Named after England’s seaside town of Brighton, Melbourne’s suburb of the same name is on the city’s southeast coast and is known for its colorful “beach boxes” lining Dendy Street Beach.
Built in the 1800s and early 1900s, these predominantly windowless weatherboard huts—about the size of a garden shed—sell for as much as A$326,000 on the rare occasion they come to market.
The suburb is about 11 kilometers from the Melbourne city center and is home to many of Melbourne’s wealthiest individuals and families. It offers a beachside lifestyle, more space for your money than Toorak, and world-class yacht clubs, golf courses, and schools.
Brighton’s median house price is A$2.8 million according to CoreLogic, and A$3.37 million according to the Victoria Valuer-General. The sharp difference owes to different data-collection methods, and the Valuer-General’s figures put Brighton as the only Melbourne suburb other than Toorak with a median house price over A$3 million.
The best homes in the area are often found between Head Street and Mytton Grove on the beach side of St. Kilda Street. Many sell for more than A$10 million, with a five-bedroom beachfront home on Seacombe Grove selling for A$22 million in 2015, setting a suburb record that still stands.
Stand-alone houses are most common, but a surge of developments in recent years has brought a range of apartments and townhouses to the area.
When the topic of luxury property in Melbourne comes up, most think of suburbs like Toorak, Brighton, Hawthorn, or Kew. But research in 2017 revealed coastal Albert Park as one of the city’s most expensive suburbs, in price per square meter.
Buyers paid a median price of A$11,238 per square meter for property in Albert Park in 2017, according to figures released by the Real Estate Institute of Victoria. Brighton and Toorak didn’t appear in the top 10 on the list, showing that suburbs with large properties didn’t fare well in this respect.
But it demonstrates the value buyers are putting on areas that combine lifestyle with convenience. Albert Park is coastal, has 10 parks covering nearly 38% of the suburb, and is only three kilometers from the Melbourne city center.
The median sale price of houses in Albert Park is A$2.035 million. Sales in the area rarely attract media coverage for their prices, but the mansion Hollyford, which was built in 1873, drew attention in 2014 when Flight Centre founder and former Hawthorn Football Club director Geoff Harris bought it for A$14 million.
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There is plenty of luxury real estate in Melbourne, but mentioning the suburb of Toorak is sure to turn the most heads. An A$40 million sale on St. Georges Road in August 2017 to a buyer from China underscored the desirability of the suburb in Melbourne’s inner southeast, where mansions both old and new tower above large estates within three miles of Melbourne’s central business district.
“Toorak has always been considered the premier address of Melbourne,” says Gerald Delany, chairman of real estate brokerage Kay & Burton, which sells many of the area’s most expensive homes.
“It is the suburb of large estates, many of which have now been subdivided,” Mr. Delany says. “However, the area still attracts a large proportion of high-net-worth individuals, captains of industry, and commercial business leaders.”
Figures from CoreLogic put Toorak’s median price at A$5.05 million, but Mr. Delany says prices range from A$1.5 million to tens of millions. The highest prices are typically for homes on St. Georges Road, Lancell Road, Heyington Place, Albany Road, and Clendon Road.
This article first appeared in Mansion Global magazine’s June issue.
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