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Melbourne’s latest buying trend: Cottage homes

By Jamil Allouche

Melbourne property buyers are snapping up smaller period homes around the city, driving up property prices for these dwellings in areas such as Moonee Ponds and Northcote, right next to Brunswick East. This data comes from the Real Estate Institute of Victoria, which shows that some areas are seeing property prices boom up to 30 per cent from the same time as last year.

Naturally, this could be fantastic news for owners of real estate in Brunswick East and other areas.

Market statistics you need to know

This growing trend is centred around smaller homes with just one or two bedrooms, especially character homes in areas such as the city's north and inner west. Such homes have been selling for up to $10,000 per square metre, with REIV CEO Geoff White explaining the trend one partly driven by 'downsizers'. For this group, the appeal of a small but attractive home in a good location is a strong one after children leave the nest.

One of the most lucrative areas is Northcote, nestled between Brunswick East and Thornbury. Here, vendors have seen a 29 per cent increase of $200,000 in sale prices in the past three months, compared to the same period last year. Not far behind is Footscray, which has seen a growth of 25 per cent ($253,000) within the same timeframe.

Moonee Ponds is another example, which had a median sale price of $823,000 from June through August last year, but now sits at $857,000 – an increase of 4 per cent.

All of the figures are pointing to the fact that small homes – particularly those in good areas – are more in demand than ever, which is pushing prices up creating an excellent sellers' market.

According to a Domain article on the trend, three auctions in Brunswick and Coburg sold cottages for more than $1.3million last weekend. Such figures would likely have been simply unattainable as recently as the start of 2015.

Mr White explained the rapid increase in sales of smaller period properties, saying "with development growth in the inner suburbs, there are fewer of these homes than there were in the past".

"Yet they seem to be just as popular as ever before – with the demand, and lower supply, leading to prices close to or above $1million for these smaller homes."

If you own a small property in Brunswick East, Moonee Ponds or any of Melbourne's character suburbs and are considering selling, talk to the Ray White Brunswick office to learn more about this exciting trend.

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