The latest happenings in the Melbourne property market. For our Essays and The Secret Agent Report, see our Research page.

Category Archives For: Local Interests

The Secret Agent Report: Wildlife

We have just released our latest Secret Agent report!

There are various types of open space and not all of them are equal in terms of the value they provide. If you had to choose out of being close to Carlton cemetery versus Royal Park, which is only on the other side, most would choose Royal Park. Similarly, most would prefer to be next door to a vacant block full of neatly manicured plants compared to just a vacant block of land. Other than the obvious aesthetic differences, what else could make Royal Park more attractive to the cemetery?

Secret Agent has been pondering this question this month and has hypothesised that it is the wildlife and biodiversity that makes some of our open spaces within Melbourne so special. The more biodiversity, the more connected to nature we feel and the more we are willing to pay for property to be nearby this. It sounds like a far fetched idea but we are not the first to have thought of this. In fact it has been studied quantitatively in America.

This month, Secret Agent discusses wildlife and the potential impact it may have on property value.

Access the Wildlife report now!

The Secret Agent Report: Melbourne Metro Revisited

We have just released our latest Secret Agent report!

The Melbourne Metro tunnel is an initiative launched by the Victorian Government in 2015, with construction already underway. The project includes the addition of five new stations connected underground, with an expected completion in 2026.

There are clear benefits to the project, including an increased capacity of 36,000 passengers during peak periods, as well as easing overcrowding of the current city loop and the inner-city tram network.

While the social benefits are clear, the impact this project will have on properties near the construction and eventual completed infrastructure is unknown.

In this report, Secret Agent will investigate; how the construction will affect businesses, prices and buyer sentiment; what the tunnel will mean for new developments such as townhouses and apartment blocks and how the Melbourne Metro compares to other city transport systems such as the Scania region in Sweden and Montreal.

Access the Melbourne Metro: Revisited report now!

The Secret Agent Report: EOY Review 2017

We have just released our latest Secret Agent report!

2017 saw remarkable shifts in how investors pick what to invest in and when.

This month, Secret Agent recaps the year of inner Melbourne property in 2017. We review the performance of houses, townhouses and apartments and highlight the best performing suburbs.

Access the EOY 2017 report now!

The Secret Agent Report – Elevation

We have just released our latest Secret Agent report!

This month, Secret Agent investigates how a property’s elevation above sea level influences its price.

The suburbs analysed include: Albert Park, Middle Park, Carlton North, Princes Hill, East Melbourne, South Yarra, North Melbourne, Ivanhoe, Eaglemont, Toorak, Essendon and Hawthorn.

Access the Elevation report now!

The Secret Agent Report – Artificial Intelligence in Property

We have just released our latest Secret Agent report!

This month, Secret Agent takes a closer look at artificial intelligence, with a focus on property prices in Melbourne. By examining regression and classification methods, we use machine learning to discover trends and patterns in data.

Access the Artificial Intelligence report now!

The Secret Agent Report – Downsizing: The Inner City

We have just released our latest Secret Agent report!

To downsize or to not downsize? That is the question many older Australians are asking themselves as they weigh up the benefits and disadvantages of each option.

In this report, Secret Agent revisits the subject of downsizing, with a focus on those moving from the suburbs to the inner city. 

Access the Downsizing: The Inner City report now!

Cover of The Secret Agent Report Volume 58 Downsizing The Inner City

Carlton North Homes Benefit from Bicycle Lanes

Drawing of a bicycle with a speech bubble containing a dollar sign next to it

Over 10,000 cyclists commute into Melbourne’s inner city every morning. Many popular routes are located along residential streets. Secret Agent wanted to find out if the presence of a bicycle lane had any impact on house sale prices within a suburb.  Read the full post

Inner Melbourne Rental Yields for Houses 2012-2017

Infographic showing highest and lowest rental yields in inner Melbourne, Australia in 2017

Last week, Secret Agent released our report on the current state of rental yields for houses across inner Melbourne. Here is a summary of our findings:

  • Over the last 5 years, yields have dropped by 0.42%, from 3.06% in 2012 to 2.64% in 2017.
  • During this period, median house prices have increased by 38% (9% p.a.), compared to only an 11.8% increase in weekly rents (2.88% p.a.).
  • On average, median weekly rents are between $500 and $700 for most suburbs. Sale prices tend to fluctuate significantly according to suburb.
  • Suburbs with lower median prices tend to have higher yields, as weekly rent is mostly consistent across all regions.
  • High and low yields are not concentrated in any particular region of inner Melbourne.
  • Collingwood, Cremorne and West Melbourne had the highest median yields in 2016/17 at 3.69%, 3.32% and 3.26%, respectively.  Median prices were well below the $1million mark.
  • Burnley, East Melbourne and Alphington had the lowest median yields at 1.35%, 2.07% and 2.31%, respectively. Median prices were all above $1.3million.
  • Sale price is strongly, negatively correlated with yield (-47%). Yield is more dependent on purchase price rather than rental income.
  • Yields are even lower for larger properties, as sale price increases faster than median rent.
  • In 2017, 2, 3 and 4 bedroom homes can expect to yield 2.72%, 2.61% and 2.52%, respectively. All three types have had the lowest yields since 2012.
  • Investors paying high prices for properties are even more reliant on capital growth to increase their returns.

Budget 2017 – Winners and Losers in Property


First Home Buyers
First home buyers will be able to use voluntary contributions to their superannuation to save for a house deposit. Withdrawals will be taxed at a lower rate, but the amount you can contribute is capped at $15,000 a year and $30,000 all up. Both members of a couple can take advantage of the scheme.

In Victoria, the state government will abolish stamp duty for first time buyers of homes valued up to $600,000, make cuts to stamp duty on homes valued up to $750,000, and also double the First Home Owner Grant to $20,000 in regional Victoria.

With the first home super saver scheme, we may see increased demand for property below $600,000. This will push up the prices of houses and townhouses in outer suburbs such as Cranbourne. Inner city suburbs will be less affected, as average prices are typically above $600,000. Developers will also have to compete more agressively for development sites that allow sub-$600,000 townhouses to be built and sold in these outer suburbs.

A person aged 65 or over will be permitted to make a non-concessional contribution to superannuation of up to $300,000 from the proceeds of selling a principal residence owned for the past ten or more years from 1 July 2018.

This is good news for real estate agencies operating in areas popular among downsizers, such as the inner city, as there is more incentive for elderly property owners to sell their home. Developers can also benefit from creating stock in these areas. Read the full post