The most expensive suburbs per square meter to buy a house

The size of the home and the amount of land can change dramatically depending on where buyers are looking.

A buyer looking at listings priced up to $2.1 million might consider the following:

Big-block homes, like those in Yarrambat, have become increasingly popular with lifestyle shoppers, Ray White Doreen’s Scott Conboy said, and many people are looking for extra breathing space.

“Since COVID, people are spending more time at home and want that lifestyle,” Conboy said. “It’s got a rural feel, but you have a coffee shop 10 minutes away… You can drive five minutes and still hop on a train into town.”

That lifestyle led Jayne and Andrew Bedford to shop in the suburbs in 2004, with the couple recently selling to downsize.

Jayne Bedford recently sold at Yarrambat.

Jayne Bedford recently sold at Yarrambat.Credit:Justin McManus

The size of the property gave the family, including their three children, room for a larger house and a place to ride their motorcycles.

The Bedfords are now looking for a smaller house with less land, although they still want country life.

“We just love the country lifestyle,” said Jayne Bedford. “The kids are all gone and it’s a big house – it’s got five bedrooms but with a lot of maintenance so it’s time to move on.”

Closer to town, Warwick Gardiner, director of Jellis Craig Port Phillip, said inner bay buyers are willing to spend money and give up a large block of land.

Suburbs like Albert Park and Middle Park are “sandwiched between the city and the beach,” he said, and offer space outside of the home to enjoy a quiet stroll, time at a nearby park, or a quick trip to the CBD.

“The biggest benefit is that it’s quiet — you can find parking on the street or in front of the shops because all major arteries bypass Albert Park, so there’s no through traffic,” Gardiner said. “It’s not overdeveloped. All houses have a heritage overlay so there are no masses of apartments.”

Housing affordability in Melbourne is in focus as interest rates continue to rise and rising land prices raise costs for buyers across the city, Powell said.

The price of land per square meter has skyrocketed across Melbourne over the past 10 years, rising from an average of $861 in 2012 to $1811 in 2022.

At the same time, the average block sizes have become significantly smaller – from 595 square meters in 2012 to 540 square meters last year.

“Shrinking block sizes should help slow house price growth since the cost of land is the primary component in a purchase,” Powell said. “But the cost of land hasn’t gone down — buyers are just buying less of it.”

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Brian Lowry

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