As in other state capitals, soaring property prices in Melbourne mean many home buyers are looking further afield for more affordable housing.
Improved road and rail access to the city means that many areas that may have seemed too remote or impractical just 25 years ago are now experiencing rapid growth. With the appeal of easy access, growing communities and affordable homes, these new or reenergised suburbs could provide the lifestyle you’re looking for. Here’s a look at five in-demand areas across Victoria that are hot now; but where mum and dad wouldn’t have bought in 25 years ago.
1. Hoppers Crossing
When the first residential land was subdivided in Hoppers Crossing in 1963, the settlement’s most notable feature was the general store. However, time has changed this suburb and the Real Estate Institute of Victoria (REIV) listed Hoppers Crossing as one of the top suburbs to watch in 2017.
Located just 25km south-west of Melbourne’s CBD, the suburb is in demand from young families attracted by affordable homes, both established and new community facilities and easy access to Melbourne’s CBD via the regional Rail Link.
Within a 5km radius of Hoppers Crossing, residents have the choice of some 72 schools and are well-served by both local and regional shopping centres. Pacific Werribee Shopping Centre is set to open its new fresh food precinct after a $400 million refurbishment. The community also offers a wide range of sports and recreation facilities including the $54.4 million water playground, AquaPulse, which boasts Victoria’s largest waterslide.
And how much might you expect to invest to enjoy the Hoppers Crossing lifestyle? In 2016, it enjoyed a median house price growth of 15 per cent to $416,750.
Established largely as defence force housing in the early 1960s and later becoming a government-owned housing estate, the bayside suburb of Frankston North is finally shaking off its ‘bad-boy’ reputation earned in the ’70s and ’80s. And it’s not hard to see why.
Located 38km south-east of Melbourne, Frankston North is just a 45 minute drive from the CBD or an easy commute by train. As the gateway to a myriad of attractions in the Mornington Peninsula, the area offers many lifestyle advantages, not least the award-winning beaches and the wide range of community and sporting facilities including several golf courses.
Frankston North remains one of Melbourne’s most affordable suburbs with a median house price of $353,500. In 2016, home owners enjoyed double-digit growth while properties going to market were sold, on average, in just 21 days. Not surprisingly, Frankston North is one of the Real Estate Institute of Victoria’s ‘ones to watch’ in 2017.
3. Bacchus Marsh
Perhaps you’ve considered a ‘tree change’ but thought it might not be a practical move? Bacchus Marsh could change your thinking. Located 57km north-west of Melbourne, this picturesque town has traditionally been the centre of an important fruit and vegetable farming area. While much of the farming activity remains, Bacchus Marsh has transformed to become the main commuter town on the Melbourne-Ballarat corridor.
Just 40 minutes by train to Melbourne’s CBD or 45 minutes by car, Bacchus Marsh is fast attracting both first home buyers and property investors drawn by its attractive mix of “country-feel” and affordable homes.
In the year to September 2016, median house prices surged by 19.6 to $440,000 and are expected to continue to rise, due to its competitive prices, country lifestyle and easy commute to both Melbourne and the thriving regional centre of Ballarat.
75 km south-west of Melbourne, Victoria’s second largest city has proved itself as a master of reinvention. From its origins as a gateway to the gold rush towns and an essential agricultural port through to becoming one of Australia’s key manufacturing centres and now an aspiring innovation hub, Geelong offers much in the way of lifestyle choices for aspiring home owners and property investors.
The city and the greater surrounding area offer a range of up-and-coming areas of interest.
With its popular waterfront esplanade and beach reserves, Central Geelong has been enjoying all -time high property prices. Gentrification continues with lively cafes and restaurants, a thriving arts and cultural scene and restoration of much of the city’s rich architectural history. In the year to September 2016, Geelong’s median house price rose 16.9% to $675,000.18.
Just near Geelong, the spectacular Bellarine Peninsula with its bayside and ocean townships is attracting many sea-changers. Hotspots right now include the previously sleepy and undervalued township of Portarlington, The historic town is serviced by a regular commuter ferry direct to Melbourne Docklands. With its beautiful beaches and vibrant community, the former fishing and holiday township of Barwon Heads has enjoyed strong growth for the past decade. The setting of the popular TV series SeaChange, it could be the perfect spot for your sea change too.
Back closer to Melbourne for our final pick of the spots to watch. The multi-cultural blue-collar suburb of Fawkner once had a ‘rough around the edges’ reputation, but despite only being 12km from the CBD it is one of Melbourne’s most affordable central suburbs, with a median house price of $614,000.
What’s attracting a new generation of buyers to Fawkner? For a start, there’s convenient access by rail and road to the CBD and then there’s the lively local shopping and dining of Bonwick Street. Anyone for Italian?
Fawkner has shown significant capital growth in the past 12 months (up 18 per cent) and is expected to benefit from the price gains in booming neighbouring suburbs, making it another hot suburb in 2017.
25 years ago, many of the newer communities attracting a new generation of home buyers were still empty paddocks or may have seemed like a ‘no go’ area for many. But there’s nothing as constant as change and that’s why it can pay to look beyond your ‘comfort’ zone when considering your next move. Whether it’s your first home or your next, as these few examples demonstrate, you could be on to the next big thing.
When you’ve found your perfect place, talk to Aussie about finding the home loan that will work hard for you too.
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