Melton – A boom town in the making

Train arriving at Melton station

Train arriving at Melton station

Melton is located 42km northwest of Melbourne CBD via the M8 Western Freeway. The suburb is divided into Melton South, Melton West and Melton. These suburb lies on a volcanic basalt plain and two extinct volcanoes can still be seen on the horizon. To the north-east is Mt Kororoit and to the south is Mt Cottrell. The latter, although only 200 metres high, spreads southwards from its summit for 10 km. It is the largest of the cones on the Werribee Plains.

Public transport is serviced by buses and Melton train station located on Brooklyn road in Melton South. The local amenities are centred around the Woodgrove Shopping Centre which is located at the corner of Coburns and High streets. There are plans for an upgrade and revamp of this complex to cater to the growing population within the area.

Recent investments into Melton include the purchase by listed property developer Devine Limited of a 21.45 hectare land parcel in Brookfield, a large, undeveloped residential housing area 1km west of Melton train station. This $6.9 million acquisition will have an estimated end value of $80 million once approved and fully developed. The purchase reinforces the company’s aggressive acquisition strategy in Victoria, where it has purchased 7 land parcels over the past 12 months totalling more than $117 million.

The Brookfield site is strategically located in an area which has become the focus of a $15 billion urban investment strategy initiative by the Melton Shire Council. Backed by the Victorian Government’s Melbourne 2030 strategy, the initiative has identified Melton as a major new investment location for Victoria – a commitment that will create a new city of up to 100,000 people over the next 20 years.

A new highway by-pass scheduled to be completed by 2009 will also reduce commuting  from Melton to Melbourne CBD by at least 15 minutes. Local amenities include the following major schools, hospitals and parks:

  1. Melton Secondary College, Coburns road
  2. Mowbray College, Centenary Avenue
  3. Kurunjang Secondary College, Centenary Avenue
  4. Melton Christian College, Brooklyn road, Melton South
  5. Staughton College, Wilson road, Melton South
  6. Coburn Primary, Richard road, Melton South
  7. Navan Park, corner of Centenary Avenue and Coburns road
  8. Hannah Watts Park, High street
  9. Melton South Royal Childrens Hospital, Pinnacle Crescent, Melton South

Existing houses in Melton are typically brick veneer single storey dwellings.

Vital statistics

Suburb Median house price $ Weekly advertised median rent $ Gross yield $ 3-year growth % 5-year growth % Average annual growth %
Melton 220,000 230 5.4 22.2 29.0 9.5
Melton South 208,000 220 5.5 18.9 22.4 9.7
Melton West 245,000 240 5.1 11.4 16.7 8.0

Source: RP Data & Your Investment Property, December 2009

Suburb Median house price $ Weekly advertised median rent $ Gross yield $ 3-year growth % 5-year growth % Average annual growth %
Melton 225,000 240 5.6 23.6 32.3 9.5
Melton South 230,000 230 5.2 31.4 35.3 10.0
Melton West 265,000 245 4.8 17.8 26.8 8.4

Source: RP Data & Your Investment Property, September 2010

Things to see and do in Melton:

  • Tourist Information Local tourist information can be obtained from the Melton Visitor Information Centre at the Old Court House, 323 High St, tel: (03) 9746 7290.
  • Historic Buildings Christ Church is an exemplary Gothic Revival structure built of random-coursed bluestone in 1864 for the Anglicans. The chancel was added in 1903. It is located in Unitt St. The courthouse, at the corner of High and Palmerston Sts, dates from 1892.
  • Pluperfect Antiques Pluperfect Antiques sell collectable Australiana – prints, china, pens, linen, fully restored furniture etc. They are open weekdays from 9.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. (closed Wednesdays) and Saturday from 9.00 a.m. to 1.00 p.m. and are located at Factory 1, 8-10 Norton Drive, tel: (03) 9747 0808.
  • Hannah Watts Recreation Reserve Located in High St, this attractive recreation reserve is adjacent Toolern Creek. There are plenty of birds among the river red gums and a walking track and cycling trail, along with picnic, barbecue, toilets and playground facilities.
  • The Honey Shack Also in High St (at no. 237) is The Honey Shack, situated within historic Raglan Cottage. This is essentially a bee farm where visitors can learn about beekeeping and purchase honey and bee-related products, including bulk and gourmet honeys, hand creams and a variety of gifts products and Aboriginal art, tel: (03) 9747 3277.
  • Melton Waves Leisure Centre This indoor wave pool has a “rapid river”, a “waterfall”, “geysers”, a 25-metre pool, a toddlers’ pool, a spa and a hydrotherapy pool. It is located in Coburns Rd, tel: (03) 9743 5311.
  • Toolern Creek Heritage Trail The pleasant environs of Toolern Creek are traversed by a self-guided heritage trail which is intended to convey a sense of how Melton was in the past. It takes in the former sites of the racecourse, the original townsite, Pennyroyal Creek Station and other establishments. A related pamphlet is available from the information centre, tel: (03) 9746 7290.
  • The Willows Historical Park Located in Reserve Rd, on the east bank of Toolern Creek, ‘The Willows’ is an historic stuccoed stone-rubble residence which now houses historic memorabilia. The front section is the original homestead. It was probably built in the 1850s. The larger section is thought to date from the 1860s. Although this is essentially an unpretentious vernacular building it has been lavishly ornamented with quoins, keystones, voussoirs and chimneys with buttresses and dentils. It is open on Wednesdays and Fridays from 9.30 a.m. to 12.30 p.m. and Sundays from 2.00 p.m. to 4.00 p.m., tel: (03) 9746 7290.
  • Warrensbrook Faire This precinct occupies 240 acres to the east of Melton. It incorporates several commercial ventures such as the Gamekeepers Secret Country Inn (tel: 03 9747 1000) and the Windmill Gardens Restaurant, which features the largest windmill in the Southern Hemisphere set amidst scenic gardens, water features and a traditional Dutch-style village, tel: (03) 9747 1100. To get there head east along the Melton Highway for 6 km to the intersection with Leakes Rd.
  • Witchmount Estate Winery Also at Warrensbrook Faire (557 Leakes Rd) is Witchmount Estate Winery , established in 1991,which produces chardonnay, cabernet sauvignon and shiraz. The cellar door and restaurant are open from 11.00 a.m. to 11.30 p.m., Wednesday to Sunday (book for wine tours) and public holidays from 11.00 a.m. to 4.00 p.m., tel: (03) 9747 1155.
  • Galli Estate Winery Warrensbrook Faire also boasts Galli Estate Winery which is open weekdays from 10.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. and weekends from 11.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. The adjoining restaurant is open Wednesday to Sunday for lunch and dinner, tel: (03) 9747 1433.
  • Mt Atkinson Olive and Nut Grove Mt Atkinson Olive and Nut Grove produces cold-pressed olive oil and marinated table olives. Fresh olive bread is available at the cafe. It is currently open weekends from 10.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. and will soon be open daily. Mid-week group bookings are currently available. They are located at 261 Griegs Rd, Rockbank, tel: (03) 9747 1170.
  • Melton Reservoir Melton Reservoir, on the Werribee River, is signposted from town. The access road runs off Exford Rd which heads due south of the city. It is a popular fishing spot and is home of the Melbourne Speedboat and Runabout Club. There are picnic, barbecue, playground, parking and toilet facilities. It is open daily from 9.00 a.m. to 6.00 p.m., tel: (03) 9746 7290.
  • Parwan Estate Winery This newly-established winery, situated on the banks of Melton Reservoir, is currently only open by appointment, tel: (0417) 008 617.
  • Long Forest Flora Reserve This is the only naturally occurring patch of mallee south of the Great Dividing Range. At one time mallee scrub was common in the area but as the climate cooled most of it was supplanted by eucalypt forest. However, this reserve rests on a bed of shale and sandstone which is not conducive to eucalypts.

More information can be obtained from Western Melbourne Tourism.

Eynesbury – charming homestead and country living

18th hole, Eynesbury golf course, Melbourne

18th hole, Eynesbury golf course, Melbourne

Eynesbury is located approximately 40km west of Melbourne CBD and is accessible via the West Gate Freeway and M1. This suburb is situated between larger townships of Melton and Werribee to its north and south respectively.

Eynesbury Golf Club

Gathering at Eynesbury Golf Club

Predicated upon a charming homestead and proposed new township, Eynesbury has a relatively large number of proposed land and house packages which are proposed to be built in and around the challenging Graham Marsh designed Eynesbury golf course. The obvious attraction of these properties are serene and quiet surroundings with a country living feel away from the hustle and bustle of city living. The Eynesbury township is being developed by residential property developer GEO Property Group which also owns and manages the Eynesbury golf club. The club has a cafe, bar and restaurant and also facilities to cater for weddings and conferences.

Land sizes vary from smaller lots of around 500 sqm to larger ones of more than 1,000 sqm. Land prices vary between $250 – $300 per sqm and proposed dwellings include 3 and 4 bedroom single and double storey houses built by reputable project home builders such as Burbank, Metricon and AV Jennings.

Eynesbury Online is a good source of information about the township, its history, local directory and attractions.

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Top Ryde City Shopping Centre opens for business


The first phase of Top Ryde City Shopping Centre was open for business on Thursday, 6 November 2009. Located at the busy corner of Blaxland road and Devlin street, this integrated development will serve residents living in the surrounding suburbs of Top Ryde, North Ryde, West Ryde, Putney, Deniston, Eastwood, Canada Bay, Meadowbank and Rhodes. IMG_0046

Developed by Defined Developments Pty Ltd which is owned by the Beville Group, it is working with Bovis Lend Lease who has been contracted to construct the retail component of the development. The next few phases of the complex is continuing and is expected to be completed by late 2010. This development is a welcome addition to the area where residents living within the suburbs above will have an additional alternative to the existing Macquarie Shopping Centre in North Ryde and Rhodes Shopping Centre along Ryder Boulevard in Rhodes. Among the major retailers to take up tenancy include Woolworths, Big W and Dan Murphy’s. A variety of fashion, footwear, hair and beauty retailers, homeware and accessories, restaurants, cafes and fresh food outlets will gradually come on-stream over the next 6 – 12 months. Already busy serving its first few customers on opening day include ladies fashion retailers Supre, Valley Girl and Forcast. Shoppers were busy loading up groceries at Woolies, Bakers Delight and Pryde Quality Meats. Other notable stores in this first phase include JB Hi-Fi, Gloablize, Golden Banana and Dick Smith.

Trading hours:

  • Mondays to Wednesday        9.00am – 6.00pm
  • Thursday                                     9.00am – 9.00pm
  • Friday & Saturday                    9.00am – 6.00pm
  • Sunday & Public Holidays     10.00am – 5.00pm

Store trading hours may vary. Please check with the website for more details.

Another brand new Erskineville apartment for rent


With the imminent completion of the Verve’s luxury apartments in Erskineville by renown property developer AV Jennings, the first of its 106 apartment is now available for rent in Sydney’s hip and eclectic inner west.

This brand new, top floor apartment boast a 30sqm sun-drenched balcony over-looking serene internal gardens, swimming pool and tennis court. Filled with day long natural light, this north-west facing unit boasts a large 90sqm internal space with open plan kitchen and dining which walks out to the balcony made for entertaining, summer BBQs, sunbathing or to simply to read your favourite book.

Why I would rent this apartment:

  • Brand new and top floor apartment with spanking new Smeg / Omega gas kitchen and other high-quality finishes.
  • The sun-drenched 30sqm balcony is built for entertaining family and friends and adds a fresh dimension to the already large 90sqm internal open-living plan.
  • Located within a 5-minute walk to St Peters train station, you are merely 3 direct stops or 10-minute train ride from Central station and 6 direct stops from Circular Quay, Sydney Opera House and the Botanic Gardens.
  • A double side-by-side car space means you will never have to hunt for scarce public / visitor parking in this popular inner city location for your second car.
  • Sydney Park’s outdoor activities – walking, running, biking, family picnics, is 5 minutes away. Sydney Park is also a leash-free park for dog lovers.
  • 10-minute drive to Sydney CBD, Chinatown, Broadway Shopping Centre, Sydney Fish Markets and Sydney airport.
  • Erskineville and Newtown’s cafes, pubs, restaurants precinct located within a 10 minute stroll.

Other key features include:

  • Master bedroom walks out to sunny north-west balcony
  • Built in wardrobes in both rooms
  • Reverse cycle air-conditioning
  • Large 8sqm basement storage facility
  • Study nook with ducting for internet connection
  • Cable TV connection points in living and master bedroom
  • Internal laundry and dryer facility
  • Convenient garbage chute disposal
  • Security video intercom

This apartment is available from early December and is managed by Johanna Cheong from Infinity Property Agents at 0430 597888.

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Coastal real estate in danger of price stagnation?

Coastal real estate @

As the world takes heed of the impact of global warming, a recent parliamentary report raised the prospect of bans on certain coastal developments exposed to the dangers of rising sea levels.   Some coastal properties in Australia have already experienced corrosion due to advancing sea levels.

Therefore, the implications of global warming for coastal real estate could be significant especially for properties which are less than 5 metres above sea level and are within close proximity to the water. These properties may be subjected to much higher and expensive insurance premiums, insurers imposing risk mitigation and remedial work on owners or face the prospect of self-insurance.

Future new development in areas which are exposed to the risk of rising sea levels may be subject to very strict planning and development guidelines to obtain approval. This increase in restrictions may augur well for the value of existing homes due to an increasing shortage of supply. On the other hand, potential buyers looking for a sea change may actually opt for a tree change instead.

As sea change and coastal real estate become more scarce in Australia, its alternative tree change real estate which is currently in abundance  due to Australia’s vast rural and regional landscape may offer just the lifestyle that is seen to be the less glamorous option, at least for now.

The Village at Balgowlah, Sydney

The Village, Balgowlah

The Village, Balgowlah

The Village is a project developed by the Stockland Group and is located at the corner of Condamine street and Sydney road in Balgowlah, a northern suburb approximately 12km north of Sydney CBD.   This project is an integrated residential, commercial and retail development which consists of 240 units of 1, 2 and 3 bedroom apartments within a shopping centre which has since opened for business in July 2009. The project consultants include:

The local attraction of The Village locale include the famous Manly beach 2km away and its cafe, restaurants and beach lifestyle.

The apartments have a wide selection of floorplans and have incorporated green and environmentally friendly design and materials. The elevated vantage point of the apartments is also designed to maximise water and district views of the sea and its leafy surrounds.

Facilities include an outdoor 25m heated swimming pool within its landscaped gardens.   The commercial and retail section of The VIllage include Coles supermarket, Vintage Cellars and approximately 60 new speciality stores, Fitness First, restaurants and cafes.

What I like about this development:

  • Well-designed floorplans which maximises natural light of its north aspect
  • Environmentally friendly concepts such as heat recovery systems, cross-flow ventilation, water harvesting and energy and water efficient appliances and fittings.
  • Convenience living due to its shops, cafes and restaurants.
  • Multitude of local outdoor activities and attractions such as Manly beach, Forty Baskets, Dobroyd and North Head.


  • Commuting to the city via Spit road can be congested during peak traffic hours due to the infamous Spit bridge traffic.

The median house and apartment price of Balgowlah  as at June 2009 is $1,050,000 and $510,000 respectively. The average annual growth and 5-year growth of apartments in Balgowlah is 6.7% and 11.0% respectively as at February 2009.

Source: RP Data

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