Whittlesea property: the outer northern suburbs bucking the downturn

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The imposing home at 120 Holts Rd, Whittlesea is set to sell for $2.275-$2.502 million.

A group of suburbs in Melbourne’s outer north aren’t feeling the sting of the housing market downturn.

Whittlesea, about 40km from the CBD, has performed strongly, with the median house price increasing 16 per cent to $580,000 in the 12 months to March and 52.6 per cent over five years, according to CoreLogic.

Nearby suburbs Wollert and Mernda have also bucked the downturn, with the median house price increasing 4.8 and 3.3 per cent to $586,000 and $569,000 respectively over the year.

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Warm your hands over the outdoor fireplace at 120 Holts Rd, Whittlesea.

The 6000-bottle wine cellar.

The living room overlooks lush gardens.

The grand home surrounded by greenery.

Natalie Sneddon from developer Lifestyle Communities, which has estates at Wollert and Lyndarum offering “affordable resort-style living for over 50s”’, said improved infrastructure had inspired a lot of growth in the area.

“There’s a lot of interest from first and second-home buyers, which is pushing up prices,” Ms Sneddon said.

There’s also more pockets of land available, and buyers have the vision to build homes and communities.

“These suburbs aren’t that far from the city so, as more infrastructure comes in, it is more palatable for people to purchase around here.

“Even as the price of properties rise in other areas, our audience can sell their homes to the younger market coming in.”

Realestate.com.au chief economist Nerida Conisbee said the outer suburbs hadn’t had the same fluctuations as the inner suburbs.

“If you look at Melbourne’s development over the last 30 years, population growth has always pushed to the southeastern suburbs. But, what’s happened in the last decade is the population has pushed out west and to the north. It is partly due to the affordability of these areas, and there is less stigma associated with them,” Ms Conisbee said.

“A lot of first-home buyers are taking advantage of government incentives, and the amount of downsizers and upsizers in the northern suburbs are growing, as you get (better value) for your money.”

The four-bedroom family home at 66 Wellington St, Mernda.

Low-maintenance living areas.

The covered deck and neat lawn.

“You won’t get many downsizers moving from suburbs like Hawthorn to Whittlesea, but there are definitely people who bought big family homes in Melbourne’s north, and want to downsize to something more manageable in the area.”

Buckingham and Company agent Lee Murray said a lot of Melbourne’s southern suburbs were hugely inflated because they were so close to the city.

He added that the affordability and country lifestyle of Melbourne’s north was attractive to buyers.

“Larger blocks and newer homes with side access are flying off the shelf in Whittlesea at the moment,” Mr Murray said.

The striking facade at 15 Bendoc St, Wollert.

The chic living domain.

The kitchen features stone benches and stainless steel appliances.

“A lot of people are downsizing from their $1 million house in Eltham, putting a bit of money in the bank and looking to live next to their kids.

“Whittlesea in particular is a picturesque and affordable place with a great community feel. Even in the prime heat of the market, we weren’t selling properties for as much as we are now

“The market is very strong in these areas.”

CoreLogic data shows 291, 192 and 80 houses sold in Mernda, Wollert and Whittlesea over the 12 months to March, 2019.

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