Life in the fast lanes
A RESURGENCE in inner-city living has transformed the amenities offered for Melbourne CBD residents.
While the central city is Melbourne’s business and financial centre — the so-called big end of town — it’s becoming a home for first-home buyers and empty nesters seeking a city lifestyle that enjoys 24hour trading, cafes, restaurants bars and entertainment.
The fact that it’s close to workplaces is an added benefit.
Galldon managing director Don Gallicchio said the market for quality established residential apartments had been strong as buyers shifted towards apartment living.
Strong price growth in the suburbs meant that buying a city apartment was now seen as affordable, he said.
There’s a wide variety of stock available in Melbourne, especially between old and new off-the-plan apartments.
“A lot of the new stock is generally more an international marketplace, whereas the older-style buildings tend to be a bit larger and a little bit more sought after, especially by owner-occupiers and local people,” Mr Gallicchio said.
He said established apartments tended to have larger living areas in smaller buildings with a higher proportion of owner-occupiers.
“Your average two bedrooms are closer to the 72 to 80sq m mark and one bedrooms are around the 45 to 60sq m mark, as opposed to a lot of the brand new off-the-plan stuff that tends to be closer to 50sq m to 60sq m for two bedrooms,” Mr Gallicchio said.
But older buildings often miss out on gyms and swimming pools that feature in new developments, although Melbourne hosted a plethora of facilities, including the City Baths and RACV Club.
While investors remain the biggest buying group in the city, owner-occupiers make up more than 36 per cent of residents.
“Eighty per cent of our marketplace used to definitely be investors,” Mr Gallicchio said. “Over the past decade we’ve seen a shift towards owner-occupiers, people saying ‘I’m happy to live in the city’.
“There’s more amenities now, with supermarkets and things, as opposed to a decade ago.”
With a resident population of more than 28,000 people, Melbourne’s famed laneway cafe, bar and restaurant scene has exploded.
“Probably 10 years ago Hardware Lane used to be open just for lunch. And on Saturday and Sunday it was actually closed,” Mr Gallicchio said.
“With the life cycle of people, all of sudden Hardware Lane is open for breakfast, lunch, dinner and there’s night-life and cafes and bars here as well, so that’s just a small portion of what’s happening in the wider Melbourne area.”