First-home buyers flock to the ‘wild, wild west’ to get into fast-rising property market


Desperate home buyers are ditching their “cool” addresses in the inner-eastern suburbs for less affluent areas in Melbourne’s west and north to get into the property market before it soars out of reach.


With Melbourne’s house and unit prices rising fast, real estate agents say they have never seen such large numbers of home buyers moving across town or across the river to snap up more affordable homes.


Melbourne’s median house price jumped by 4.8 per cent – or nearly $45,000 – over the three months to March to a record-breaking median of $974,397, the latest Domain House Price Report showed, with some experts predicting it could reach $1 million by June.


Apartment prices also soared to a median of $567,793 – a rise of 2.2 per cent, or more than $12,000 – over the same period.


Joseph Luppino from Village Real Estate in Seddon, in Melbourne’s inner west, says while it is not uncommon for price-conscious home buyers to cross the Yarra, he says they have been migrating to places like Footscray, Seddon, Kingsville and Yarraville in droves since the beginning of this year.


“Whenever the market takes off, like it is now, we see a lot more people coming across from places like Richmond, Cremorne, South Yarra, Prahran and Windsor,” he says.


They are typically first-home buyers who are looking to buy a family home and have been priced out of the trendy inner-eastern suburbs where they currently rent.


“What we find is that they’ve often already been looking over in the east for a year or more and they come over here and realise they can buy something for up to a third of the price or they can buy a family home instead of an apartment,” he says.


The median house price is $854,000 in Footscray and $1.063 million in Seddon, compared to $1.637 million in Prahran and $1.345 million in Windsor.


He says that, while many prospective home buyers from the other side of the Yarra have “preconceived ideas about what the western suburbs are like, once they see what it’s really like and what they can get for the same budget, they’ll typically buy something within a month”.


“There are still a lot of people from the east who think it’s the wild, wild west. It’s a mindset thing,” he says.


“But they come over and discover places like Seddon and Kingsville and Footscray and see that there are cafes and restaurants and wine bars and the same type of demographic and the same type of cool, and then it becomes a value proposition where they can buy a house instead of an apartment and still be the same distance from the city.”


Rebecca Towns, from Brad Teal Pascoe Vale, in Melbourne’s north, says she has also had many more people from Melbourne’s inner-eastern suburbs attending open for inspections in recent months.


“Normally we find that the majority of people attending our opens are from one or two nearby postcodes, but lately we’ve been seeing a lot more people from the other side of town, from places like Richmond and South Yarra,” she says.


“Up to 50 per cent of the people who attend our opens at the moment aren’t on our database. That’s been a huge shift and tells us they’re coming from a lot further away than normal.”


Ms Towns says she’s seeing increasing numbers of buyers who have sold an apartment in the inner east for $800,000 to $900,000 coming across to inner-northern suburbs, such as Pascoe Vale and Pascoe Vale South, and buying a family home for the same price.


The median house price is $800,000 in Pascoe Vale and $1.094 million in Pascoe Vale South, compared to $1.342 million and $1.824 million in Richmond and South Yarra, respectively.


Tracey Dean from Greg Hocking Footscray says she has also noticed more people from the north, including Brunswick, Coburg and Pascoe Vale, buying into Footscray in recent months, as some are even getting priced out of the inner north.


“What we’re seeing is more younger first-home buyers from the inner north and also the inner east, very much looking at Footscray,” she says.


“Many suburbs in the inner north are quickly catching up to the east, so buyers from over there are seeing great value in Footscray, which still has that fast-moving inner-city feel and is the same distance from the city, but much more affordable.”



Ref: RACHEL WELLS (on 11 May 2021). First-home buyers flock to the ‘wild, wild west’ to get into fast-rising property market. Retrieved from,First%2Dhome%20buyers%20flock%20to%20the%20’wild%2C%20wild%20west,into%20fast%2Drising%20property%20market&text=Desperate%20home%20buyers%20are%20ditching,it%20soars%20out%20of%20reach.


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