Life­style the key to suc­cess

Herald Sun - Property - - SUBURB PROFILE - PETER FARAGO

THE young de­mo­graphic of each gen­er­a­tion seems to de­fine St Kilda’s char­ac­ter.

Whether it is the bo­hemian cul­ture, the home to many prom­i­nent artists, mu­si­cians and sub­cul­tures, or its rapid gen­tri­fi­ca­tion led by young pro­fes­sion­als, St Kilda’s busy streetscapes are ever chang­ing.

Besser & Co, St Kilda East, di­rec­tor Dion Besser de­scribes the sub­urb’s real es­tate as “age ap­pro­pri­ate”.

“Since the 1920s, apart­ments have been con­tin­u­ously be­ing built,” he said.

“In the ’30s and ’40s it was the Art Deco style repli­cas.

“In the ’50s and ’60s we started to see the dou­ble brick apart­ments go­ing up and since the ’90s we’ve seen build­ings with 15 storeys and more.”

Mr Besser said St Kilda’s history has leaned to­wards smaller homes. And as a re­sult many res­i­dents lived out in the restau­rants, bars and cafes.

“It’s a sub­urb where peo­ple that live in St Kilda and St Kilda East are there for the life­style,” he said. “They enjoy the night­clubs, the ameni­ties that St Kilda has to of­fer in terms of shop­ping, food and cul­ture.”

But he said St Kilda was a di­verse sub­urb, with bars open to the early hours of the morn­ing in Fitzroy St and some on Acland St along­side qual­ity restau­rants, while young pro­fes­sion­als tended to look to Carlisle St for its cof­fee shops and wine bars.

“(They are) peo­ple with good cash flows, good in­comes, who can af­ford to spend very good money on beau­ti­ful her­itage homes,” he said. “It at­tracts young pro­fes­sion­als who want to get into the mar­ket­place, who only need one or two-bed­room apart­ments and have the life­style that they re­quire.”

The high turnover of pop­u­la­tion was a boon for in­vestors, Mr Besser said.

“The ac­com­mo­da­tion avail­able to peo­ple in St Kilda is age ap­pro­pri­ate. The in­vestors do like St Kilda be­cause it does at­tract a younger de­mo­graphic that tends to rent,” he said.

But in­vestors aren’t just lo­cals in the know, with buy­ers from Sydney keen on the growth prospects of Mel­bourne’s bay­side sub­urbs and rel­a­tive value for money.

“You can get a really good apart­ment in St Kilda for be­tween $550,000 and $700,000,? Mr Besser said. “To get the equiv­a­lent property in Bondi you’d be pay­ing well in ex­cess of $1 mil­lion.”

Many of St Kilda’s ex­ist­ing blocks of flats were highly prized, Wake­lin Property Ad­vi­sory di­rec­tor Richard Wake­lin said. They were among Mel­bourne’s best ex­am­ples of Art Deco res­i­den­tial ar­chi­tec­ture, which is con­tained in St Kilda, El­wood and South Yarra.

“They are gems in their own right and they have a really spe­cific scarcity value in their fea­tures, both from an owner’s point of view and as an in­vest­ment,” Mr Wake­lin said.

The Ge­orge ho­tel, on Fitzroy St, is one of the prime ex­am­ples of the su­perb range of ar­chi­tec­ture on show in St Kilda.

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