Domain SHD Interested buyers at auction of run down 239 Lilyfield Rd, Lilyfield, Sydney which sold for $1,260,000 by auctioneer Craig Marshall from Savills Cordeau on Saturday the 22nd of July, 2017 Picture by FIONA MORRIS Domain. Suburb profile of Footcray. Hopkins street Footscray. 9th March 2016. Photo by Jason South
Changes proposed to Carrum Downs promenade with the addition of a sky rail. Supplied by Vic State Government.??
Word travels fast in Melbourne. And it means suburbs tipped to be “the next best thing” aren’t a secret for very long.
Gentrification, development and hordes of buyers can quickly change the game. Prices soar, auctions become crowded and those searching for an affordable neighbourhood are forced to look elsewhere.
It’s known as the ripple effect in real estate. And it means once-affordable suburbs like Footscray, Preston, Ringwood and Clayton are no longer bridesmaid suburbs.
Now, it’s not unusual for buyers to fork out $1 million for a freestanding house in these areas.
So, where to next?
For those with deep pockets and tight budgets, it is becoming an ever elusive dream to find an affordable place within 15 kilometres of the city.
But a new belt of next-best suburbs are emerging as appealing options for money-conscious home buyers. And it’s not only the west that should be on your radar.
Miriam Sandkuhler, chief executive at Property Mavens, said the next wave of bridesmaid suburbs in the north would include the likes of Thomastown and Lalor.
“It has very much been attracting the younger generation of 25- to 35-year-old age group and they’re moving into these areas because they can’t afford Reservoir.
“It’s that flow on effect. People who couldn’t afford Preston went to Reservoir and people who can’t afford Reservoir are now coming to Thomastown, Lalor and Epping.”
The median house price in these suburbs ranges between $500,000 and $600,000, and properties are a mix of new house and land packages, and older brick veneer houses. Related: Middle to outer suburbs record price growthRelated: Hot property in 2026 in MelbourneRelated: Rise of bayside bridesmaid suburbs
Ms Sandkuhler said it was important buyers researched affordable areas. “There are some things to be wary of,” she said. “Firstly, these are on the other side of the Western Ring Road and there’s a perception that goes with that.
“There’s the potential for future development further out, and future oversupply of properties in the area which can impact on these pockets if the market starts to soften.”
Ms Sandkuhler encouraged people to enquire about current and future development in spill-over suburbs, as well as look at local crime rates and amenity.
The booming west has recently attracted the attention of cashed-up developers and investors, with Footscray losing its reputation as a traditionally working-class area.
Those seeking inner west real estate under seven figures are turning to Maidstone, West Footscray and Pascoe Vale.
Wakelin Property Advisory’s director Jarrod McCabe said West Footscray’s main drawcards were its proximity to the CBD, two train stations and local village.
“There’s also some reasonable period-style architecture and that’s always something that will draw people to a locale because it is a scarce asset,” he said. “There’s only so many Edwardian-Federation houses in and around Melbourne.”
Pascoe Vale is another suburb that has drawn from the success of its neighbouring suburbs, Coburg and Brunswick. Mr McCabe said it was an example of “the bridesmaid effect”.
“It’s about trying to get something that those inner suburbs offer but at a slightly more affordable price,” he said.
The south-eastern suburb of Carrum Downs is another suburb to watch, enjoying close proximity to the water but with a median house price under $600,000.
Domain Group chief economist Andrew Wilson said it was appealing because surrounding suburbs like Seaford and Patterson Lakes were strong performers.
He described Carrum Downs as a well-established area with access to public transport and the freeway. A proposed skyrail in the suburb promises a new train station and commercial hub.
Dr Wilson said it was becoming increasingly difficult to find bridesmaid suburbs that offered good value for money. “I’m not sure there’s a lot of them left to be honest,” he said.