Auction volumes have been ticking back up now that lockdown has lifted—especially in Melbourne, where auction volumes have exceeded 1,000 listings in a week, the highest number in months. Clearance rates are also on the up, sitting at 69.7% in the week ending 13 December 2020.
That's an improvement from this time last year, and it's a pretty good indicator for how the housing market is doing post-lockdown. And now that listings are high and prices are soaring, for some home buyers, it's time to re-enter the market.
But it's still difficult, especially if you're buying your first home, to decide where you should start looking. To help you, we've put together a list of Melbourne Southeast's most affordable and liveable suburbs for first home buyers.
As to how we decided which suburbs belonged on the list, we focused on getting first home buyers to take advantage of two systems that the government has in place for assisting first home buyers—stamp duty exemptions/concessions and the First Home Grant.
It's pretty straightforward. One of the key criteria to be eligible for both of these plans is that the home being purchased is valued at under $750,000. (You can read more about stamp duty exemptions/concessions here or the First Home Grant here.)
The policy on stamp duty savings has two tiers. If the home is under $600,000, a full exemption can be obtained; between $600,000 and $750,000, a concession is offered. We took data over June 2017 to December 2020 to find the median prices of Melbourne's southeastern suburbs (<40km to CBD) and identify areas that fit within this criteria set.
We used PwC's CityPulse Live Scoring as we considered the suburbs' liveability. This Live score was calculated using five different metrics:
- Housing Affordability (20.8% weighting)
- Access to Amenities (20.8% weighting)
- Access to Health (20.8% weighting)
- Commute Saving (20.8% weighting)
- Rate of Crime (16.7% weighting)
Based on this, we've found ten great south-eastern suburbs for your first home.
*This list was put together based on unit prices (apartments and townhouses)
Median price: $600,000
Hawthorn is one of the more popular suburbs in the southeast, but it remains affordable to first home buyers. With a median price of $600,000, the area boasts a high liveability score thanks to its plentiful access to restaurants and parks. It also has great public transport accessibility.
Most Affordable Suburb
Median price: $572,500
With a liveability ranking of 34, Glen Huntly is one of our top picks for the most affordable suburb in Melbourne's southeast. It's got great public transport access, a good catchment area for schools and high accessibility to amenities.
Most Liveable Suburb
Median price: $662,500
It ranks first on PwC's Live score, but Hawthorn East is a cut more expensive than Hawthorn, which has a lower median price of $600,000 versus Hawthorn East's $662,500. Nevertheless, Hawthorn East remains the most liveable suburb for its cafes, retail, trams, employment and tree cover.
Hawthorn, Glen Huntly and Hawthorn East aren't the only areas in the southeast that first home buyers should look at though. These seven suburbs below stand out for their affordability and liveability. Many of them are family-friendly, with respectable rankings for accessible public transport, proximity to schools and green spaces.
Median price: $595,000
Median price: $620,000
3. Caulfield North
Median price: $698,000
Median price: $670,000
5. Hawthorn East
Median price: $662,500
6. Glen Iris
Median price: 695,000
Median price: $635,000