Melbourne real estate is rapidly rebounding from a COVID-driven downturn, with buyers and sellers returning to the market in droves.
We asked experts and agents across the city for their tips on where first-home buyers should consider purchasing post-pandemic in 2021, for $750,000 or less.
Reservoir: Ray White Preston director John Catanzariti said Reservoir had plenty of potential for first-home buyers who had been saving during lockdown, with the house median just tipping over $750,000 and the unit median at $560,000. It offered “flexibility for buyers who want to break into the market with an old property they can refurbish, or a renovated home.”
Thomastown: Mr Catanzariti said Thomastown was packed with “great 1980s brick homes” that offered plenty of space for first-home buyers planning on starting families, and also potential to be updated when purchasers had more capital down the track. A typical house is affordably priced at $616,000.
Frankston: Nick Johnstone Real Estate director Nick Johnstone labelled Frankston an affordable gateway to the Mornington Peninsula, where people were flocking for “lifestyle and space” as a result of COVID-19. A typical house costs $606,250 and a unit, $421,500, according to realestate.com.au.
Seaford/Edithvale: Mr Johnstone said suburbs with “proximity to the water”, including Seaford ($686,500 house median) and Edithvale ($710,000 unit median), would attract more young homeowners who no longer wanted to live in outer landlocked areas. “A lot of urban sprawl development along that southern boundary has allowed people to move along the coast,” he said.
Pakenham/Cranbourne: McEwing & Partners director Dean Phillips said first-home buyers would be “taking advantage” of the government grants available to them post-pandemic and moving to “newer areas” with land releases, like Pakenham ($512,000 house median) and Cranbourne ($510,000). “These areas continue to grow with a lot of market activity from first-home buyers,” he said.
Rosebud/Somerville: Mr Phillips expected a rise in first-home buyer activity in Rosebud ($595,000 house median) and Somerville ($645,000) — two of the Mornington Peninsula’s most affordable suburbs — as more househunters were driven by the pandemic to look down the coast.
Ringwood: Dubbed a relatively affordable option in Melbourne’s “expensive” east by realestate.com.au chief economist Nerida Conisbee, Ringwood offers a unit market that’s particularly achievable for first-home buyers ($550,000 median). Access to Eastland Shopping Centre and train links to the CBD were other perks, she said.
Chirnside Park: Barry Plant Doncaster East director Mark Di Giulio said Chirnside Park offered “large traditional family blocks” that were in reach for first-home buyers — a drawcard post-pandemic, given COVID-19 had driven househunters to seek more space. It also had an achievable $725,000 median house price and access to major shopping centres.
Lilydale: While Lilydale was once considered a country town, major infrastructure projects had added a city lifestyle to the outer-eastern suburb, Mr Di Giulio said. “It’s a hipster community now, with urban farmers living in Lilydale,” he said. A typical house costs $699,950.
Maidstone/Braybrook: Hocking Stuart Yarraville director Leo Dardha dubbed Maidstone a hidden gem of the inner west for its closeness to Highpoint shopping centre and affordability, with a $760,750 median house price. Hotspotting’s latest report named neighbouring Braybrook ($672,000) as one of just 32 “rising” suburbs in Melbourne.
West Footscray: Mr Dardha said prices were already rebounding in West Footscray ($533,750 unit median), but there were still “great little buys” on offer. Boasting two train stations and “multicultural Barkly Street village”, the suburb has also experienced a dramatic increase in buyer demand on realestate.com.au in the past year.
Brooklyn: Brooklyn homes would become “more and more desirable” as the West Gate Tunnel Project progressed to give residents better access to the city, Mr Dardha said. The suburb was also affordable given its closeness to the CBD, with a typical house costing $672,500.
— with Christina Karras & Samantha Landy