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WHAT’S A BRIDESMAID SUBURB AND WHY ARE THEY THE BEST AREAS TO BUY?

By Emma Smith

Over 40 per cent of Australians have been in their homes for 5 years or less, according to Roy Morgan. Our semi-nomadic lifestyles are partly a result of our tendency to move up the property ladder – we always want a nicer home on a bigger section in a better area.

Aspiring for more is human nature, but it can also be exhausting and financially challenging. That’s why bridesmaid suburbs could be the perfect areas in which to buy for homeowners with big dreams and small bank accounts.

WHAT IS A BRIDESMAID SUBURB?

The most expensive suburbs in Australia are the brides – they’re the centre of attention right now, admired and desired by everyone. We’re talking Darling Harbour in Sydney and Toorak in Melbourne, areas where the median prices exceed $4 million.

The suburbs surrounding them are the bridesmaids.

They’re not the centre of attention at the moment, but they may be in future and they certainly have just as much to offer as the brides. These areas usually benefit from their close proximity to their fortunate neighbours.

Why are these suburbs such great places to buy property?

ALL THE AMENITY, HALF THE PRICE

They usually offer a similar standard of living, without the ludicrous price tag.

Usually the most expensive suburbs have easy access to amenities and are priced accordingly.  This includes shopping, bars, cafes, employment hubs, transport, parks or schools. But how about the suburbs next door? Bridesmaid suburbs usually have access to the same amenities, even if they’re a little further away.

That means they usually offer a similar standard of living, without the ludicrous price tag.

In outer-Melbourne Narre Warren North is a great example of a bride suburb. It’s home to a railway station that’ll take you straight into the city, several great schools and great options for shopping. You’ll pay for the privilege of living here though – to the tune of $1,141,500 on average, according to the Real Estate Institute of Victoria.

Next door, just minutes away, is Hallam, which is almost half as expensive with a median house price of $594,000.

BUY BEFORE THE RIPPLE HITS

As buyers get priced out of one high growth (bride) area, they often move on to neighbouring suburbs (the bridesmaids). Increased demand for those surrounding suburbs causes their prices to increase too, which pushes future buyers to the next suburb.

This creates a ripple effect, where price growth grows outward from one desirable central area. The key to buying property well is to find a bridesmaid suburb before the ripple hits – that way, you’re very likely to get a bargain and enjoy considerable capital gains in future. But how can this be done?

Find expensive suburbs that are in high demand then investigate the suburbs surrounding them. Are there any that are considerably cheaper? Chances are these areas haven’t been reached by the ripple effect yet. They mightn’t be awash with cool cafes and high rise apartments but it’s likely only a matter of time.

FINDING THE BRIDES AND THE BRIDESMAIDS

Brides are easy to find. They’re usually populated by cafes serving avocado on toast, private schools where the students wear tailored blazers and driveways packed with European cars. Bridesmaids might look a little different – they could be undeveloped, a little rough around the edges and occupied by a higher than usual proportion of young people.

To find the beautiful bridesmaids look in the areas surrounding these brides, which are the most expensive suburbs in the country, according to CoreLogic:

  • Darling Point, Sydney: median price of $6.84 million
  • Toorak, Melbourne: $3.29 million
  • Tenerife, Brisbane: $1.68 million
  • College Park, Adelaide: $1.11 million
  • Peppermint Grove, Perth: $3.33 million
  • Battery Point, Hobart: $836,175
  • Larakeyeh, Darwin: $1.23 million
  • Forrest, Canberra: $1.9 million

In Sydney and Melbourne, almost every suburb is a bride, so you may have to look further out from the centre to find something that hasn’t been touched by the price ripple yet. In other capital cities, finding bridesmaids should be far easier.

For help finding affordable property, in a challenging market, seek the help of local experts. Real estate agents with a long history in the area might be your best bet when searching for your very own bridesmaid. Do your research, get the right advice and your suburb could transform into a bride before long.

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