New apartment buyers look to Melbourne’s inner north

Buyers seeking new apartments close to Melbourne’s trendy cafe and shopping strips are turning their focus to the inner north.

A line of suburbs from Carlton to Abbotsford are among Melbourne’s hotspots, according to realestate.com.au.

Fitzroy, Collingwood and Abbotsford were new entrants to the top 10 list for the second quarter of this year.

The data, which ranks the top 10 suburbs according to the number of views for each development within a suburb, showed off-the-plan unit buyers had shifted their focus to the north of the city.

The key apartment suburbs of Melbourne and Southbank took the top two ranks, with four northern suburbs and four southern suburbs rounding out the hotspots list.

CBRE Residential Projects director Nic Cuni, who is marketing Gipps St Apartments at Abbotsford said buyers in the inner suburbs were a melting pot of owner-occupiers and local investors.

He said plenty of people wanted to live in these inner city suburbs to be close to the cafes, restaurants and bars in shopping strips like Bridge Rd, Swan St and Victoria St.

Apartment prices in these suburbs ranged from $9500 to $10,500 a square metre, Mr Cuni said.

Spec Property chief investment officer Ray Zealouf said inner suburbs like Collingwood gave buyers the best of both worlds.

“In Collingwood, particularly in Smith St, you’ve got an area where medium density (development) can work really effectively within a renewal area, particularly with an activity centre,” Mr Zealouf said.

“So the location proves that effective balance between connectivity and livability. For example, the walk score is 93. You’ve got everything from the cafe culture, the art scene, still with that cool vibe.”

Mr Zealouf said the area north of Johnson St has seen more activity as gentrification moved north.

“We’ve got a mixture between owner-occupiers, who are of the younger age group, coming in and wanting to live in the areas that they’ve traditionally rented in,” he said.

“They’re coming in as first-home owners or one of the first properties that they’re going to be acquiring.”

Mr Zealouf said downsizers was an equally important group, but they were chasing larger apartments.

“The middle ground is people who are looking at either investment opportunities or who wanted a larger floorplan, so two-bedroom properties have been very popular,” he said.

“That’s both for investors who are looking for longer term investment for their children as they grow and protecting them from increasing property prices into the future or just a straight investment in itself.”

Spec Property is marketing Trilby (pictured on the cover), a 106-apartment development at 466-482 Smith St. Mr Zealouf said the project was aimed at key demographics, with an exterior designed to complement the light industrial area. It also offered extra features like a rooftop garden, including an outdoor kitchen, teppanyaki set, bar and seats that provided views of the city.

Realestate.com.au Victorian sales director Todd Davis said regardless of the price point, the data showed northern and southern areas were proving most popular with consumers looking online to buy off-the-plan apartments.

“People are buying a lifestyle, not just a new property to live in, so things like access to transport, shops, schools and entertainment are key in their decision-making when looking at locations,” Mr Davis said

“Areas in the north including Fitzroy and Abbotsford offer very different lifestyles to areas in the south which include St Kilda and Brighton.

“While location is always important when buying property, people are very much driven by the lifestyle offered by an area. Northern areas offer great music venues and trendy bars while the south areas provide a more bayside vibe.”

Original article: https://www.news.com.au/finance/real-estate/melbourne-vic/new-apartment-buyers-look-to-melbournes-inner-north/news-story/992524aae3f323f6fbb88b5d0ed88dbe