This article was originally published by Julia Corderoy news.com.au 21 Dec 2016.
THIS tiny Melbourne suburb had a population of just over 7,000 at the 2011 census but its real estate market is blowing everyone else out of the water.
Sandwiched between up-market Prahran and trendy St Kilda, the humble suburb of Windsor achieved median house price growth of 47 per cent in the last 12 months — the highest of any suburb nationally, according to CoreLogic’s ‘Best of the Best 2016’ report. Windsor’s median house price now sits at $1,284,008.
Once affectionately known as Prahran’s scruffier little sibling, Windsor has gone through a major gentrification shift over the past five years.
Matt White, real estate agent and principal of Ray White Port Phillip, said for a long time, Windsor was regarded the “forgotten end” of Chapel Street, with the high-end boutique shops clustered on the South Yarra and Prahran end of the famous shopping strip — until businesses started realising the value they could get in Windsor.
“The gentrification process of Windsor was then started by restaurants taking advantage of the cheaper rent in the suburb,” Mr White told news.com.au.
Rose Johnstone, Editor of Timeout Melbourne, traces the turning point of Windsor’s transformation back to 2012, when kitsch Vietnamese diner Hanoi Hannah set up shop in the area. She told news.com.au that this created a domino effect which now has Windsor on the map for its trendy eateries.
Hawker Hall, the latest dining hot spot from well-known restaurateur Chris Lucas — of Chin Chin, Kong and Baby — opened its doors in Windsor in 2015. A Timeout Melbourne review described Mr Lucas as the “Cecil B DeMille of the Gen Y food scene”.
So now cemented as a millennial food mecca, Windsor’s appeal is its hipster, grungy vibe.
“Windsor has a grunginess we haven’t necessarily seen [in the south] before.”
However, part of its grungy charm is leftover from its former days when it was mainly home to students, due to its affordability and proximity to the city. Windsor is just 5km from Melbourne’s CBD.
Mr White said Windsor’s appeal to homebuyers has also come off the back of extra development in South Yarra.
“For buyers, South Yarra has somewhat lost part of its intimate appeal due to the high-rise developments happening in the suburb,” he told news.com.au.
“Windsor has seen more sustainable development.”
He said he has noticed a definite increase in interest from buyers for Windsor, with much of the interest coming from younger buyers and first home buyers.
Mr White said he expects Windsor to continue its growth trajectory in 2017.
Unsurprisingly, affluent Point Piper, in Sydney’s east, topped CoreLogic’s ‘Best of the Best 2016’ list for highest median house price, at $6,629,180. The lowest median value went to Mullewa in Western Australia, where homebuyers can pick up a median priced home for just $73,530.
Clarendon Vale in Hobart has the lowest median house price for a suburb within 10km of a CBD, at $155,655. The highest gross rental yields within 10km of a capital city also went to a suburb in Hobart, with rental yields up 7 per cent in Rokeby.
But another surprise result from the list is Homebush, a suburb in Sydney’s west, achieving the greatest five year change in median values, with prices up a whopping 147 per cent.