meadows, Maidstone … the gap has got too wide so they’ve got to move up relatively rapidly and that’s why I think you’ll see the most growth in the next couple of years.”