I love living in Canberra. In my opinion, it’s one of the most beautiful cities in the world. It’s clean and safe, the air is fresh, there’s greenery as far as the eye can see and you can get from one side to the other in about 30 minutes.
Nine months ago, I had a baby and it gave me a whole new perspective on just how great Canberra is. Well-tended parks and ovals and brilliant childcare centres and schools are within easy reach of anywhere, and a main shopping town centre is always less than 15 minutes away.
On afternoons when I’m finding it difficult to get my baby to sleep, I’ll pop her in the car and go for a drive around some of my favourite areas. I get lost driving through the tree-lined streets of the Inner South, daydreaming about what my life here would be like, even if it’s not for another 30 years or so.
According to Matt Shipard of HIVE Property, I’m not the only one who dreams of living in inner Canberra.
“The trend we’re seeing is young downsizers moving to inner Canberra who aren’t necessarily from that area,” says Shipard.
“I have a lot of purchasers buying off the plan in the inner south for around $1.5 million, then selling their home in areas like Tuggeranong and Queanbeyan for the same price.
“It’s a natural progression for these buyers to be looking to areas like Red Hill, Narrabundah, Deakin and so on. Areas they’ve always aspired to live in.”
For first-home buyers, the areas most sought after look slightly different, impacted mainly by the booming property market.
“The market trend over the past 12 months means we’re seeing means first-home buyers looking to purchase off-the-plan properties as it gives them the ability to lock something into the value of today’s market, with the view they will earn some equity on the property between now and completion,” says Shipard.
“It’s less competitive and more predictable and with the current legislative changes coming through, it’s going to give off-the-plan purchasers a lot more confidence and comfort in the process.”
Because of this, Shipard says buyers are looking to Canberra’s newest suburbs to secure their first property.
“A lot of purchasers have been through a process for three to four months of perhaps trying to find a property already built, but they haven’t been able to find anything or they have been priced out.
So, they end up looking to buy something off the plan in more affordable suburbs like Taylor, Straithnairn, Whitlam, North Wright and North Coombs.”
But while these suburbs may be more affordable, there’s still so much to be relished in their well-planned pastures.
“These particular areas have high rental yields and low vacancy rates, which is very appealing. In my experience, first-home buyers are always look purchasing off the plan merely as an exercise to get in the market, then they’ll use it as a future investment.”
“They know it’s not their forever home, so they think about how they can make a smart decision that will set them up for years to come.”
Within these newer suburbs, there’s plenty for young couples and young families to love.
“What I really like about these newer areas, as opposed to existing areas, is the greater sense of community they have. Because they target a certain demographic, there’s more of the same type of person who lives there,” explains Shipard.
“Plus, things like shared areas, parks and playgrounds are significantly better than in established suburbs.”
“I’ve also noticed a trend in similar purchasers buying within the same complex. Because of lack of available stock and lack of choice, which is set to continue, purchasers are being guided to one product so, consistency within these new developments is heightened.”
“It’s a community within a community and I really love that.”