Expert view: Suburb spotlight on Brunswick

Brunswick is located about six kilometres north of Melbourne’s CBD and is bordered by Brunswick East, Brunswick West, Carlton North, Coburg, Parkville and Princes Hill. It is a multicultural suburb with a culturally and linguistically diverse population of about 22,000. Brunswick has a mix of second-generation families, single and double income families and students.

It is one of Melbourne’s most eclectic and cosmopolitan suburbs and it offers great services and amenities for both residents and visitors. The main thoroughfare is Sydney Road, which offers an array of restaurants, cafes, bars and general and specialty retail stores with truly multicultural flavours.

Brunswick boasts many ‘pocket’ parks and reserves. The biggest open space is a combination of several sporting areas including Alex Gillon Oval, Raeburn Reserve, Brunswick Park, Clifton Park and Gilpin Park. Brunswick has two primary schools and two secondary schools in addition to language and vocational training facilities and an RMIT University campus.

As far as housing types go, the most common are standalone dwellings, followed by flats, units and semi-detached housing. Below is a breakdown of housing in Brunswick:

  • Attached and detached Victorian terraces, circa the early 1900s,

  • Low-rise flats built in the 1950s and 60s to accommodate the influx of new immigrants.

  • There is a good supply of single fronted brick and weatherboard homes and since the mid 1990s there has been a steady trend of knocking down old dwellings to build new town houses.

  • In the last five to 10 years have many medium rise apartment blocks comprising around 100 units have been erected; numerous new developments are underway or in the planning stages.

If you are looking to invest in Melbourne property, Brunswick is definitely worth a look. The suburb has great appeal to renters with its close proximity to the city, great transport infrastructure and relatively cheap rents. Renters represent 44% of residents who are mostly in the sub-35 age group.

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Both houses and units in Brunswick have experienced strong capital growth over the past 10 years, with the median house price for both almost doubling between 2002 and 2012.  A great patch in Brunswick to keep your eye on is the area situated between Brunswick Road and Dawson Street as it offers outstanding renovated single fronted brick and timber homes.

Central Brunswick, which extends from Dawson Street in the South, Albion Street in the North, Melville Road in the West and Logan Street in the East is well known for its fully renovated and extended single fronted and double fronted Victorian and Edwardian homes. However buyers should be careful not to buy too close to the freeway on the west side.

Also be wary of properties that are too close to the train line or shops; ones within a few minutes walking distance are ideal. Remember that Brunswick is a big suburb with a lot of variance in property types and prices. Market forces can vary within different pockets of the suburbs, so when looking at or comparing properties, be sure to compare apples with apples.

Remember the old property cliche ‘location, location, location’? We like to explain this as choosing the right suburb, the right street and the right position on the street or block.

By making smart and well-informed property decisions you will watch you investment grow.

Greville Pabst is CEO of WBP Property Group.

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