The magic formula drawing residents back to the heart of Melbourne
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The magic formula drawing residents back to the heart of Melbourne

In a post COVID market buyers are falling in love with Melbourne’s inner circle once again

By Claire Heaney
Mon, Jan 8, 2024 11:22amGrey Clock 4 min

People fled Melbourne’s inner suburbs as the pandemic lockdowns dragged on, but two years on, the allure of city fringe life, work and play is proving irresistible.

Convenience, low maintenance environments, less commuting, sustainability, and accessibility by public transport, cycling, or walking to work as well as access to study, food, culture, parks and health services are on the wishlist for people looking to live in the inner city.

For my stories like this, order your copy of  the summer 2024 issue of Kanebridge Quarterly magazine.

Melbourne’s inner city suburbs cling to the Hoddle Grid, the 1.6km by 0.8km area laid out to form the central activity area in early 1837 and is among the most desirable locale. Suburbs include Fitzroy, South Melbourne, Carlton, Collingwood, and Abbotsford. Richmond, East Melbourne and South Yarra are bordered by extensive parkland running from the Fitzroy Gardens, through to Yarra Park incorporating the MCG and across the Yarra River to the Domain Gardens. Belle Property partner Sam Fenna, specialising in premium city apartments, says there is an uplift in people who sold up during the pandemic, wanting to return.

A low maintenance lifestyle with easy access to parks and waterways are appealing to inner city residents in Melbourne. Image: Getty

“Some of them had coastal homes or in regional Daylesford and Trentham and we did see a peak of moves during the pandemic,” Fenna says. “A lot of them had boltholes in the city worth $2 million to $3 million and they sold up and went.

“They are starting to come back, saying they miss the action and want something back in the city.

“It’s places like Flinders Lane and all those little pockets of the city.”

Earlier this year, he inked a deal on a London townhouse inspired renovation for just under $2m to a country buyer looking for a city pad with a garage.

Sam Fenna from Belle Property says buyers have missed the vibrancy of the city.

Some of the more popular inner ring suburbs include Fitzroy and Carlton to the north of the city and Richmond and Cremorne to the east. Cremorne, formerly home to Bryant and May matches and Rosella sauce factories as well as the rag trade, has now been dubbed Silicon Yarra and is home to tech giants like Tesla, Seek among others. Employees want to live nearby.

Cremorne and Richmond, known as “Struggletown,” are close to the Melbourne Cricket Ground and Rod Laver Arena, beloved by many sports loving Melburnians.

One measure of popularity is the “walkability” of a suburb, allowing residents to perform daily tasks on foot. Walk Score rates inner suburbs like Carlton as a “walkers’ paradise” followed by Fitzroy, Fitzroy North, Melbourne, St Kilda, South Yarra, East Melbourne and South Melbourne. Victoria Walks, a health charity advising governments and business  on increasing walking participation, says the cost savings of living in a “walkable” community are overlooked.

“The ability to choose walking over driving to get to places is priceless,” Victoria Walks executive director Dr Ben Rossiter says.

“It’s better for your hip pocket, for your health and the environment. 

“Walking in your neighbourhood is important for building a sense of community connection.” 

The walkability of Melbourne’s inner suburbs is attractive to a wide range of buyers. Image: Getty

But not all inner suburbs are created equal, and he suggests anyone looking to buy or rent should spend time walking around the streets to see what they offer and what businesses, services and public spaces the area provides.

Rossiter says lockdowns highlighted the importance of having green space close to home.

“Inner Melbourne is blessed with parks and waterway walks,” he says. “But consider whether you will have to negotiate busy roads to access them. Noisy traffic and long crossing times can be a major disincentive to walk somewhere regularly.”

Also keep in mind that popular suburbs don’t necessarily have thriving shopping strips.

Fitzroys Real Estate 2023 Walk the Strip says the stretch between Lennox and Church streets on Richmond’s Bridge Road is the worst performer with vacancies at 15.5 percent, up from 11.7 percent last year. 

Yet, a few blocks away Gourmet Traveller Chef of the Year Thi Le runs two successful restaurants.

Davidson Property Advocates chief executive Tonya Davidson says the inner suburbs of Melbourne are a mixed bag and demand from buyers often depends on price point.

“What we are finding is an interest in high-end apartments. There are overseas people coming back into the market,” she says.

These include buyers with Foreign Investment Review Board approval as well as expats.

Davidson says while inner ring suburbs will always be popular, people are seeing value in the north, just past hip Carlton and Fitzroy to Brunswick and Coburg.

“East Melbourne will always be desirable due to position, transport and access to sporting facilities,” Davidson says. “It is popular with the business and medico demographics.” 

It has a median house price over the past year of $3,340,000 for houses and $750,000 for units, reflecting a mix of high-end properties and legacy of smaller units. She agrees that a walk score is important for some inner-city buyers. But that’s not the case for everyone.

Belle Property’s Fenna says while there is an uptake in car sharing, many of his buyers still want access to parking.

Many of these are “lock up and leave” residents who don’t want the big garden but still want to be able to hop in their own car, he says.



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We reveal the No. 1 areas for price growth in each capital city

By Bronwyn Allen
Thu, Jul 18, 2024 3 min

Home values across Australia rose by a median 8 percent in FY24, delivering the equivalent of $59,000 in new capital growth to the two-thirds of the population that owns a home, according to CoreLogic data. Investors received total returns of 12.2 percent over the year, including capital gains and gross rental income.

Very tight supply and demand in most capital cities except Melbourne and Hobart was a significant driver of the capital growth, with the smaller and more affordable capital cities of Perth, Brisbane and Adelaide experiencing the most price appreciation over the year. A lack of properties for sale trumped the usual dampening effect of higher interest rates.

As usual, some areas outperformed their city’s median growth benchmark. Here are the top SA3 areas for capital growth in each capital city of Australia in FY24. SA3 areas are large suburbs, or districts incorporating clusters of suburbs, with more than 20,000 residents.

 

Sydney

Home values across Sydney rose by a median 6.3 percent in FY24. The No. 1 area for growth was Mount Druitt. Its median value rose by 13.96 percent to $859,939. Mount Druitt is located 33km west of the CBD. It incorporates the suburbs of Mount Druitt, Ropes Crossing, Whalan and Minchinbury. The Mount Druitt community is very multicultural with almost one in two residents born overseas. It is home to many young families, with the median age of residents being 33 compared to the NSW median of 39.

 

Melbourne

Home values across Melbourne rose by a median 1.3 percent in FY24. The top area for capital growth was Moreland-North with 4.71 percent growth. This took the district’s median home value to $746,488. Moreland-North includes the suburbs of Hadfield, Pascoe Vale and Glenroy. It’s a multicultural community with a particularly large contingent of residents with Italian ancestry. One or both parents of 66 percent of residents were born overseas, according to the 2021 Census.

 

Brisbane

Home values across Brisbane rose by a median 15.8 percent in FY24. The No. 1 area for growth was Springwood-Kingston in Logan City. Its median value swelled by 25.55 percent to $710,569. Springwood-Kingston is approximately 22km south of Brisbane CBD. It incorporates the suburbs of Springwood, Kingston, Rochedale South and Slacks Creek. It is a multicultural community with one or both parents of 55 percent of the residents born overseas, according to the 2021 Census. More than 15 percent of residents have Irish or Scottish ancestry.

 

Adelaide

Home values across Adelaide rose by a median 15.4 percent in FY24. The best area for capital growth was Playford in Playford City. Its median value soared by 19.94 percent to $530,991. Playford is approximately 40km north of Adelaide. It incorporates the suburbs of Elizabeth Downs, Elizabeth Grove, Angle Vale and Virginia. It is home to many young people under the age of 40. The median age of residents is 33 compared to the state median of 41.

 

Perth 

Home values across Perth rose by a median 23.6 percent in FY24. The No. 1 area for growth was Kwinana in Kwinana City. Its median value skyrocketed by 33.19 percent to $618,925. Kwinana is approximately 37km south of Perth CBD. It includes the suburbs of Leda, Medina, Casuarina and Mandogalup. Henderson Naval Base is located here and there is a significant community of servicemen and ex-servicemen living in the area. It is home to many young families, with the median age of residents being 33 compared to the state median of 38.

 

Canberra

Home values across the nation’s capital rose by a median 2.2 percent in FY24. The best area for capital growth was Weston Creek. Its median value rose by 5.24 percent to $937,740. Weston Creek is approximately 13km south-west of the CBD. It includes the suburbs of Weston Creek, Holder, Duffy, Fisher and Chapman. Approximately 43 percent of residents have a bachelor’s degree, which is on par with the ACT median but much higher than the national median of 26 percent. Household incomes are about 35 percent higher than the national median. Almost one in five residents work in government administration jobs.

 

Hobart

Home values across Hobart fell 0.1 percent in FY24. The top performing area for capital gains was Sorell-Dodges Ferry with 2.78 percent growth. This took the area’s median home value to $615,973. Sorell-Dodges Ferry is approximately 25km north-west of Hobart. It incorporates the suburbs of Richmond, Sorell, Dodges Ferry, Carlton and Primrose Sands. The area has a large community of baby boomers and retirees, with the median age of residents being 43 compared to the Australian median of 38.

 

Darwin

Home values across Darwin rose by a median 2.4 percent in FY24. The No. 1 area for growth was Litchfield. Its median value moved 3.21 higher to $672,003. Litchfield is about 37km south-east of Darwin and includes the suburbs of Humpty Doo, Acacia Hills and Southport.  It has a high proportion of middle-aged residents, with the median age being 39 compared to the territory median of 33. About 12 percent of residents are Indigenous Australians. The biggest industries are government administration and defence. Median household incomes are about 35 percent higher than the national median.

 

MOST POPULAR
11 ACRES ROAD, KELLYVILLE, NSW

This stylish family home combines a classic palette and finishes with a flexible floorplan

35 North Street Windsor

Just 55 minutes from Sydney, make this your creative getaway located in the majestic Hawkesbury region.

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