Heatmap of public transit travel times shows the suburbs with the best commuting options

In contrast, South Melbourne offers a similar commute time but has a higher median home price north of $1.8 million and a median unit price of $620,000.

Extending the search north of Coburg to include Pascoe Vale could save money, but at the cost of a longer commute. The average home price of Pascoe Vale is just under $800,000, but without direct transportation to the university, commute times would skyrocket by 10 to 20 minutes each way.

Neuzerling reproduced a version of the map showing commute times to Flinders Street Station for this masthead.

It shows that a homebuyer commuting to the CBD could find similar travel times by train in, for example, Coburg or Pascoe Vale, but would save money by buying in the latter.

Buyers’ attorney and Wakelin’s real estate director, Jarrod McCabe, said he found that the desire for direct transport links was a common demand from prospective homeowners.


“There are customers who are more than happy to move a little further afield and be on a train line than to be in the same suburb and further afield,” he said. “That is an important aspect. Not only for people entering work, but also for getting kids to school.

“It’s an approach to lifestyle, also from a sporting and artistic point of view.”

McCabe said compromises are often necessary in Melbourne’s real estate market, where homes average nearly $1,033,000.

“Affordability is one of the biggest issues people face when it comes to real estate. We regularly talk to our clients about… finding the right location, the right level of improvement, and the right price.

“For most people, the price is not flexible. One of the other two could be a bit flexible.”

Neuzerling said he struggled to find the right kind of home.

Neuzerling said he struggled to find the right kind of home. Credit:Justin McManus

While his map showed a surprising number of districts in their price range to choose from, Neuzerling found it difficult to find suitable living space.

“One thing I was a bit disappointed with was the lack of townhouses and mid-density apartments,” he said. “There are townhouses out there and townhouses are being built.


“[But] not in the amounts I want.”

Joey Moloney, senior fellow at the Grattan Institute’s economic program, said the shortage of medium-density homes in well-connected suburbs was a factor that contributed to Melbourne’s housing affordability crisis.

“One of the flaws in Australia’s housing policy is that it has led to this widening geographical inequality,” he said.

Moloney said that along with shorter commutes, this included easy access to services like health care and education; The travel time and associated costs were an economic drain on poorer families.

“The gap only widens as the geographic gap between rich and poor widens.”

Moloney said one potential solution is a more focused, statewide planning process.

Graham Currie, Monash Professor of Transportation Engineering, said the problem is structural and becoming entrenched.

“Australian cities tend to have low-income groups living in affordable housing in the outer suburbs where public transport is poor,” he said. “This creates a problem when people are moving to the margins for lifestyle and affordability reasons and realizing they need a car for every adult in the family.

“This ends up really squeezing their budgets and we get ‘forced car ownership’.

Neuzerling said better planning would make his property search a lot easier.

“I’ve looked at planning decisions in the local council where I live,” he said. “It’s one of those places where I can afford to rent but can’t buy.”

https://www.smh.com.au/property/news/david-wanted-an-affordable-home-and-a-reasonable-commute-one-suburb-was-a-winner-20230223-p5cmym.html?ref=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_source=rss_property Heatmap of public transit travel times shows the suburbs with the best commuting options

Brian Lowry

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