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Property expert’s top 20 suburbs

Do you live in a hotspot? Image: Getty

Founder of real estate firm McGrath Estate Agents, John McGrath has shared his top pick in each capital city.


Down in Melbourne, Kensington is also a hit. “Household incomes on the rise as residents’ occupations have shifted from manufacturing to professional services,” McGrath said.

“The 4km commute to the CBD and an -11.6 per cent softening in its median house price to $895,000 means there is plenty of upside left,” McGrath said.

Carnegie is another hit, with its ‘eat street’ on Koornang Road a major attraction. It also has trams running to the city every 15 minutes.

Cheltenham gets full marks for homes under $1 million, and the opening of the Southland train station.

Watsonia is an “often forgotten” gem due to its quiet demeanor, but it’s close to the city an affordable.

And Upway has express trains cutting the commute to 50 minutes to Flinders station.


Breakfast Point has seen new roadway infrastructure helping residents commute to the city 10 minutes faster. But, its distance also means that its residents feel like they’re on holidays.

Once a working class spot, Erskineville is now an inner-city hipster-magnet. It’s also super close to the city.

Sandringham is another spot close to the CBD, but on the water. “Buy a home or investment there and sit and wait,” McGrath said.

The north enclave in Castle Cove is a sticky spot: “Once you live there you never want to leave.” And, it’s only 12 minutes to the CBD.

Kensington is another spot with close access to the CBD with the new light rail being built.


Broadbeach Waters is much-loved as buyers can get canal front living with lots of local restaurants.

Oxley is considered a gem due to its affordability and a growing cafe culture.

Hendra gets a ribbon as its located next to premium suburbs Ascot and Hamilton, and will benefit from the redeveloped racecourse precinct.

Chermside West scores points as a young professional demographic takes over, while retaining a family friendly feel.

Gordon Park will benefit from a slate of major public works including the Northern Busway and Airport Link tunnel.


Bruce is a 5.2km drive to the CBD and close to the University of Canberra.

Theodore has seen its median house price jump 12 per cent to $580,000 over the year to June and offers affordable family homes.

Holder is another well-located spot with prices jumping 16.4 per cent to $698,500.

Strathnairn will be part of the Green Star Community which will deliver 11,500 new eco-friendly homes over the coming 30 years.

Weston is a “1970 gem”.

“Less than 15 minutes’ drive to the CBD, there is a shopping centre and 10 schools within a 3km radius.”

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