Hello everyone, Due to the coronavirus I have had some time off work to put together a map of Melbourne for those who are interested in buying into the city. I have numbered the precincts and offered my opinions on them below. The other image is new supply in Melbourne (may be a little outdated) from the city council's interactive website. About Me A single guy, late 20s, ex-postgrad, working in a professional field. I like houses, architecture (gotta put that arts degree to use) and finance. The CBD suits my lifestyle and I find that walking to the office is the best thing you can do. Obviously I don't have a lot of experience investing in property, but what I do have is pretty comprehensive knowledge of the CBD market, possibly only second to agents. This is because I am also an owner occupier here. I'm not here to sell you anything. What I present to you are only my opinions; you should always have more than one source of them, but I will be happy to assist you with any inquiries especially as regards location and build quality. Sorry, I can't help you with the Docklands because like most normal people I do not go there for fun. About The Map It's taken from google. It's the best I could find. The two thick lines represent the Swanston St axis and Bourke St axis. If you are not familiar I suggest opening up the original map in google concurrently. Some of the zones may not be 100% accurate. If you think I made an error please let me know. Should I invest? I can't really help you with that question. The majority of people will say 'no' but there are good bargains in any suburb, and/or perhaps you are looking to be an owner occupier and save an hour a day commuting (I think it's worth it tbh), but you wouldn't mind making some capital gains on the side. I can only tell you where and what kind of apartment would make a sensible buy, right down to the precise building itself. 1. Paris End Rent Potential: High New Supply: Low Melbourne’s ‘Paris End’ is the most prestigious residential quarter of the city. Most apartments here are conversions from the 90s to the 2000s undertaken with the blessing of the City Council’s Postcode 3000 scheme. Floorplans are typically generous, loft style is common, land component is high, and blocks are usually low-rise and boutique due to regulations. New luxury towers have been built, or are being built, on Spring Street overlooking Treasury Gardens. I do not consider them a great investment because the owners corp. tends to be high, but the views are never to be built out. Even established units are expensive; ‘Shocko House’ and ‘Cavendish House’ are some beautiful examples of old world architecture. Stroll down to the best restaurants and Gucci. My café pick is Postal Hall underneath the classy ‘Hero’ apartments building. Mostly quiet at night. Good for owner-occupiers who have downsized and enjoy the theatre. 2. Flinders Quarter Rent Potential: Medium New Supply: Almost non-existent If you like laneways and cafés, this should be your place. Busy with tourists/airbnbers and very convenient location; tends to attract European types who don’t stay for long and some local artists/architects/downsizers. Flinders Lane and the southern end of Little Collins tend to be the residential areas. As with the Paris End, most apartments are bank and warehouse conversions. Some very old examples, generous floorplans, low-rise, high land component. The only obvious disadvantage is that views are seldom spectacular. A new train station is being built here but the noise is only temporary. You won’t find many listings here because there aren’t many to go around in the first place. Price can be average to expensive, notable blocks include ‘Leicester House’ and ‘The Excelsior’. Also see Flinders Lane around the famous Brunetti café for several heritage listed examples. If you are inspecting a property, you must go to Brunetti on the way to get a real feel for the area. 3. Financial Hub Rent Potential: Medium New Supply: Medium A mix of old and newer apartments, but generally there are not that many new blocks coming up. Notable developments are ‘Collins Arch’, which is expensive to buy into but looks impressive, and ‘Collins House’ aka 466 Collins, a superslim skyscraper with better than usual fittings. You will find that most blocks here are mid to high rise, which are not out of place in the financial district after all. Decent selection of amenities and food, but you’ll have to walk a bit for supermarkets and the train. There isn’t a great deal to say here, it’s mostly offices, and it’s dead at night. Go for something with Yarra views is my tip. 4. West End – Spencer Street Rent Potential: Medium New Supply: High There has been a surge of new developments along the western end of Spencer Street, including the ‘Premier Tower’ and ‘Ritz Carlton Residences’, the latter of which is world famous for luxury. For some reason, international students like living here, so demand is always high. Developments are targeted at investors; unit sizes are smaller than usual and very dense – see the massive ‘West Side Place’ and ‘Melbourne Grand’ for instance. Prices hit the sweet spot. There are supermarkets at Southern Cross and cheap eats scattered around, including Korean and Indian along King Street. As you might expect, there are also nightclubs and backpackers. An exciting place to live…and let live. 5. Brady End Rent Potential: Medium New Supply: Very High I half-jokingly call this the Brady End because the Brady Group loves to develop new supertowers in this region. For examples of what’s available here, let me just redirect you to the Brady Residential website. Brady builds…boxes. With big windows. And many, many floors. Not very generous floorplans, but good amenities. Very convenient and popular with students. Prices are generally affordable. With Melbourne Central at your doorstep shopping for anything is a breeze. Lots of cheap Asian food around, brunch spots and bubble tea stores. Personally, I like the Malaysian place Mamak and the café Little Avenue des Italiens. Activity at all times, but not particularly noisy. Check out the under construction ‘380 Lonsdale’, the website is impressive. The white box is Hardware Lane. Here you can find low-rise warehouse conversions and even a few terraced houses. Probably the absolute busiest part of the city at night. 6. RMIT Rent Potential: High New Supply: Very High Welcome to China. Because this is next to RMIT and close to Melb Uni, this is where the greatest concentration of international students can be found. Needless to say, Asian eateries abound. Most are very tasty and affordable, if that is your thing. The coffee here mostly sucks apart from Market Lane coffee and the one at the state library. The Queen Vic Market, MC and QV are next door. Rent yields seem to be slightly higher than usual. Always busy at all times, but as a rule the Chinese don’t make a great deal of noise. New supply here is incredible – many supertall towers packed into a few blocks. ‘Avant’, ‘Empire’, ‘Victoria 1’, ‘Vision’, ‘Aurora’ towers – these are just the new ones. Investor friendly pricing, good views, tiny floor plans. Yes, the demand here is the highest in all of the CBD, but so is the supply. Caveat emptor… 7. Northern End Rent Potential: Medium New Supply: Medium A mix of new and older housing. Most blocks here are already established, constructed in the modern style but with more generous layouts and higher land components. You won’t find a great deal of supertall towers here apart from ‘Abode 318’, a PDG developed tower with better fittings than most. I think that the larger layouts here make units slightly more expensive than the average, but on a per sqm basis it’s nothing remarkable. You’ll have to travel down south for amenities, but you’re right next to Chinatown for food. Chinese food is always a good option. International students like the proximity to Melb Uni. For low rise boutique blocks, ‘The Sefton’ comes to mind. It’s somewhat out of place with its surroundings, but check out the penthouse, which is elegant and fetched a nice price recently. 8. Southbank Rent Potential: High New Supply: Very High A suburb by itself, Southbank has two markets: luxury and investor grade. There is some overlap, but as a rule of the thumb, the closer you are to St Kilda Road and the Yarra, the better the property. Now, I don’t really have to point out the Eureka Tower or Freshwater Place, they are world class landmarks if you want a trophy apartment. For the rest of us ordinary people, Central Equity offers off the plan blocks with good amenities and their design has somewhat improved since their early days. However, the floorplans are still small by comparison and the prices higher than average. City Road is host to massive development and there is every chance that even if you buy an apartment with a view, that view may be lost in the not too distant future. It’s better to enjoy all that open space next to the Arts Centre and the Tan track. I also want to point out the shortcomings of new developments. I have personally stayed in very large 2BR residential apartments in both the Eureka Tower and ‘The Melburnian’ (overlooking St Kilda Rd) and found them to be truly luxurious with quality builds and fittings. The new ‘Australia 108’, although looking similarly opulent, is actually more downmarket than the previous two developments. Inspect if you like, but I wasn’t too impressed with the cutting of corners.