Footscray - Melbourne's Rising Western Suburb

31 August 2016
Banner Image Footscray

As enduring economic growth and a soaring population continue to drive up Melbourne property prices, opportunity is emerging in the Inner West

 Melbourne topped the list of the most liveable global cities for the sixth year in a row, according to the Economist Intelligence Unit, further enhancing the attractiveness of Victoria’s capital and its real estate market. With increased demand for housing driving up prices, it is getting harder to find good value property with high growth potential in the easily accessible areas to the south and east of Melbourne’s CBD. For investors, western inner-city suburbs such as Footscray may just be the answer.
 

Why Footscray?

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Located just 5km from Melbourne’s CBD, Footscray is a prime location for residents taking advantage of employment in the CBD, Docklands and the developing Western suburbs. Add to this the suburb’s improving infrastructure, widespread gentrification and investment in redevelopment and it presents an attractive picture. Currently it offers excellent value too with a median unit price of AUD380,000 as of August 2016 – significantly lower than the state of Victoria’s median unit price of AUD460,000. Rent in Footscray is also below the state average at AUD320 compared to Victoria’s AUD375 median; an attractive prospect for young professionals in particular, many of whom are being priced out of other locations in the city.

What are the trends?

Population growth and increasing demand are already pushing up prices in Footscray with annual unit capital growth at 8.62% according to RP Data. In fact, apartment prices in Footscray have a track record of consistent long-term capital appreciation, having achieved growth of 6.7% per annum from 2005 to 2015.

What’s in store for the suburb?

The population of the area looks set to grow even further from the 2016 level of 16,882; to 45,558 by 2041, marking a 170% increase. Of the current Footscray population, 56% are employed full time, with 36.2% working as professionals and managers and an average median weekly personal income of AUD487. Over 54% of this population are renters. With a vacancy rate of just 2.5% as of June 2016, the area offers promising rental potential with gross rental yields currently at 4.39%.

Rental demand is driven not only by the suburb’s proximity to the city centre and its rapid gentrification in recent times – it’s home to a thriving restaurant scene, bustling markets, retail and green space, but also to the local employment nodes of Footscray Hospital and Western Private Hospital as well as Sunshine Hospital and Victoria University.

A large student population also contributes to the demand for rental units – 39% of the population are aged between 20 and 34 with 60% of those moving to the suburb also in this age range, the most likely demographic to live in apartments.

Victoria University and Maribyrnong Council’s recently launched 10-year plan to integrate the Nicholson and Footscray campuses into the community to create a hub of innovation and creativity, will further enhance the area in the eyes of both students and locals.

Regeneration of the wider area continues too, with AUD61.3 million set aside in the 2016/2017 Victorian Budget for Footscray and Sunshine Hospitals, and redevelopment underway of Footscray Plaza, Footscray Station and the traffic-free cycle path along Footscray Road as part of the Western Distributor, taking riders directly into the CBD.

Investing in Footscray

With room for growth and further regeneration, Footscray is well on its way to transforming from an industrial suburb into a hip inner-city hangout, and with unit prices currently below the city’s average, now is the time to make the most of the opportunities available in Footscray before property prices catch up with those in other parts of this desirable city.


Footscray is one of a few pockets of value in Melbourne we're currently exploring. To find out more about our latest project in this promising inner-city suburb, please get in touch.


 

Scott Hagerman

Written by Scott Hagerman

Scott has over ten years experience in investment advisory and financial planning services for individuals and businesses. His career began advising wealthy individuals and small to medium sized enterprises on risk management in the UK and the US, and has focused on wealth management and real estate investing since moving to Hong Kong in 2010. He has six years experience evaluating real estate investment opportunities in the US, Canada, UK, Malaysia and Australia.

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