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Montmorency has earned the title of Melbourne’s most affordable and liveable suburb for homebuyers.

That’s the finding of the April 2020 edition of the unique People’s Choice of Housing, which has also identified Ormond as the best all-round suburb for people looking to purchase a unit.

The report has found significant changes over the past six months, with a number of suburbs making their first appearance in the rankings thanks to changes in median prices and the introduction of a new element in the analysis: licensed venues and cafes.

Montmorency is one of those. Located about 18km north of the CBD, it ranked 434th for affordability with a high median house-price of $839,000 but that was more than offset by its number one rating for liveability, with excellent public transport, four local schools and childcare centres, and 19 licensed venues among other attributes.

The report shows all of Melbourne’s regions have their standouts, People’s Choice Chief Executive Officer Steve Laidlaw said.

“Burnside in the west is now ranked second for homebuyers, with a considerably more affordable median price of $618,500 combined with an attractive liveability ranking of 76 which should certainly attract attention,” Mr Laidlaw said.

“Gowanbrae is third on the latest list, followed by Watsonia North which was number one six months ago. Then there’s Noble Park North in fifth spot, another more affordable suburb at $606,000 which equates to about $650 a week in repayments but it is that little further out at 25km.

“That’s the great strength of this research – you can compare areas on more than just price. Some suburbs have high prices and high liveability, but right next to them on the list can be under-appreciated areas that are very worthy of attention.

Unit-buyers are also spoiled for choice in this edition of the People’s Choice of Housing. Ormond in the city’s south-east topped the list as the fifth-highest suburb for liveability and a palatable ranking of 142 for affordability.

“With a median sale price which has dropped recently to $525,000, Ormond is the most affordable suburb in our Top 10 but still ticks a lot of boxes with good results for schools, transport, local facilities, and public safety – important factors when it comes to quality of life,” Mr Laidlaw said.

“Suburbs in the east and south east certainly dominate when it comes to units, with Ormond followed by Caufield North, Hawthorn East, Mont Albert and Hughesdale, locations which have provided owners with an average 3.3% compound annual growth rate over the past 10 years.”

While COVID-19 will continue to disrupt the housing market for months to come, this latest edition of the People’s Choice of Housing is an excellent resource for those looking to make the best use of their research time so they can leap into action.

Produced every six months, the People’s Choice of Housing offers a unique view of Melbourne’s real estate market by rating suburbs based on both affordability and liveability. Suburbs are only included if a couple on average incomes and spending is likely to be able to get finance for a median-priced home there. If so, the suburb is then judged on liveability factors – including access to a variety of public transport routes, driveability, crime rates, schools, economic prospects, local services, and an analysis on how settled the community is.

This year the report analysed data on 474 suburbs and locations across Victoria which fell within our overall affordability criteria.

"The great strength of this research – you can compare areas on more than just price. Some suburbs have high prices and high liveability, but right next to them on the list can be under-appreciated areas that are very worthy of attention.”

- Steve Laidlaw, Chief Executive Officer

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