The suburb at the foothills of the Dandenong Ranges has a high turnover of properties as local residents upgrade and out-of-area buyers come in search of value-for-money homes.
Developers have also been active, drawn by opportunities to turn good-size blocks into units and townhouses.
Infrastructure upgrades, including the train station and main shopping area, have improved connectivity and amenities for residents and commuters.
Its other drawcard is the proximity to the Dandenong Ranges and to popular nearby suburbs of Wantirna South and Wantirna.
“Boronia is seen as more affordable than surrounding suburbs and has attracted many buyers, plus it’s family friendly.”
In May 2022, the suburb’s median house price was $867,000 based on 244 sales in the past 12 months, according to realestate.com.au data. For units and apartments, the median price was $665,000 based on 249 sales.
The large suburb of just over 24,000 residents is spread over 11.4sq km, and each year it reports a large number of property sales.
Boronia had 134 properties for sale and 74 properties for rent in April 2022. For investors, Boronia houses lease for $440 per week with an annual rental yield of 2.8 per cent, while units rent for $400 per week with a 3.4 percent yield.
Based on five years of sales, the suburb has seen a compound growth rate of 15.6 per cent for houses and 12.7 percent for units.
There are many benefits of living in Boronia, from its spacious homes and large blocks to the greenery and beautiful surroundings.
“It is attracting a lot of families, and three and four-bedroom homes on 800sq m are popular,” Mr Percy said.
“Renovated houses here fetch a premium.”
Certain pockets are desirable and sought-after, with strong demand in Boronia West, which gets an overflow of buyers from the more expensive Wantirna, while Boronia Heights is a popular pocket with a small shopping centre.
“Homes that are staged and presented well perform strongly and the sellers reap the rewards,” Mr Percy added.
Three and four-bedroom houses have an average of 26-34 days on market, while it is 45-67 days for two and five-bedroom houses.
In the 2016 census, there were 9608 dwellings in the suburb with an average household size of 2.41.
Who are the buyers of existing homes and new units and townhouses sprouting out in Boronia?
Local agents said lifestyle was an important consideration for buyers after the COVID-19 lockdowns and the ability to work more from home.
Boronia lies 29km from the Melbourne CBD and offers a treechange and family friendly lifestyle.
“Buyers are local and from out-of-area and include families and upgraders, including some selling up in more expensive areas and coming here,” Mr Percy added.
He noted a slow down in the building of new units and townhouses in 2022, and there are still blocks available for development.
“Boronia is fairly built up and there are no more big blocks for new housing estates,” he said.
Property transactions are mainly via private sales even though auctions became more popular in recent years due to strong demand from out-of-area buyers.
In early February 2021, Boronia was among 17 suburbs across Victoria that recorded a perfect auction clearance rate, together with nearby Ferntree Gully, Rowville and Wantirna.
The strong price growth has allowed many long-term residents to sell their homes and downsize or move to regional or seachange areas.
The Wurundjeri people of the Kulin nation are acknowledged as the traditional custodians of Boronia and surrounding suburbs in the City of Knox.
With European settlement, it developed mainly as an area with orchards, flower gardens and farms. It was only named in 1915 after the Boronia plant by a local councillor and was once considered part of neighbouring Bayswater.
In 1920, the railway station and post office opened and the 1960s and 1970s saw an influx of residents.
Boronia is considered a green suburb with many areas capturing views of the national park and Dandenong Ranges. It has many hills, parks and a network of cycling paths and trails.
Several primary schools serve the area, including Boronia Heights, Boronia West, Knox Central and St Joseph's primary schools while Boronia College is a K-12 school.
It has a growing central shopping hub with many cafes and restaurants, a cinema and network of health and community services. It has an increasing reputation as a liveable and affordable suburb catering to a wide variety of residents.
The Victorian government has identified Boronia as a priority suburb to revitalise and generate economic growth and activity, and provide more local jobs.
Its goal is to make Boronia a “safe, vibrant, connected and inclusive community” in the city’s growing eastern corridor.
It has provided funding for such projects as the Boronia Big Flix Festival, business façade upgrades, streetscape renewal, pop-up events, community grants, laneway and arcade renewal,and community food garden.
The local council’s renewal strategy includes new housing and population growth, boosting retail trade and economic opportunities, and higher density development around the intersection of Boronia and Dorset roads.
It also has plans to allow Dorset Square to be developed into a contemporary retail complex with a new civic space.