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The latest happenings in the Melbourne property market. For our Essays and The Secret Agent Report, see our Research page.


Category Archives For: Property Buying Tips

In 2016, We Paid More for Older Apartments

This week, Secret Agent compares new and old apartments around inner Melbourne to see which were more valuable in 2016.

The sample included 1674 apartment sales across inner Melbourne’s suburbs and the CBD from January to December 2016. New apartments are those built from the 90s onwards, excluding any recent off-the-plan apartment sales. Old apartments include Art Deco units and flats located in 60s to 80s brick buildings. Read the full post


The Price of Better Designed Apartments

How much more are we willing to pay for a cross ventilated, well-lit apartment with a balcony and open views?

In March this year, apartment design standards will be implemented into the Victorian planning system. Apartment design standards will ensure all future apartments in Victoria are desirable, safe, healthy and sustainable. New developments in Victoria will only be permitted a planning permit if they meet these standards. A 2015 community survey found that the top concerns of apartment amenity were “access to daylight, functional space, and natural ventilation”, as well as noise and energy efficiency. (DELWP, 2)

Standards have been made for 16 elements of design: Building setback, functional layout, room depth, windows, storage, noise impacts, energy efficiency, solar access to communal open space, natural ventilation, private open space, communal open space, landscaping, accessibility, building entry and circulation, waste and recycling, integrated water and storm water management.

It is logical to think that better design standards should produce apartments of a higher quality. This in turn should increase the sale price of these apartments. Secret Agent was engaged to determine the price premium of better designed apartments. That is, how much more are consumers willing to pay for an A grade apartment compared to a B grade and C grade apartment? Read the full post


Warehouse Apartments in Melbourne: What They Cost

Who knew that the walls of former breweries, factories and mills would become one of the most irresistible apartment styles to own and occupy in inner Melbourne.

Warehouse apartments are unique in that they successfully and seamlessly merge historic and trendy. Characterised by their exposed brick walls, steel trusses, sleek interiors and impossibly high ceilings, warehouse style apartments are limited in supply, further adding to their appeal.

In this bulletin, Secret Agent examines inner Melbourne’s warehouse apartment market. Read the full post


The Secret Agent Report – Kitchens

We have just released our latest Secret Agent report!

This issue takes a closer look at one of the most important rooms in any home: your kitchen. Whether you live in a cramped studio apartment or a luxurious family home, for many of us, the heart of the home lies in the kitchen.

Access the Kitchens report now!

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What Melbourne’s Apartments Will Cost You

In this update, we present a more thorough look into the price per square metre rates of apartments by suburb, further categorising sales according to the number of bedrooms. These results are shown in Table 1.

The overall average price per square metre rate for apartments in inner Melbourne is $8,687/sqm. 

Overall, the three most expensive suburbs to purchase an apartment  are Albert Park ($13,276/sqm), East Melbourne ($11,914/sqm) and Middle Park ($10,720/sqm). These areas have consistently topped our index.

The least expensive apartments per square metre can be found in Travancore ($6,563/sqm), Kensington ($6,869/sqm) and Flemington ($7,079/sqm).

A few things can be observed when considering apartments with a larger accommodation. In some suburbs, the increase in number of bedrooms also leads to an increase in price per square metre, as seen in the CBD region, Carlton, Collingwood, Clifton Hill and South Yarra.

We can see that most of the inner North and inner West suburbs tend to have decreasing price per square metre rates as apartments grow in accommodation size. However, note that some of the data may be inaccurate due to the small number of sales available for that particular apartment type.

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Click to view table in fullscreen mode.


The Secret Agent Report – Melbourne’s Supply of New Developments

We have just released our latest Secret Agent report!

Demand is a hot topic in the apartment market at the moment, and assumptions about what buyers want are being made by almost everyone with the right to an opinion. Predicting future demand for a property is one way for investors to estimate the future capital growth of an asset. However, too little attention is paid to the supply side of the equation.

In this report, Secret Agent will move the focus from demand to supply, and forecast Melbourne’s upcoming stock of new developments.

Access the Supply report now!

You can also explore our interactive map of Melbourne’s supply of new apartment and townhouse developments here:

Read the full post


Inner Melbourne’s Smallest and Largest Apartments

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Inner Melbourne’s apartments are getting tinier with each new development. But, how small is small? Secret Agent’s updated apartment index reveals that the average size of a 1 bedroom apartment is only 47sqm, and for the more popular 2 bedroom apartment the average size is 73sqm.

Read the full post


Inner Melbourne’s Most Affordable and Expensive Apartments

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Secret Agent has updated its price per square metre index for secondary apartments in inner Melbourne. An additional 478 apartments have been added to the index so that it now consists of a total of 870 apartments which have sold between 1st January 2016 to 30th June 2016. The new average square metre rate for apartments in inner Melbourne is $8,679/sqm.

Read the full post


The Secret Agent Report – Recreating Period Homes

We have just released our latest Secret Agent report!

The original period homes that remain in Melbourne are frequently purchased for record-setting prices. It is difficult to quantify the value of character, however it is possible to estimate how much these houses are truly worth if we were to build them from scratch today.

This month, Secret Agent investigates the cost of rebuilding two period homes in inner Melbourne. We demonstrate that the prices paid for period property fairly represent the quality, history and scarcity of these types of homes in today’s market

Start reading this report by clicking on the link below:

Register to receive our report monthly and access the Recreating Period Homes report now!


Bride and Bridesmaid Suburbs

Suburbs such as Fitzroy and East Melbourne have historically strong capital gains. Conventional wisdom is that by investing in neighbouring suburbs that have lower median prices, an investor would achieve stronger growth than in the blue chip suburb. This is because they would benefit from the spillover effect of buyers being unable to afford the blue chip locations and the subsequent gentrification of the suburb. This bulletin aimed to test if this is the case by analysing the growth of 5 bride and bridesmaid suburb pairs in inner Melbourne.

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A bride suburb is a relatively expensive suburb with good capital gains. It may be out of reach for a large proportion of property investors due to the high entry point.

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A bridesmaid suburb is a neighbouring suburb that boasts a lot of the qualities that make the bride such a good investment, yet with properties selling for much lower prices.

To compare, the median sale prices and annual growth rates since 2011 for all suburbs shown in Figure 1 were gathered. These suburbs were divided into suitable pairs, based on locality and differences in median prices. The results are shown in Table 1.

Read the full post