THE housing slump continued in the northern suburbs with house prices falling in several suburbs during the December quarter, Real Estate Institute of Victoria figures reveal.

The hardest hit was Doreen where the median price of houses fell 9.5 per cent from $503,000 in the September quarter to $455,000. Bundoora house prices fell 7.5 per cent from $510,000 to $471,888.

Prices in Lalor fell from $360,000 to $351,250, a fall of 2.4 per cent and the median price in Mernda dropped 3 per cent from $394,250 to $382,500.

Lalor’s price slump made it one of the REIV’s top 10 cheap Melbourne suburbs, behind Werribee with a median price of $280,000. In contrast, Melbourne’s most expensive suburb, Brighton, had a median price of $1.75 million, up 6.4 per cent on the last quarter.

Epping prices fell marginally, by 0.5 per cent from $370,000 to $368,000, and the cost of a house in South Morang stayed static at $421,000.

Vendors had a bit of cheer in Thomastown, where the price rose 3.8 per cent from $365,000 to $379,000, and Mill Park, where houses increased by 2.4 per cent, or almost $10,000, to $409,723.

Figures were unavailable or inconclusive for other suburbs in the City of Whittlesea.

Prices in the north bucked the Melbourne trend where the median metropolitan house price increased by 7.8 per cent to $555,000 from $515,000 in the September quarter and the median price for units and apartments increased by 4.2 per cent to $456,000 from $437,500.

REIV chief executive officer Enzo Raimondo said that “strengthening demand has resulted from a combination of improved Victorian consumer confidence, four interest rate cuts and the seasonal increase in activity in the December quarter”.