The first quarter of the year is the busiest time for holiday home transactions. How is the market looking and should you jump in?
Is it still possible to invest in South Yarra?
South Yarra’s mix of shopping, units, heritage properties and prestige houses squeezes in a variety of different lifestyles, making the area one of Melbourne’s most densely populated. The ultimate blue chip suburb, consistently voted as one of Melbourne’s most liveable (ranked no 2 in 2015 in The Liveable Melbourne study, by Deloitte Access Economics and planners Tract Consultants), South Yarra offers residents a world of choice.
There is never nothing to do in South Yarra. From bars, restaurants and boutique shopping at Chapel Street and Toorak Road, through to the Prahran Markets with its fresh produce and onto a collection of art galleries and parklands, South Yarra caters to the many living within the suburbs and its surrounds. Combined with its close proximity to the CBD and train lines, South Yarra has a range of travel options available. With two train stations located within its borders (South Yarra and Hawksburn), three tram lines (8, 72 and 78) and several bus routes servicing the area, residents are never stranded.
One of Melbourne’s oldest suburbs, its timeless popularity is apparent when driving through its streets and seeing the mix of older houses and apartments and new developments. These older houses reflect back to the area’s prestigious beginning, where the upper class were housed in mansions with the smaller cottages that lined the busy thoroughfare streets housing the rest. Home to Victoria’s first state school, Melbourne High School, the area’s continued appreciation for education is embedded in its long history. Nowadays this is apparent in the provision of a range of educational options: primary – South Yarra Primary School and Christ Church Grammar School; secondary – Melbourne High School and Melbourne Girls Grammar; and a range of specialised schools to help residents of all ages continue learning with classes specialising in dance, art, languages and cooking.
There is a perception – no doubt based on its history and collection of mansions – that South Yarra is out of reach for all but the wealthiest property investors. However, that is not the case, for good apartments in low rise blocks with dedicated parking prices start at $450,000 to $500,000 for a one bedder and approximately $600,000 to $650,000 for a two bedder. These properties are predominantly 1930s to 1960s apartments and are perfectly suited to the demographics of the area and a rental lifestyle. Free standing quality investment grade houses in the suburb, however, can cost upwards of $1.1 million.
One should be careful when looking into apartments in South Yarra, as certain areas are home to a large number of high rise buildings, which can lure you in with their shine and promises but leave you with difficulties finding tenants and little to no capital growth. Avoid these types of properties and focus on the older well-kept apartments in smaller blocks that are in low supply and high demand.
Ultimately it is the range of activities that South Yarra offers that ensures its continued popularity with its residents and our clients. And after years of buying properties in the area, not to mention our on-the-street observations and analysis of thousands of sales over 21 years, Wakelin Property Advisory has a South Yarra suburb expertise unmatched by any other buyer’s advocate or buyer’s agent.