Rac­ing for a po­si­tion

Herald Sun - Property - - SUBURB PROFILE -

LARGE houses and blocks are a gift from a by­gone era for the res­i­dents of Caulfield to en­joy.

But the fu­ture is look­ing some­what dif­fer­ent, as young pro­fes­sion­als, fam­i­lies and down­siz­ers tar­get Caulfield, Caulfield North and Caulfield South in search of new apart­ments and town­houses.

The first are ap­pear­ing in new de­vel­op­ments along pop­u­lar pub­lic trans­port routes, such as Hawthorn Rd, where old Cal­i­for­nia bun­ga­lows are mak­ing way for new de­vel­op­ments with be­tween 12 and 25 dwellings.

Besser & Co di­rec­tor Dion Besser said these apart­ments were sell­ing from $400,000 for one-bed­room de­signs, while two-bed­room lay­outs reg­u­larly fetched more than $500,000.

While these were of­ten an in­vest­ment grade, Mr Besser said many down­siz­ers want­ing to re­main close to fam­ily in the area were snap­ping up two or even three off-the-plan apart­ments, to com­bine them into a 110sq m pent­house.

Given Caulfield’s mid­dle and up­per de­mo­graphic, it is nat­u­ral the sub­urb fea­tures house blocks from 500sq m to 2000sq m.

That size and the pop­u­lar­ity of the sub­urb adds up to a me­dian house price of $1.6 mil­lion. But Mr Besser said many homes sold around the $2 mil­lion mark.

That had cre­ated an af­ford­abil­ity prob­lem, which some buy­ers had found a unique way of ne­go­ti­at­ing.

“We’re find­ing peo­ple who are buy­ing blocks of land, young peo­ple be­tween 30 and 40 years old just start­ing a fam­ily, are build­ing two town­houses and sell­ing one,” Mr Besser said.

“There’s a large dual oc­cu­pancy mar­ket where they’re buy­ing a block of land, split­ting it up, build­ing two town­houses and sell­ing one, or even shar­ing with a sib­ling.

“Land is be­com­ing re­ally ex­pen­sive. And to own a house is $2 mil­lion these days. The op­tion for young fam­i­lies, or for peo­ple start­ing fam­i­lies, is to buy a prop­erty, split it to give them­selves a 25 to 30 square town­house, which if they were to buy it would cost be­tween $1.2 mil­lion and $2.2 mil­lion now.”

Devel­op­ment isn’t the only fac­tor of life in Caulfield, which has some won­der­ful park­land, in­clud­ing in the cen­tre of the Caulfield Race­course.

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