While the Sydney property market appears to be cooling, Melbourne is still running hot, and there are a few standout suburbs which consistently top the list.
Here’s a look at the suburbs where well-heeled Victorians rest their weary heads at the end of a hard day…
Kooyong – $3,500,000
Melbourne’s most expensive suburb according to the current sales data is Kooyong, 7km south-east of the CBD, where the median house price is a staggering $3.5 million.
The suburb is home to the Kooyong Lawn Tennis Club, one of the original venues for the Australian Open. The stadium has since been converted to a hard-court facility and hosts the Kooyong Classic each year. Property values in Kooyong are up 15.5 per cent since this time last year, proving there’s still plenty of life left in the inner-Melbourne market.
East Melbourne $3,252,500
In the inner-east, just 2km from the city centre, East Melbourne is one of Melbourne’s oldest suburbs, and home to a number of important government, health and religious institutions.
Housing in the area takes the form of gentrified terraces, heritage-listed mansions and art-deco buildings, as well as the 1880s-built apartment building, Queen Bess Row. You’ll need a budget of over $3 million if you’re hoping to buy a house here, but you could snap up a unit for around $675,000.
From its origins as a swamp, Docklands has been quite the chameleon – it was a bustling port in the early 1900s, but was abandoned in favour of other locations better suited to container shipping as the century progressed, and became the heart of the warehouse rave scene. In the 1990s, the Kennett Government spearheaded the urban renewal of the area.
It’s a sought-after business address, with several banks and retailers basing their head-office operations there. Situated 2km from the CBD, the dwellings in Docklands are made up almost entirely of apartments, so the scarcity of houses explains their meteoric price rise over the past twelve months – they’ve increased almost 70 per cent in value.
Ten kilometres east of the city, Canterbury is famous for its leafy boulevards and lavish, historic homes. It is home to some of the oldest and most prestigious schools in Melbourne, as well as the iconic Maling Road shopping precinct.
Canterbury has traditionally been a suburb populated by wealthy and eccentric Victorians, and leaders in business, industry and government – with notable past residents including Kylie Minogue and former Coles Myer and AMP Chairman Stan Wallis. Units aren’t cheap here either, sitting at a median of $1.1 million.
Tree-lined streets, large blocks and an abundance of green spaces characterise this south-eastern suburb, located eight kilometres from the city centre. Glenferrie Road has the boutique stores and cafes to satisfy any shopaholic, and there are plenty of award-winning restaurants to choose from. Many of the buildings in Malvern are listed on the Victorian Heritage Register, including the impressive Stonnington House, which was once the location of the Australian Government House, but is now privately owned.
Political commentator Andrew Bolt and actor Jason Donovan were born in Malvern, and the suburb has also been home to former Prime Ministers Harold Holt and Sir Robert Menzies. With growth of 22.2 per cent over the past year, it’s clear that Malvern has cemented itself as one of Melbourne’s most prized locales.
Toorak has been named the highest money-earning suburb in the country, thanks to its popularity with rich and famous Victorians. The population is well-educated, with over thirty per cent of residents holding university degrees – more than double the Melbourne average. Children living in Toorak are more likely to attend a private school than those living in any other suburb. Many of the old mansions in the suburb have been demolished and the valuable land subdivided, with apartments making up the bulk of the accommodation today.
However, the significant estates which remain tend to be well-equipped, with facilities such as swimming pools and tennis courts a given. Toorak also holds the honour of being home to Melbourne’s most expensive property – in August this year, a colossal mansion on St Georges Road, Toorak changed hands for an astounding $40 million, beating the previous Melbourne record by almost $15 million.
Eleven kilometres south-east of the CBD, Brighton is a beachside suburb and home to some of the wealthiest Melbournians, including sports stars, politicians and international actors. Notable landmarks include the famous bathing boxes on Brighton Beach, the Royal Brighton Yacht Club and the Church Street shopping and entertainment strip, and grand homes on spacious blocks are the norm.
With a number of prestigious private schools and a safe, sandy beach for swimming, Brighton is popular with families and couples. Singles hoping to secure an apartment in Brighton will need to save their pennies – the median unit price is $1,152,500.