Gleaming skyscrapers and stylish new apartments blend with classic period homes as it strides towards becoming Melbourne’s second CBD.
The 3.5sq km area in the Whitehorse municipality is self-contained with a transport hub, thriving business and dining precincts, health and education facilities plus sporting amenities. More developments are in the pipeline.
Settlers started farms and orchards in the mid-1800s but Box Hill in recent years has become a magnet for new migrants and international buyers, mainly from Asia as well as nearby Melbourne suburbs.
The Asian proverb “an inch of land is worth an inch of gold” might well describe the attraction to Box Hill property.
A central location with easy access to the city, sought-after schools and a thriving commercial area are its main drawcards, according to Barry Plant agents.
“Landed property is gold in Box Hill and always holds its value,” one agent said.
“Box Hill is small and land is limited and buyers like its multicultural feel and convenience to hospitals and schools.”
Attracted by major infrastructure and development plans, investors have snapped up commercial property and residential blocks rezoned for high-density development.
Long-held properties have delivered huge windfalls for sellers over many years.
Modest but well-positioned prime sites have reaped eye-watering sale prices, especially along Station Street and the Box Hill Central area.
In 2018, two properties along Station Street - a car park and a church - each sold for $56.98 million and $29.50 million, to developers.
Back in 2012, the median house price was $831,500 with 42 sales over 12 months, according to realestate.com.au figures.
Prices then reached a peak in 2017 with the median price at $1.75 million from 77 sales. The number of sales in 2020 fell to 44 with the median price at $1.49 million.
Latest data from the Real Estate Institute of Victoria reported the median house sale price in Box Hill was $1.57 million for the first quarter of 2021. This was a 6.1 per cent rise from the $1.48 million in the previous quarter.
Box Hill is regarded as tightly held and properties don’t stay on the market for long, local agents said.
A construction boom of high-rises has accompanied a residential housing boom, with recent additions being the Australian Taxation Office and Whitehorse Towers. The 122m Sky One complex has 36 storeys and is the tallest building outside the CBD.
Coming up is the $450 million New Chinatown project while a $92 million apartment complex of 15 storeys will rise opposite the upgraded Box Hill Gardens.
Sports and recreation are well catered for, with parks hosting morning Tai Chi and folk dance sessions, dog walkers and joggers.
The City Oval is home to the Box Hill Hawks footy club while rugby union matches take place at nearby RHL Sparks Reserve.
Aqualink Box Hill is a large complex and offers plenty of facilities and caters for indoor and outdoor swimming plus gyms, spa, sauna and steam rooms. Surrey Park
next door hosts footy and baseball games on its wide green spaces.
Catering to the educational needs from the very young to school and college-going adults are kindergartens, primary and secondary schools and the well-regarded Box Hill TAFE and other establishments.
The suburb is also growing a reputation as a food destination with a wide range of cafes, bars and restaurants offering traditional and modern cuisines for a large clientele.
Box Hill Hospital is a major medical centre for the suburb and surrounding areas while the private Epworth Eastern hospital is also expanding its facilities.
A train station nestles beneath the main shopping district that also has a bus terminal, while trams and the Eastern Freeway connect to the city and beyond.
This once quaint and semi-rural area is being transformed into a bustling, multicultural and modern township that retains classic homes along quiet streets and leafy pockets.