Changing of the guard
THE times they are a changing.
At least they are in a number of suburbs across Melbourne that are undergoing a major generational shift.
Wheelers Hill has undergone the biggest change in the past 12 months, according to figures from CoreLogic RP Data.
While the average house in the suburb has been owned for 16.4 years, there were 301 sales in the 12 months to January.
“That doesn’t surprise me at all,” said Martin Giles, of Harcourts, Mt Waverley.
“Wheelers Hill is a tremendously family oriented suburb with big homes, good schools, parks and all the services you look for.”
Mr Giles, who along with his wife and children, as well as his mother and brother, lives in Wheelers Hill, said he had recently seen a lot of older couples preparing to downsize from large family homes.
“We probably have five or six older couples on the books at the moment who are rattling around in four or five-bedroom homes in Wheelers Hill,” Mr Giles said. “They are deciding it’s time to move on, make a change and downsize.”
The face of the suburb is changing, with the buyers moving into the area coming from far and wide.
“Families are moving in to the area and a lot of them, a majority of them, are coming from overseas,” Mr Giles said.
“Of the houses we have sold in Wheelers Hill in the last year, I’d say 80 per cent were bought by Asian buyers.”
Vermont South and Vermont, which ranked third and fourth respectively, were undergoing very similar changes, Mr Giles said.
Nearby Wantirna has undergone the second-biggest change of any Melbourne suburb in the past year.
Even though Wantirna homeowners have been in their houses for an average of 17.4 years, 206 houses were sold in the year to January.
“Homes have been so tightly held because of the lifestyle on offer,” Barry Plant, Wantirna, director Brendan Murphy said.
“There’s fantastic infrastructure. There are schools, parkland, shops, everything you can want.
“It’s the sort of area where buyers know they can buy, raise a family and live there happily while they grow for 20 or 30 years.”
People who had raised their families were now looking to downsize and capitalise on the price growth their houses had experienced (24 per cent in the past 12 months).
“A lot of people are viewing their family homes as a retirement fund,” Mr Murphy said. “They might sell for $1 million and then spend $500,000 on a unit locally, which puts them in a good financial position.”
Young families are being drawn to the suburb in droves, attracted to the same things that drew buyers 20 or 30 years ago, Mr Murphy said.
Further to the south, Dingley Village rounded out the top five, with 141 houses sold in the 12 months to January, while the average house has been owned for 16 years.
“There are a lot of people who are either downsizing locally or making a seachange at the moment,” Dora Kambouris, of Ray White, Dingley Village said.
“A lot of the people moving into the suburb are first-time buyers or young families looking to take their next step.”
The tight-knit suburb has only 300 houses.
“There’s a real community feel. It is an area where people feel safe and that’s why people have stayed.
“We are seeing an influx of young family buyers that are seeing that Dingley Village is great and that it’s an area where everybody knows everybody.”