The market in Melbourne’s northern suburbs sprang into action towards the end of last year, according to Barry Plant Northcote-Preston office director Loretta Khoo.
“Strong sales and good returns are an indication that 2021 is going to be a great year,” she said. “The market has been very quick to bounce back since November.”
Fierce competition for homes - from new developments to established properties - is pushing up prices and generating steady returns for vendors.
Renowned for their affordability and colourful vibe, Darebin suburbs - Alphington, Bundoora, Fairfield, Kingsbury, Macleod, Northcote, Preston, Reservoir and Thornbury - are attracting a wide range of buyers, from first-timers to retirees, investors and developers.
“There is a rise in demand from first-home buyers who have been saving for the past nine months,” Ms Khoo said. “Record low interest rates, government incentives and stamp duty savings have helped boost their confidence.”
Ms Khoo said there was an increasing number of buyers from Melbourne’s inner-north who were moving further out. “These are mainly people who are working from home or have more flexible working hours and they are wanting to live in larger properties with bigger backyards further out in Preston and Reservoir,” she said.
First-home buyers from Melbourne’s eastern suburbs snapped up a two-bedroom apartment at 5/258 Gower St, Preston, for $631,000 late last year. “This was a surprising result because we expected it to sell in the early $500,000s,” Ms Khoo said. About 100 people inspected the property, including 11 registered bidders, and it sold for a remarkable $111,000 above reserve.
Darebin properties continue to draw buyers from across Melbourne as well as locals wanting to stay in the area because of its affordability, facilities, proximity to the CBD, transport links and lifestyle attractions.
In another strong result late last year, buyers from Alphington paid $1.705 million for a California Bungalow on a 559sq m block at 6 Goldsmith Ave, Preston. The renovated four-bedroom house sold for an unexpected $150,000 above the reserve after only 10 days on the market. “This was a result that really surprised us and we saw it as a sign that the market was returning to its pre-COVID vibrancy,” Ms Khoo said.
Ms Khoo compared the sale to that of 6 Shakespeare Ave, Preston, a four-bedroom California Bungalow on a larger 607sq m block, that fetched $1.725 million last February.