Victorians’ pandemic dream home was a McMansion on the edge of Melbourne.
Analysis of the most popular Victorian streets for house hunters over the past three years have revealed our top addresses as a millionaire’s row in Mickleham that hosts one of the nation’s biggest homes, a winding road in Gruyere east of the city and an eclectic 1km stretch of Diamond Creek.
Homes listed in Summit Drive, Killara Rd and Old Diamond Creek Rd in the three suburbs respectively pull in a bigger audience than a 15,000-person capacity crowd at Rod Laver Arena.
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And they have one big thing in common: size.
PropTrack economist Eleanor Creagh said the top street was home to one of Australia’s biggest houses, a nine-bedroom stunner that hit the market at 10 Summit Drive briefly early in 2021 but never sold.
Ms Creagh said intense interest in the home would have helped drive up the average for the street.
The 2.75ha property has a staircase inspired by Gone With The Wind, nine bedrooms, a ballroom, tennis court, its own soccer field. It was chasing a $14m-$15.4m record asking price for the suburb while for sale, although the vendors are understood to have decided to keep it.
But the wider list reflected “the Covid-induced push towards larger homes” and more laid back locations from buyers making the most of remote work opportunities.
Ms Creagh added that popular regional streets were likely to maintain interest above historic levels as “the gravitational pull of the CBD declines”.
VICTORIA’S MOST POPULAR PANDEMIC STREETS
1. Summit Dr, Mickleham: 22,893 (average views per listing) – $2,387,000 (median estimated home value);
2. Killara Rd, Gruyere: 18,819 (average views per listing) – $1,592,000 (median estimated home value);
3. Old Diamond Creek Rd, Diamond Creek: 18,782 (average views per listing) – $1,452,000 (median estimated home value)
4. Romsey Rd, Romsey: 17,132 (average views per listing) – $1,428,000 (median estimated home value)
5. Bowen St, Kew: 16,185 (average views per listing) – $2,127,000 (median estimated home value)
6. Fontaine Tce, Narre Warren North: 15,554 (average views per listing) – $1,809,000 (median estimated home value)
7. Bowen Cres, Princes Hill: 15,053 (average views per listing) – $2,489,000 (median estimated home value)
8. Westminster Grove, Sunbury: 14,954 (average views per listing) – $915,000 (median estimated home value)
9. Wellington Place, Caroline Springs: 14,760 (average views per listing) – $1,147,000 (median estimated home value)
10. McGregor Rd, Gisborne: 14,738 (average views per listing) – $1,758,000 (median estimated home value)
Real Estate Buyers Agents Association of Australia president Cate Bakos said during the depths of lockdowns she regularly had people ask her to get a lifestyle address like those in the most popular streets “whatever it took”.
But with Melbourne returning to normal, Ms Bakos said the luster was already wearing off for some.
“We are seeing a few early signs of a few decisions being reversed,” she said.
“There will always be people who want a big McMansion, but most will go back to wanting homes that support the things we wanted before Covid.”
Barry Plant Croydon’s Sarah Savio said she wasn’t surprised Killara Rd in Gruyere had been ranked second, describing it as a “beautiful part of the world” that had attracted interest from across the world during the pandemic.
Ms Savio said 143 Killara Rd was listed during Melbourne’s final lockdown last year and had sold to a buyer returning from the UK amid high demand from locals and those in the big smoke. He highlighted that local and international interest in the road remained high today.
Ray White Eltham’s Sean Salmon said Old Diamond Creek Rd, the state’s third most popular address, offered homes ranging from Federation-style recreations to Mexican haciendas.
“It’s surprising to see it in this list, but it does qualify our findings with inner-city buyers coming out here,” Mr Salmon said.
Nareesh Kumar Chopra bought 72 Old Diamond Creek Rd, Diamond Creek, from Mr Salmon in March this year and said he had been very aware of how many other people were interested.
Mr Chopra said his family had been living in Doncaster East before the pandemic, thought they had missed out on the Diamond Creek home and bought a home in Park Orchards to renovate to give their three kids more space during lockdowns, only to see their now home listed for sale more than a year later and jumping on it after another buyer had made an offer.
“It’s a beautiful street,” he said.
Raine & Horne Gisborne’s Ken Grech, said even before the pandemic there had been a trend of city-centric buyers looking to Gisborne, Romsey and Sunbury, where three of the top 10 streets were located.
“And when we were in the pandemic and had the ring of steel… when the regional areas opened up there was a flood of buyers that came into the market,” Mr Grech said.
He added that the heightened demand had helped make Raine & Horne’s offices in the region the national agency’s biggest-selling team of the past financial year.
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