What it's like living in Melbourne's inner-city

The extensive vaccine rollout last year has put an end to rolling lockdowns, and Melburnians are heading back into a city that is thriving once again.

What it's like living in Melbourne's inner-city
Residents are returning to the Melbourne CBD

There's a reason Melbourne has long been voted the best city in the world to live.

From its bustling laneways, extensive parklands, and riverfront dining scene, Melbourne attracts a diverse demographic from all over the globe.

Much like every capital city in the last two years, there was a mass exodus from high density living, as Australians sought refuge from COVID-19 away from the office, with remote working replacing the traditional office commute.

The extensive vaccine rollout last year has put an end to rolling lockdowns, and Melburnians are heading back into a city that is thriving once again.

The Australian Open was a huge success, the F1 is back at Albert Park with a record turnout, and live events such as the Melbourne International Comedy Festival are on the agenda again having been skipped by large crowds for the last few years.

The shift has seen the median value of a unit in Melbourne soar 8.6 per cent within the last six months, according to CoreLogic data. Those values are only expected to increase as further international investment pours back into the local market.

Buyers are taking advantage of the current stamp duty concessions on new and off th​e pl​an property in the City of Melbourne, which expires in the coming months.

Up until June 30, buyers who secure a new property under $1 million within the City of Melbourne LGA will see their stamp duty tax slashed in half. For any new property on the market for more than 12 months, stamp duty will be waived in full.

The concessions only apply to those new properties that fall in the City of Melbourne local government area. Urban has had a look at those suburbs and what makes them so desirable for property buyers.


One of Melbourne's fastest growing locations, Southbank is situated on the southern side of the Yarra River. The small suburb includes Sou​thbank Promenade that stretches from Southgate shopping and dining complex to Queen​sbridge Square.

Residents in Southbank get easy access to the popular arts precinct, with live theatre, riverside dining, on the doorstep. Significant and rapid residential development has occurred in Southbank and the population has skyrocketed, with a vast majority of residents living in high-rise apartments.

There's a huge pipeline of infrastructure in the hotspot south of the Yarra, including the transformation of Southbank Boulevard which is set to create five new public spaces and neighbourhood parks, along with a new 1.1-kilometre bike path. It's also home to arguably two of Melbourne's most striking buildings, Eureka Tower and Australia 108 (the latter being eligible for $0 stamp duty).

One of the most impressive developments to hit Southbank, and maybe even Australia in recent years, is STH BNK by Beulah. The twin tower development on City Road will home the tallest tower in Australia when completed in 2025, some 50 metres taller than Q1 in Surfers Paradise.

The $2.7 billion project features dual skyscrapers with a twisting geometric glass façade and terracing, featuring pocket parks and green spaces up to a publicly accessible botanic garden atop of the tower, designed by UNStudio and Cox Architecture.

Set among its twin towers and activated podium will be four collections of private residences, a hotel, commercial offices, a conference and entertainment centre, a children’s day care centre, a world-class integrated health and wellness precinct, experiential retail spaces and 6,000 sqm of green park spaces running throughout the entire project.

There will be a number of apartments in the project which are available for stamp duty concessions, with prices starting from mid $500,000's.


Docklands is enjoying a renaissance with new apartment developments driving the growth and infrastructure of the community, and it's estimated that by around 2031 Docklands will home over 22,000 people. 

Docklands became part of the City of Melbourne municipality in July 2007, with the suburb covering more than 200 hectares of land and water on Victoria Harbour, west of the Melbourne CBD.

The area is close to Melbourne's main transport networks, including Southern Cross Station, and is well known as the home to Marvel Stadium.

From the original development at New Quay, featuring apartments, restaurants and marina, Docklands has grown as a waterfront precinct offering a mix of inner city living, shopping, business, parks, entertainment, dining, sporting events, community events, arts and culture.

One of the biggest redevelopments in Docklands is Yarra's Edge, the waterfront masterplan by the ASX-listed developer Mirvac.

Mirvac has just completed Voyager, the eighth apartment tower in Yarra's Edge, and are readying the ninth tower.

Currently the tallest tower within the Yarra's Edge precinct, Voyager offers a range of one, two and three bedroom apartments, as well as flexi-townhomes.

The $300 million development rises 130 metres and is home to a sweeping range of facilities, including the level 43 Resident Skydeck and Bar, the first-ever rooftop lifestyle space in the precinct.

Both the one-bedroom apartments, which start from $565,000, and the two-beds, from $797,500, are eligible for stamp duty concessions.


Often crowning the top of the most liveable cities list, the Melbourne CBD is home to an array of culture, sport, fashion, art and cuisine.

Located in the heart, Federation Square is often a hive of activity, home to galleries, sites of cultural significance, restaurants and bars. The unusual and highly distinctive appearance of Federation Square, through the use of various metals and other materials, is also a main feature of the attraction.

Victoria is often referred to as the ‘garden state’ and for good reason. The climate and geographical location of the state provide it with some of the most lush and beautiful parks and gardens, with The Royal Botanic Gardens being no exception.

One of Melbourne's most recently completed apartment towers is Queens Place, the $1 billion development by 3L Alliance.

The $1 billion twin-tower development rises 70 levels, one of the Melbourne CBD's largest residential developments.

3L Alliance had two of Melbourne's most well known architecture practices, Fender Katsalidis and Cox Architecture, collaborate on the design.

The Queen Street development has a five-level podium with a range of offerings such as a medical clinic, childcare facilities and professional suites.

Queens Place goes further than hotel-style amenity. While still offering a swimming pool and spa, the project also gives residents exclusive access to private dining rooms with a caterer’s kitchen, a games room, private cinema, library, poker room, karaoke suite, and even a cigar bar.

Queens Place has sold out of one-bed apartments. Two-bedders start from $672,500, which are eligible for $0 stamp duty.

The stamp duty concessions expire June 30, 2022.

Click here to learn more about the Land transfer duty concession or exemption for City of Melbourne residential property transactions  | State Revenue Office (sro.vic.gov.au)

Alison Warters

Alison Warters

Alison Warters is a property journalist for Urban, based in Sydney. Alison is especially interested in the evolution of the New Build/Development space, when it comes to design innovation and sustainability.

Melbourne apartments Inner-city

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