By Herron Todd White
March 2020

This month, we have taken a look at the varying demographics of ownership in residential property in some of Melbourne’s busiest and most populated suburbs, from Geelong and the hyper-developing regions in the western suburbs to the established northern and eastern suburbs where families are plentiful and options for schooling and lifestyle are broad and expansive. This month has been about identifying the areas where families, young professionals, students and other demographic segments choose to live and the reasons behind this. This month we have identified some key areas in the CBD, northern, eastern, south-eastern and western suburbs and greater Geelong which are home to many demographic segments, all for very different and intricate reasons.

Melbourne CBD Property Update

Home to 170,000 residents, the city of Melbourne is one of the world’s most harmonious and culturally diverse communities. The CBD is home to many people coming from all ages and backgrounds. Residents can typically be young working professionals, international students and older empty-nester couples. Statistics show that the median age of those living in the Melbourne CBD is 26 years of age. Living close to the CBD and tertiary education institutions is the largest driving force as students and young working professionals looking for convenience.

Of all the occupied dwellings in the Melbourne CBD, 12 percent were owned outright, 13.3 percent were owned with a mortgage and 70.2 percent were rented (ABS, 2016).

ABS census data shows that 74 percent of residents living in the CBD were born overseas, with Chinese occupants and purchasers comprising 25 percent of the population and only 14.5 percent of residents living in the CBD being born in Australia.

Inner and Outer North Property Update

The outer northern suburbs, particularly those within the local government areas of Hume City and City of Whittlesea, are known for attracting a high proportion of families, driven by their desire for freestanding dwellings, along with the plentiful release of relatively inexpensive residential land that these areas offer. This is reflected in the demographics, where over 40 percent of households comprise couples with children, considerably higher than the average for the greater Melbourne area. These areas appear to be attracting a large proportion of first and second generation immigrants.

The inner northern suburbs are seeing more young professionals. These purchasers are driving demand for higher density living as they are often priced out of the market for dwellings. The inner north appeals to a wide range of homeowners due to its proximity to amenities, while not being fully gentrified.

A number of properties in the inner north previously used for industrial purposes are being redeveloped into higher density residential use in response to the demand generated by individuals and couples. These areas were once known as being for the working class and home to many European immigrants, however freestanding dwellings in these areas are beginning to become less affordable for those on working class incomes.

Due to heritage protection of large tracts of property in the inner north, redevelopment can often be difficult. Subsequently, pop-up rear extensions to existing heritage facades are becoming more commonplace. In instances where demolition is possible, ultra-modern and contemporary dwellings are often being constructed in their place, catering to modern family life.

Western Suburbs Property Update

Melbourne’s western suburbs is one of the most demographically diverse regions Melbourne has to offer. Known for its affordable housing and good investment opportunities it is considered the fastest-growing patch within the nation. similar demographic characteristics. Wyndham has a median age of 32 as it is home to a number of young families and first home buyers as it’s lower housing prices obviously attract this age bracket. The most common occupations in Wyndham include professionals, clerical and administrative workers and technicians and trades workers. Family households dominate the region at 82 percent of all households, 12 percent higher than the Victorian average.

Melton, which neighbours Wyndham to the north, follows the same demographic trends. The region is also home to an influx of young families and first home buyers as well as being a highly attractive area for investors, boasting some of Melbourne’s highest rental yields.

Wyndham and Melton are home to many migrants from around the world with India being the most common country of birth for migrants in Wyndham and Vietnam for Melton.

South of the regions mentioned, suburbs such as Williamstown, Yarraville and Newport display an entirely different set of demographics. Williamstown is a high socioeconomic community with older and established homes being the most prominent property type.

The average age is 42 and the median weekly family income is nearly $1000 higher than the Victorian average. The most common occupations in Williamstown include professionals, managers and clerical and administrative workers.

Inner and Outer East Property Update

In the eastern suburbs of Melbourne, we focus on Richmond, Camberwell and Ringwood, three areas that have varying demographics directly correlating to what each suburb has to offer a family or potential first home buyer. Whether you are living in an established suburban area, a growing and developing area or an inner-city suburb, each of these suburbs has its own distinction and lifestyle perspective.

Richmond is an inner-city area synonymous with young professionals, hospitality workers and young families while in Camberwell, there is a high proportion of families and established senior citizens and a slightly different demographic in Ringwood. The key reason for the demographic differences is that these locations all offer completely different lifestyles to one another.

Richmond consists of roughly 27,000 residents with a median age of 33, while 91.4 percent of people are over 15 years old and are employed on a full or part-time basis. The young professional community is present as a result of being in close proximity to the CBD as well as there being a plethora of restaurants and bars lining Swan and Church Streets, attracting residents to the hustle and bustle that Richmond offers.

Camberwell offers a distinctly different lifestyle than Richmond. Far removed from the CBD, located in the heart of Melbourne’s eastern suburbs, the attraction to live in this area is obvious. It is quiet, it has a bustling precinct in Camberwell Junction which has shops offering all household needs, ease of public transport and a selection of public and renowned private schools. Of the 21,400 people living in Camberwell, 5524 are families, showing it is a very desirable place to buy and live for the family-minded buyer.

Ringwood offers a mix of the aforementioned lifestyle choices. It has a large shopping centre offering everything from household needs to luxury clothing, as well as being an expansive area with access to desirable parts of Melbourne such as the nature reserves in the Dandenong Ranges and wineries and restaurants in the Yarra Valley wine region. Ringwood, like Camberwell, has many private and public schooling options and has good access to public transport into the city, making it one of the most sought after regions of Melbourne for all ages and demographics.

South-East Property Update

Over recent years, there have been enormous changes and growth in the outer south-eastern suburbs, particularly suburbs located within the City of Casey and Cardinia regions. These areas have been culturally diverse with newly settling migrants, young families and first home buyers looking to buy and build their first home in the newly developed estates to cater for their individual needs as these communities promote a family-friendly lifestyle.

These new developing areas such as the City of Casey and Cardinia show a large share of emerging cultural communities including those from India, Sri Lanka and Afghanistan. According to census data, those from India show a preference for projects located in the growth corridors of these newly developed areas where major roads and highways to and from the CBD are accessible.

The suburb of Officer has become a major growth area for the outer south-eastern suburbs of Melbourne where families and first home buyers are drawn to estates that offer affordable house and land packages as well as its close proximity to parks, shopping retail outlets, schools and childcare centres.

Census data has shown that of all occupied private dwellings, 54.1 percent have four or more bedrooms and 13 percent were owned outright, 59.2 percent were owned with a mortgage and 25.6 percent were rented. These figures reflect the overall growth and demand for affordable housing.

Speak with a Melbourne Mortgage Broker today.

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DISCLAIMER: The information contained in this article is correct at the time of publishing and is subject to change. It is intended to be of a general nature only. It has been prepared without taking into account any person’s objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on this information, Smartline recommends that you consider whether it is appropriate for your circumstances. Smartline recommends that you seek independent legal, financial, and taxation advice before acting on any information in this article.