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The unlikely suburb clocking up million-dollar sales

Samantha Menzies
The unlikely suburb clocking up million-dollar sales

A string of million-dollar sales has cropped up in Melbourne's north-western suburb, Airport West, since the start of the year, with two family homes soaring above expectations under the hammer this month alone.

The seven-figure auctions come amid a price boom in Melbourne's northern suburbs, with clearance rates edging as high as 90% in recent weeks, following several years of sluggish growth, according to the Domain Group.

“There’s no doubt prices had been dormant because of past issues to do with the local economy, but they are really in their catch-up phase now,” Domain chief economist Andrew Wilson said. 

“There has been a revival in the budget suburbs of Melbourne, pushed out from the centre ring.”

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He added that neighbouring suburb Keilor is on the verge of being a million-dollar suburb, while Strathmore and Essendon are already members of Melbourne’s million-dollar club.

And while Airport West is still significantly below a million-dollar median, at $675,000, it hasn’t stopped buyers with deep pockets wanting in to a suburb once-perceived as noisy and industrial.

“We’ve actually seen something similar happen in Sydney, where buyers have begun to look under the flight path in areas like Tempe,” Wilson said.

“Buyers are saying, ‘we’re happy to live under a flight path because we can’t afford other areas and it’s well serviced by infrastructure’.”

Although Airport West is not directly below the flight path, agents admit buyers had previously regarded the suburb with some stigma.

But the tide is turning, with young families now pushing up prices for school zones and proximity shops, transport links and – of course – the airport.

For example, Earlier this month a renovated three-bedroom home at 60 Grange Road went for $1,101,000 at auction, after having been bought by its owners for just $455,000 10 years ago, according to Domain Group listings.

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A week later, a young family forked out more than $200,000 above reserve for a three-bedroom property at 138 Victory Road - the house was on the market from the first bid and continued to jump in price to $1,042,000 with only six bidders. 

Knock-down properties on large parcels of land are common targets for developers in the area, according to agents in the area. Indeed, Domain data shows units have grown 20.9 per cent in the past year to June, more than they have in the past five years.

The record for a residential house in Airport West is $1,235,000, which was paid for a four-bedroom property last March.