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Five tips to break into the Bayside market

Real estate advice & tips
10 January 2023
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Break into the city’s sought-after Bayside suburbs in the south-east, without breaking the bank.

It is increasingly harder to buy in Melbourne, thanks to the property boom of recent years, shortage of listings and rising interest rates. And if you’ve been looking at house prices, it’s likely you’ll have noticed a pretty hefty price jump. But there are still some ways you can break into the city’s sought-after Bayside suburbs in the south-east, without breaking the bank.

Buy an entry-level unit, apartment or townhouse

While it may not be your ‘forever home,’ purchasing a smaller unit, apartment or townhouse could give you the foot in the door you need. Such property types are typically more affordable, and if in a good location, can retain or grow in value - meaning you can sell or rent the property out for a decent price too. You may also be able to use equity to buy a bigger property down the track. For example, the median price for a house in Hampton is $2.5 million, according to, but for a unit or apartment, it is about $872,000.

Go for the worst house on the best street

It’s an age-old tip but buying the worst house on the best street (or one of the best) remains a popular way of breaking into housing markets. For many people, location is a big part of their decision to buy, and if it’s the lifestyle of a suburb you’re after, buying a lesser-quality property may afford you the chance to enter the market without paying a premium. There’s also the potential for future renovations and price growth if your property increases in value.

Renovate instead of buying or building new

It’s no easy feat to take on a renovation - especially if your property is in need of quite a bit of work,so always consider the costs and effort required before committing. But renovating can offer some great rewards. If you have the time, skills, patience and money to renovate, you may be able to find an older or run-down property other people aren’t prepared to take on. And less competition means more opportunity for you.

Consider a ‘sister suburb’

Sister suburbs are the often overlooked neighbours of popular locales that share all the same benefits, such as location, shops and schools, but without the hefty price tag. They offer a more affordable way into an area and can often gentrify as more people spill over from traditionally popular suburbs. Some examples include Mentone, which has a median house price of $1.449 million and a median unit price of $670,000, according to Its affluent neighbour, Beaumaris, has a much pricier median of $2.2 million for a house and $1.12 million for a unit. Highett, near Sandringham, and Gardenvale, near Brighton, are also typically more affordable options.

Share the cost with a partner or family member

Sharing the cost of a property purchase with a partner or family member has become quite the norm, and as prices and interest rates continue to rise, it may allow you to break into a suburb without putting yourself under financial stress. In the eyes of a lender, two incomes, or another person’s equity, are better than one. Of course, purchasing with someone else comes with an added layer of complexity, so you may want to consult an expert for advice or have a legal document drawn up stating how much each person owns.

“It’s all about location, and Bayside is a beautiful pocket,” said Barry Plant Chelsea - Mentone agent Eva Cumming.

“Anything near the water, no matter what the suburb, and if it’s walking distance to the beach, it will always be a good idea for young buyers to tap into.

“But the bigger the home the further out from the city, buyers will get more bang for their buck, so heading southeast on the train line towards Edithvale and Chelsea is a great way to crack into the Bayside market.”

For buyers scouring these suburbs, Ms Cumming suggested getting finances in check before auction, so buyers have the ability to offer short-term settlement, which may be more favourable to the seller when considering an offer prior to auction.

“For families looking to buy the dream home, a million dollars can go a long way if you consider the suburbs still growing in popularity, like Bonbeach,” she said.

“No one really knew of or wanted Mordialloc 15-20 years ago, but now it’s the next Elwood.”

Real estate advice & tips
10 January 2023
Save Article

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