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


Category Archives For: Property Buying Tips

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 – 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


The Secret Agent Report – Rent

We have just released our latest Secret Agent report!

In recent years, we’ve seen house prices skyrocket while rents have risen less dramatically. 

This month, Secret Agent compares rent increases and house price growth in inner Melbourne to find out to what extent yields have decreased over the last 5 years.

Access the Rent report now!


What Counts in Small Apartment Buildings

While the cost of standalone and semi-attached houses in Melbourne continue to skyrocket, apartments have only had minor price changes over the past 12 months. Further, as houses continue to become a rarity, apartment supply is steadily increasing. Many people will have to start considering apartments if they wish to live in the inner city.

For people used to living with a backyard and having adequate distance from their neighbours, moving into a high-rise apartment building is out of the question. But there is another option: boutique apartments, usually between 8 and 40 apartments spread over no more than four levels, typically built in the 1960s to 1980s. They offer a middle ground between the freedom and privacy of standalone houses, and the affordable yet crowded environment of high rise towers. Read the full post


The Perfect Ratio of Period Terrace House to Land

Diagram showing the range of ideal land to indoor area ratio in attached and freestanding terraces including an increase in sale price.

Last month, Secret Agent investigated the ‘sweet spot’ in the density of a townhouse. We found that a total indoor area that equalled or slightly exceeded the land area (i.e. 1:1 – 1:1.27) sold at a higher price than denser developments. This time we decided to see what the data says about period homes.  Read the full post


The Secret Agent Report – Terraces & Townhouses: Price Per Internal Square Metre

Diagram showing how Secret Agent's price per internal square metre index is calculated compared to the current industry standard

We have just released our latest Secret Agent report!

In this report, Secret Agent proudly presents our Price Per Square Metre Index for period homes and townhouses in inner Melbourne. This is Melbourne’s first price per square metre report based on actual internal usable space, and not land size.

Access the Terraces & Townhouses: Price Per Internal Square Metre report now!


In 2016, We Paid More for Older Apartments

Illustration showing that buyers paid 38 thousand dollars more for low-rise, older apartments in 2016 compared to newer apartments

This week, Secret Agent compares new and old apartments around inner Melbourne to see which were more valuable in 2016.

The sample included 1674 apartment sales across inner Melbourne’s suburbs and the CBD from January to December 2016. New apartments are those built from the 90s onwards, excluding any recent off-the-plan apartment sales. Old apartments include Art Deco units and flats located in 60s to 80s brick buildings. Read the full post


The Price of Better Designed Apartments

Illustration showing an A-grade apartment receiving adequate sunlight, having views outwards, cross-ventilation and sufficient private outdoor space.

How much more are we willing to pay for a cross ventilated, well-lit apartment with a balcony and open views?

In March this year, apartment design standards will be implemented into the Victorian planning system. Apartment design standards will ensure all future apartments in Victoria are desirable, safe, healthy and sustainable. New developments in Victoria will only be permitted a planning permit if they meet these standards. A 2015 community survey found that the top concerns of apartment amenity were “access to daylight, functional space, and natural ventilation”, as well as noise and energy efficiency. (DELWP, 2)

Standards have been made for 16 elements of design: Building setback, functional layout, room depth, windows, storage, noise impacts, energy efficiency, solar access to communal open space, natural ventilation, private open space, communal open space, landscaping, accessibility, building entry and circulation, waste and recycling, integrated water and storm water management.

It is logical to think that better design standards should produce apartments of a higher quality. This in turn should increase the sale price of these apartments. Secret Agent was engaged to determine the price premium of better designed apartments. That is, how much more are consumers willing to pay for an A grade apartment compared to a B grade and C grade apartment? Read the full post


Warehouse Apartments in Melbourne: What They Cost

Infographic showing the average price per square metre of 2 bedroom warehouse apartments

Who knew that the walls of former breweries, factories and mills would become one of the most irresistible apartment styles to own and occupy in inner Melbourne.

Warehouse apartments are unique in that they successfully and seamlessly merge historic and trendy. Characterised by their exposed brick walls, steel trusses, sleek interiors and impossibly high ceilings, warehouse style apartments are limited in supply, further adding to their appeal.

In this bulletin, Secret Agent examines inner Melbourne’s warehouse apartment market. Read the full post