Emma Norris - 20 Jul, 2021
With its unbeatable coffee scene and vibrant laneways, Melbourne is frequently voted as one of the most liveable cities on the planet. But, does that quality of life also extend to those who are raising a family?
Well, as it turns out, Melbourne is also an ideal place to expand your brood. Not only does it boast some of the best schools in the country, but there’s no shortage of fun activities and outings to keep the little ones entertained.
That said, not all of Melbourne’s suburbs are created equal when it comes to starting a family. The best place to settle down will depend largely on your budget, how much space you require and your desired lifestyle. But, to help get you started, we’ve put together a guide to some of Melbourne’s most family-friend suburbs.
Whether you’re looking for the quietest or safest area in Melbourne or the suburb with the best schools, there’s something to suit every growing family’s needs.
If you’re raising a family and are looking to give your children the best possible start in life, you’ve come to the right place. Melbourne is known for having some of Australia’s best schools – both primary and secondary, public and private. In fact, according to the Better Education ranking, six out of 20 of Australia’s top schools are located in Melbourne.
The 2019 Domain Liveable Melbourne study shows that the inner-city suburb of Fitzroy North is ranked first for its access to high-quality education. In the second spot is the inner North-West suburb of Travancore, followed by Croydon in the far North-East. For primary schools, Moorabbin, Middle Park and Sunshine West scored highly, while Princes Hill and Clayton are top-tier options.
This information is a guide only and is an estimate only based on the past 12 months of aggregated online mortgage enquiries from eChoice and partner programs.
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Despite being one of the world’s most liveable cities, Melbourne isn’t completely devoid of crime. Like any city, certain suburbs are considered safer than others.
According to data from Canstar, the safest suburb in Melbourne The Patch. Located 39 kms East of Mellbourne’s CBD in the Shire of Yarra, this area has a crime rate of only 1.03 per 100 residents. This is closely followed by Park Orchards in the Manningham region and Ferny Creek, also in the Yarra Shire. Other suburbs in Melbourne with a low crime rate include Selby, Kallista, Warrandyte, Montmorency, Donvale, Sassafras and Black Rock Beaumaris.
As one of the fastest-growing suburbs in Melbourne, Mickleham is popular with first-home buyers and families. Here, the median house price is $527,000, which is $258,000 below Melbourne’s median. Despite being 29 km north of the Melbourne CBD, it offers easy access to the CBD via the Tullamarine Freeway or Donnybrook train station.
Giving away its agricultural past, Pakenham is abundant in green, open spaces. Despite being one of Melbourne’s more affordable options (the median house price is $480,000) it has plenty to offer residents in the way of amenities and shopping options.
Just a half-hour drive from the city, the Western suburb of Point Cook offers excellent value for investors and owner-occupiers alike. Despite its close proximity to the CBD, it has a respectable median price tag of just $646,000. The area has a rich history and a great community feel.
Another great option for investors is Werribee, located almost halfway between the Melbourne CBD and Geelong. Despite being somewhat isolated, this area has plenty of going for it including the Werribee Open Range Zoo and a large shopping centre. Here, the median price for a house is $460,000.
An up-and-coming area in South-East Melbourne, Officer offers an attractive mix of open space and convenience. It’s home to a range of exciting new developments, including Arcadia, a master-planned community with residential lots and three new schools. It also has its own train station, sport facilities and a shopping centre. In Officer, the median house price is $560,000 with a rental yield of 3.6 %, compared to Melbourne’s metropolitan average of 2.9%.
Being such a bustling city, Melbourne probably isn’t the first place that springs to mind when you think of family-friendly places to live. But with an abundance of green space, plenty of activities and events for kids and great education, it’s actually a great place to start a family – especially if you settle in the outer suburbs. Some of the most family-friendly suburbs in Melbourne include:
Despite being located just 10 km from the CBD, this suburb ticks all the right boxes for families. Not only does it have a good connection to transport, but it has a village feel with plentiful green space. There’s a mix of older and modern houses in this area, with increasing demand in this area fuelling new developments.
If you can stretch your budget a little further, Kew has plenty to offer families. This riverside suburb is rich in history and natural beauty, making it an idyllic place to live. It also happens to be home to some of Melbourne’s best private and grammar schools. From Victorian terraces to Art Deco homes, there’s plenty of property options on offer, too — but it will set you back around $2.4 million for houses on average.
Nestled between Footscray and Yarraville in an area called ‘The Golden Triangle,’ this inner-city enclave has a little bit of everything. There’s plenty of cafes and activities in the area, but it’s also close to the CBD — allowing for easy weekend outings. Here, you’ll find a mix of modern homes and stately Edwardian homes to settle down in.
Located within the town of Diggers Rest, this is one Melbourne suburb clearly designed with families in mind. With endless playgrounds, facilities and green space in the area, it has everything you need to give your kids a tranquil childhood. There’s plenty of family-friendly property options too, from large pre-built homes to house and land packages.
This affluent area in the South-East of Melbourne is known for its great schools and family-friendly activities. Joyce Park is a major attraction, boasting a Planetary Playground and historic museum. Ormond also had a growing food scene that caters for kids, including the Ormond Ice Creamery and bear-themed Mountain of Bears Cafe. Safe to say, the kids will never get bored!
For families who love the beach, it’s hard to go past Sandringham. Surf and sand are plentiful here, with a range of beaches include Sandringham Beach, Sandy Beach and Sandringham Dog Beach. There’s also a range of aquatic activities for kids in the area, including sailing, windsurfing and kiteboarding lessons.
Located in the South-West of Melbourne, Newport has plenty of opportunities for a fun day out with the kids. Formerly a bluestone quarry, Newport Lakes is a popular spot for a walk and picnic, while Paisley Park offers a swimming pool and sport facilities. There’s also some great museums for the kids to explore, including the Newport Railway Museum and HMAS Castlemaine Museum Ship.
For lovers of the active lifestyle the beachside option of Altona is a solid option. There’s no shortage of running, walking and cycling paths in the area to great outdoors. Not to mention, it’s close to a beach and pier (and those are few and far in between in Melbourne!)
Located in the Nilbumik Shire in the North-East, Diamond Creek is known for its green, open spaces. With hectares of nature reserves, there’s an abundance of places to get out into the great outdoors with the kids.
The North-East is also home to one of Melbourne’s most underrated suburbs for families. Despite being located just 14 km from the CBD, it has the generous lot sizes you’d expect to only see much further in the outskirts. Couple this with the great public transport connections, leafy outlooks and great schools and you’ve got yourself one family-friendly suburb.
Another great suburb in the North-East for families is Doncaster East. This area has one of Melbourne’s lowest crime rates and a high density of playgrounds. There’s also plenty of schools and childcare centres in the area, too.
Melbourne is among the fastest-growing cities in Australia. Leading the boom is the Rockbank/Mount Cottrell area, which last year was named one of the top 10 fastest-growing suburbs in Australia. This township on the outskirts of Melbourne’s population has skyrocketed by more than 50% in the last year.
Other rapidly growing suburbs in Melbourne include Greenvale, Craigieburn West and Whittlesea in the Northern suburbs, and Cranbourne, Beaconsfield in the South. Some of Melbourne’s inner-city suburbs like Footscray, Docklands and South Melbourne are also expected to double in resident numbers due to a surge of high-density developments in the area.
Plenty of wealth can be found in Victoria’s capital city, if you know where to look for it. Located 5 kms from the CBD, the inner-city suburb of Toorak is Melbourne’s most expensive. In this upmarket area, median house prices are $3.1 million, and $760,000 for apartments – and it’s easy to imagine that many of the opulent mansions in the area go for far more than that.
Melbourne’s second most expensive suburb, Middle Park. Located 3 km from the CBD, this area offers a desirable mix of beach, city living and luxury. Development restrictions have driven up the price in this area, with houses and units going for $2.6 million and $735,000 respectively.
If your budget doesn’t quite extend the millions, don’t fear. There are plenty of affordable suburbs in Melbourne that offer both great liveability for owners and strong rental returns for investors. Some of the cheapest suburbs in Melbourne to buy property include:
Located 35 km out of the city centre, Melton offers some of the most affordable prices in Melbourne. While the price here has jumped by 67% in the last five years, it remains accessible at $410,000. With that upwards growth trajectory likely to continue, it’s an excellent entry point for investors.
In order to keep up with the demand in this area, this once sleepy suburb is now well catered for with shopping centres, housing developments and other amenities. The units in this area are a steal, with a $385,000 median price, while the houses sit at around $550,000.
If you’re looking to buy an affordable apartment in Melbourne, you can’t go past the lively, ‘Little Italy’ neighbourhood of Carlton. Here, a one-bedroom unit has a median price of just $226,000. With a rental yield of 9.1% it’s an investors dream, and given the exciting area and proximity to the CBD, there will be no shortage of eager tenants.
For those on the lookout for a modern house and a large lot on a budget, Hopper’s Crossing is a strong option. This high-growth suburb in Melbourne’s South-West has a median house price of $550,000. Despite being located 23 km from the city centre, it offers easy access to the CBD via public transport.
Located in Melbourne’s Northern suburbs, Dallas offers great value for homeowners and investors alike. Here, the median house price is just $476,000, or $370,000 for units. It’s 16 km away from the city, and close to the airport.
There’s no doubt that Melbourne is one of the most exciting places in Australia to live, if not the world. However, it’s also an excellent place to settle down and buy a home, or to enter the property market as an investor. While it may be one of the more expensive cities in Australia, it offers great rental returns and future growth.
That said, buying your family home in Melbourne is a big deal and one that comes with many decisions. A good mortgage broker in Melbourne will be able to compare hundreds of home loan products to find you the best possible deal. They will also be able to provide you with insights into the Melbourne property market and guide you through to settlement. Contact one of eChoice’s experienced brokers today to start the conversation.