Living the trendy life
THE band of inner-northern suburbs including Northcote, Thornbury and Preston are no longer one of Melbourne’s hidden gems.
Buyers have woken up to the hip region’s charms and as popularity rises, property prices are following suit.
Northcote is the closest of the trio to the CBD and paved the way into the city’s milliondollar club last year.
The suburb’s median house price crept above the magic million-dollar mark in December, before dipping back to $990,000 in June this year, according to Real Estate Institute of Victoria figures.
Agents say young families and downsizers are the main groups competing for Northcote homes, attracted by the suburb’s trendy lifestyle, excellent public transport and a popular government high school zone.
High St is the buzzing heart of the neighbourhood and home to a mix of eateries, boutique shops and bars.
It is a haven for foodies, coffee lovers and live music aficionados, with plenty of choices for a weekend brunch or a late-night drink.
The area has easy access to the city, with trams running along High St and St Georges Rd, two train lines and bike paths through the leafy Merri Creek parkland.
The Westgarth precinct, at the suburb’s southern tip, is home to some of the oldest houses, including Victorian mansions dating back to the 19th century.
One sold for $2.782 million when it came up for auction in December. The grand home at 3 McLachlan St was built in 1873 and occupies a 1650sq m block on the banks of Merri Creek.
Two houses have broken the $2 million mark this year, according to CoreLogic RP Data.
A contemporary renovation of a 19th century home fetched top dollar at auction last month.
The five-bedroom home at 11 Mitchell St sold for $2.82 million under the hammer.
An energy-efficient home at 18 Knowles St also proved popular, selling for $2.23 million in March.
Renovated Victorian and Edwardian homes make up much of the housing stock in Northcote, but apartments are also springing up.
These new developments are adding more lowmaintenance, one- and twobedroom apartments to the suburb’s housing mix.