A handful of once-overlooked Melbourne suburbs — some arguably still under the radar — have been rapidly slipping out of reach for a growing number of home buyers.
It now costs $570,000 to buy a typical house in Thomastown, where the median was about $440,000 just a year ago.
The northern suburb, 17 kilometres from Melbourne’s CBD, is among the fastest growing suburbs for house prices over the 12 months to March, alongside Brunswick East, West Footscray, Seaford and Highett, Domain Group data shows.
The best suburbs for unit price growth include Noble Park, Altona, Toorak, Blackburn and Bentleigh.
It was inevitable house price growth would ripple out to Thomastown, and its proximity to the city was comparable to Blackburn, where prices were “through the roof”, he said.
Mr Tucci said the area attracted many young buyers, and expected more activity when the stamp duty cut for Victorian first home buyers was introduced on July 1.
On the other side of the city, West Footscray’s median house price jumped 29.2 per cent over the past year to
$885,000, with million-dollar sales becoming increasingly common.
A West Footscray record for a family home was recently achieved after a four-bedroom house at 15 Rupert Street sold for $1,325,000 – $25,000 over reserve. A family upgrading from Moonee Ponds trumped two other bidders to secure the keys.
Jas Stephens’ Craig Stephens said the suburb had a good selection of period-style homes built in the 1940s such as California bungalows, usually on good-sized blocks.
Many young families could not afford those homes in Yarraville and Seddon because they sold for well over $1 million, and West Footscray offered better value, he said.
The suburb always had potential for growth because it was only seven kilometres from the city, and popular cafes and restaurants had also popped up in the past 12 months, Mr Stephens added.
Lifestyle was also cited as a drawcard in Brunswick East, where the median house price climbed 41.7 per cent to $1,183,000. It is the first time the median has smashed through $1 million.
Empty nesters also chased their children and grandchildren who had already moved to the northern suburbs, and recognised the value the suburbs offered, he added.
Nearby Brunswick West house prices also grew 32.6 per cent over the past year to a median of $988,000.
In the south-east, a typical buyer now needs a budget of $645,000 for a house in Seaford — about $140,000 more than a year ago.
The only suburbs to record a slight fall in median house price across Melbourne were Hawthorn East — 4.4 per cent — Kew, 0.5 per cent, and Healesville, 0.4 per cent.