Lifestyle the key to success
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.