Racing for a position
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.