Open borders to spark Melbourne suburban boom

Demand for homes in Melbourne’s inner suburban rim is set to skyrocket when international borders open, according to property expert, Mark Dawson.

The Urbis Director, who featured in the Dye & Durham Future Property & Development Insights Virtual Roadshow Series, said while a sea or tree change had been the focus of many buyers in the past 12 months, a return to the inner suburbs was expected when borders re-opened and workplaces settled into more normal practices.

“We have insights from other cities around Australia that show attitudes have adjusted about city living following COVID, triggering a temporary move away from CBDs,” Mr Dawson said.

“We are now seeing signs of alternative relationships with how much time people spend in an office, which is influencing how corporations make decisions on their property purchases and leases,” he said.

In saying that, border openings would see more demand closer in, with middle ring development expected to be a continued focus, combined with a rebound in inner city rental and sales markets.

“This is pushed by infrastructure projects like the suburban rail loop,” Mr Dawson said. 

“Implementing what planners have been dreaming about for a long time, decentralised employment hubs, alongside a more even distribution of housing growth across the city in future years.”

Over the course of next year, Mr Dawson predicts we will start to see more authentic buyer behaviour, with people given full autonomy of choice. 

“Feeling safe and encouraged to move at will, will bring back a wider range of development outcomes across the city and regions,” he said.

Dye & Durham Managing Director, Peter Maloney, said the future of real estate in the state was varied.

“The industry has been through a huge amount of change over the last twelve months,” Mr Maloney said. 

“The Future Property & Development Insights Virtual Roadshow Series was an opportunity to come together, realign our thinking and learn from the experts to prepare for the year ahead,” Mr Maloney said.

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Nicole Madigan

Nicole Madigan is a freelance journalist for Elite Agent.