Where and Why? (Melbourne’s Best Lifestyle Suburbs)

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Where and Why? (Melbourne’s Best Lifestyle Suburbs)

Melbourne living is desirable to say the least. After being voted the World’s Most Liveable City seven years in a row, it’s a hotspot for developers, investors, and buyers alike. But many suburbs in Melbourne have skyrocketed past the budget limit for many buyers, who are left wondering how choosing the best suburb within their reach while still getting a taste of that popular Melbourne lifestyle is even possible. The good news is that there are plenty of suburbs that haven’t yet hit their peak. We’ve collated the best suburbs to settle down in Melbourne, no matter whether you’re a young professional, student, or are looking to start a family.

The Age’s liveability report notes a significant shift in the Melbourne market: the city is realigning from favouring the south to instead favouring the north. Whereas Melbourne’s leafy, upmarket east has long been the centre of the real estate industry, more and savvier buyers are looking to the up and coming west for the new best suburbs. Large open spaces and flat terrain in Altona, for example, is perfect for those with views to start a family, and those who like to walk and cycle, not to mention the beachside proximity.

Where and Why? (Melbourne’s Best Lifestyle Suburbs)
Sophia Mundi Steiner School Campus at the Abbotsford Convent Site, looking towards the Melbourne Central Business District | photo by Rjob, source: Wikimedia Commons

Jumping over 100 spots in the past year, Keilor Park has been one of the best growth suburbs. As well as the nearby botanic gardens, it has seen a boost in cafe culture. With a median property price of around $730,000, it’s on the list of many house hunters for good reason. Another star performer was Gladstone West, leaping over 60 points following from new development in the area improving transport and amenities.

The trendy inner north is slowly spreading further and further upwards, improving the scores for suburbs like Coburg North, Brunswick, and the tiny Princes Hill. A favourite for developers, some of the northern suburbs are known for having the largest variation in housing prices, meaning that investors could snap up a bargain, redevelop, and turn a decent profit.

For those that still prefer the east, Abbotsford represents an attainable spot with good investment potential. Here you can make the most of the cafe culture that permeates the east and north, and the suburb was ranked 33 in terms of liveability. Alternatively, moving further out towards the east is feasible due to the incredibly well established train lines. Suburbs like Box Hill have continued to rise, favoured by families for the amenities as well as cultural diversity.

Where and Why? (Melbourne’s Best Lifestyle Suburbs)
Albert Park Lake | photo by Lindsay Evans, source: Flickr

 

Looking south, Albert Park ranked in the top ten for the best suburbs throughout all of Australia in the Australian Statistical Geography Standard 2016. St Kilda West deserves a mention for topping this survey, however the steep price tag of the laid-back beachside lifestyle is too rich for most.

Taking advantage of these suburbs without actually buying into them is something that buyers have been eager to do for a long time. Purchasing in adjacent suburbs, such as Windsor, mean that it’s possible to enjoy the St Kilda West lifestyle from only a few minutes’ drive away, and avoid paying the huge costs.

Regardless of which point of the compass is your cue, there are pockets of property throughout Melbourne that are continuing to perform well. The top consideration remains your financial limitations, keeping in mind that you’ll need money to actually enjoy living in your new home, on top of simply paying the mortgage.

Suburban living is about getting in touch with your neighbours and the community, and enjoying the ‘village’ feel at the heart of an area, whether that’s a main street or a town square. The best strategy is to identify areas that are within your budget, before going out and spending some time just being there and soaking up the atmosphere.

One of the most common mistakes is that buyers rule out potential suburbs because they turn their nose up at the name. Melbourne is shifting so rapidly, that an area can completely turn around in a few short years. Choosing the best suburbs that fit how you want to live your life is hard without actually experiencing it yourself. Keep an open mind, take notes ,and take the time to figure out your priorities, separating your must haves from your nice to haves.

Note how long it takes you to get there, what there is to see and do, and take a walk through the streets to appreciate the architecture. All of these things are a part of finding the best suburbs to settle down in, whether you’re looking for an inner fringe bustle or a lazy coastal retreat.

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