Nestled behind prestigious suburbs like Sandringham and Brighton, Highett has long been overlooked among Melbourne’s bayside suburbs.
However, with hot new restaurants opening up, great retail and all the benefits of bayside living, this underrated neighbourhood is gearing up for its moment in the sun.
Bayside suburbs consistently ranked among the most searched areas on realestate.com.au. Now, Highett is joining the list of high demand suburbs. In particular, units in the suburb have seen a surge in interest, with a 21% rise in views per listing over the prior six months to August 2021.
Unsurprisingly, the interest has filtered through to prices. The median house price in Highett grew 9.3% over the 12 months to August 2021 to $1.41 million, while unit prices rose by 12.3% to $730,000.
REA Group economist Anne Flaherty says consistently strong price growth over the past five years shows the suburb is on the up-swing.
“There’s strong growth,” Anne says. “Being close to the water is a massive advantage. There are always people who want to live there because you’ve got great scenery, but at the same time you’re well connected.”
Here are a few reasons why Highett is increasingly making its way to the top of buyers’ wish lists.
Plenty to offer
Life in Highett is easy and laidback, with restaurants, retail, and outdoor activities all within reach.
At the heart of the suburb, there’s the Diplomat Cafe, a bustling foodie hub popular among locals. Residents also have the option of high-end Italian, funky Mexican and hawker-style Vietnamese eateries.
The flourishing dining scene is a recipe for success, Anne explains.
“Restaurants, cafes, things like that are definitely a factor when people are deciding where to live,” she confirms.
“So, if you start to get a couple of good restaurants and cafes in an area, often that provides a signal that this is going to be a great place.”
For shoppers, Westfield Southland nearby will meet all your needs with major retail chains, a cinema and boutique stores.
But the biggest drawcard for buyers is proximity to the bay and the lifestyle this brings.
Highett is within walking distance of the famous Half Moon Bay in Black Rock.
Here you can swim, sunbathe, snorkel, or hit the Melbourne Bay Trail — a continuous bike path that joins Mordialloc to Port Melbourne.
There’s also plenty of green space within Highett, such as the Sir William Fry Reserve, which has playgrounds, a skatepark and a monthly farmers’ market.
With all these things on offer, Highett is ideal for a wide variety of residents — from first home buyers to downsizers — Flaherty adds.
Connectivity is another winning factor for Highett.
Smartly positioned 16km from the CBD and right next to the Nepean Highway, it’s an easy drive to the city.
If you want to ditch the car, you can jump on a train at the Highett, Southland or Cheltenham station and be at Flinders Street in just over 30 minutes.
The proposed Suburban Rail Loop will further boost connectivity, with stage one of the route linking Highett directly to major education and job hubs at Monash, Clayton, Burwood, Glen Waverley and Box Hill.
Circling the CBD, the new line will link to every suburban railway line – creating unprecedented access, according to Castran Gilbert director Michael Lang.
“The Suburban Loop is going to connect you to every major university and the airport,” Michael says.
“For owner-occupiers, it can’t get any better. It’s going to connect people to a lot of amenities. Conversely, if you’re an investor, the pool of the market that you can access will be very broad.”
Although Highett is a competitive market, it’s becoming easier to snap up property in the area with a new residential project on the horizon.
South Point from H1Land Group is in prime position adjacent to the Southland shopping centre at 1233 Nepean Highway.
“There’s something for everyone,” Michael explains.
“For first time buyers, the one-bedroom apartments are a terrific size but still affordable.
“There’s the two-bedroom units for the young families or people wanting more space that are very liveable.
“Then you’ve got the large three-bedrooms properties, which can cater for downsizers and families as well.”
The 217 apartments will spread across two buildings, including a 17-storey tower with views of the Bay, CBD, and Dandenong Ranges.
The top floor will have dining areas, wellbeing spaces, a plunge pool, inbuilt sun lounges, barbeques and uninterrupted 360-degree views.
A second smaller building — accessible from Matthieson St — caters for more exclusive boutique-style living.
“Southpoint is setting a new standard for how developments are done,” Michael says.
“The location just couldn’t possibly be replicated. The level of finishes has also raised the bar.
“There’s been a lot of attention to detail knowing that these are going to appeal to owner-occupiers, as well as investors.”
This article originally appeared on realestate.com.au.