Sunday, September 04, 2011


A comment from one of our regular readers, Nadege on the West Coast of the US mentioned she saw a house in Hampton, a bayside suburb not far from us with a price tag of one million dollars plus. Yes that's not uncommon in certain areas but there are affordable houses in Melbourne for 1st home buyers. It just depends on where you want to live.

When I was young (Oh! is that me talking) we just wanted to start home ownership. No big screen TVs, not even carpet on the floor. That was our first house which was about 12 miles from the CBD of Melbourne way out in the northern suburbs. The first morning we woke to the sound of cows, horses and magpies.
The second house was in Mentone and yes, we are still there after 30 years. Its a great area and we truly love being here. Its only a short drive or long walk to the beach from our home on the bay.

OK, here's the deal - we bought in 1992 at $47,000 back then and we have no idea what it may be worth today - possibly in the $700,000 plus but who's counting?

We are about a kilometre there abouts from the beach and most probably on the wrong side of the railway tracks but its still a really nice street we live in. After 30 years neighbours come and go but really not so many in our street. That says something doesn't it?

Mentone took its name from the French town of Menton (on the border of France and Italy) which sits on the Cote d'Azure.We stayed a night there on our first (2006) visit to France.

Back to House Prices in Melbourne - shall we concentrate on our local area? Why not?

From Mentone, further around the bay towards the city of Melbourne there are the suburbs of Beaumaris, Sandringham, Hampton (the one that Nadege mentioned) and then Brighton. I don't think we need to go further for this post.

This house is on Beach Rd near where Sue's brother and sister in-law live. It blocked out their view of the bay when it was built. It is currently being advertised for $1.6M. What the buyer will not know is that there were some issues on the build quality at the time. I remember it being built from styrene blocks infused with concrete. Some work needed to be redone.

But you will wake each morning with glorious views of Port Phillip Bay. These are the views the builder stole from Sue's rellies.

This little cottage on Beach Rd is a real steal at just $1.6M.

Just the next suburb on at Hampton, this little number was just over the $1m.

I did find this Hampton town house - brand new for under $1m.

This Sandringham house didn't have its price disclosed
but it certainly would be around $1.5m

Brighton a little further down the road from Sandy and Hampton has this house for sale - who knows how much it will go for! Very French Provincial.

Still in Brighton - maybe you don't need servant's quarters and a 5 car garage, then this older style 2 bedroom apartment in this exclusive suburb might be more to your liking. It's advertised from $480k to 520k.

So if you're thinking of moving to the "World's Most Livable City" then you might like to have a little search of your own. Not all houses sell in the $1m bracket but it is getting harder for young couples to find affordable homes in bayside suburbs. They can buy a new home and land packages in the outer suburbs from $350k plus. Maybe they would like to renovate an older home or prefer apartment living closer to the inner suburbs. Home ownership is the dream of most young Australians but renting sometimes their only option.


  1. I never cease to be amazed at the price of real estate in major Australian cities! How can regular people afford a house at $700K-$1M? The mortgage repayments must be crippling! It's a shame about Sue's relatives view.

  2. Craig - I agree that it must be hard to afford that sort of real estate but its the CEO's of this world with their multi million dollar salaries that live in these homes. The newly weds look elsewhere for their start in life but many still want the big screen in their 1st home.
    Remember the Monty Python sketch - we were so poor we lived in a cardboard box - ooooh, luxury?

  3. One more question. Can you write about property taxes? California has "proposition 13", meaning you pay 1 % (or a bit over) of the price you bought the house for, not what it is worth now. In Australia, do you even pay property taxes and if yes, does it increase with the price of your house, or does it stay the same...?

  4. I like they styles in the fifth and seventh photos. The older houses in what was then Rhodesia, were mostly built in that style with the large verandahs. I love it, very colonial.
    I hate it when places get built next to you that block views, there should be some sort of law about height on the water front. Diane

  5. Nadege - I'm not familiar with a property tax as such but we do pay local council Rates each year. In our local council, that's around $1700 per annum bur it does vary from one council to another.
    I imagine in the more trendy areas it is more. The rates go towards local facilities, improvements, parks, roads and the running of the local council.

  6. Diane - I'm afraid that our suburb of Mentone is changing and so are the building regulations to suit developers here. Multi story and dual occupancy are becoming common place. Where there might be one house being demolished, three or four units take its place.

  7. Love these million dollar homes and I suppose it's the area and views that bump up the prices.
    I'm off to Palm Cove Queensland for a short holiday - lots of sunshine and relax.
    Have a wonderful week.

  8. Leon
    In regard to property tax, the buyer pays a State tax called "stamp duty", which is nothing but a money grab. There is no work done for the tax and in effect it is simply a transaction fee. The rate varies from state to state and there is a sliding scale but the reference points for the scale bear little linkage to the property prices.
    It is approximately 5% of the value, so for your $750k home you pay an additional $41k to the government for the pleasure of buying it. Why? Cause they say so. Why dont people object? I dont know, but it probably links to the love affair with property and the rate of increase in prices over the past 20 year (approx 10%p.a. in Melb) that quickly makes up for the difference.

  9. Thanks Kiwi. I'd forgotten about the Tax - been in this house so long. That puts a different slant on us selling and downsizing.
    Think the Govt might delete the tax within 3 years?????????
    That's a big NO!

  10. Zero chance of states giving up that golden goose I'm afraid, Leon

    The key determinate of the house prices in the area around Mentone is the limited access to land close to the beach, with good amenities. We live near Leon & Sue (perhaps on the right side of the tracks) and the house next to us was just sold at land value of $830,000!

    Australians love their "quater acre" (even if most of them live on a little less these days). Our way of building homes and living is based around this. Combine this with our major city centric businesses and you get very high house prices in the big cities and very very high house prices in the desirable areas of those cities.

  11. Beautiful homes, but way out of my price range !!
    It's the same everywhere - young people can't afford to buy these days, without the help of their parents. The first house I bought cost £7,000, which seemed a small fortune at the time.

  12. here is the link to the small house program

  13. Jean,
    Maybe we should buy a small cottage in rural France!!!!!

    Thanks for that info.

  14. Thank you for sharing this useful information.The houses are looking so beautiful.

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