We all know that age-old adage that the three most important factors when buying a home are location, location, and - you guessed it - location. There is definitely some truth to this repetitive mantra that’s adopted by many property developers and other real estate professionals alike, but it is undeniably an oversimplified phrase.
Whilst a property’s location has the power to dictate the value of that property, forecasting location growth can play a major role in ensuring that first home buyers enter the real estate market with a strong footing and are poised to make a surefire long-term investment, especially if you’re looking to go for a custom build for your first home. With this in mind, market analysts agree that the best buying strategy for first home buyers and young families who are looking to upsize in Melbourne is buying house and land packages in growth corridors.
But what exactly are growth corridors, and how do you know you’re buying in the right one? We’ll be outlining the answers to these questions today.
What are growth corridors?
In a nutshell, growth corridors are areas that are poised to receive urban infrastructural development, with the introduction of town centres, transportation routes, and housing developments. Growth corridors are generally located on the outskirts of city centres, whereas growth suburbs can be found anywhere, and are largely characterised by population growth alongside inner urban developments or improvements to existing infrastructure like schools, hospitals, and commercial property expansions.
Within the lexicon of town planners, Greater Melbourne consists of the area within the Urban Growth Boundary, as declared by the Governor in Council. Growth corridors are generally also selected in accordance with metropolitan and regional transport corridors and wider urban expansion projects.
As Melbourne is currently undergoing rapid urban developments across both its metropolitan and regional growth corridors, this period of time definitely introduces a unique opportunity for first home buyers to enter the real estate market on their own terms. And, as Melbourne’s population grows, the UGB expands. In other words, the best time to purchase a house and land package in any of Melbourne’s top growth corridors was yesterday!
Benefits of buying in growth corridors
As you can imagine, growth corridors tend to attract many first home buyers looking to build larger homes to accommodate their growing families, as plots of land can be secured for lower prices in areas where urban infrastructure is developing alongside residential areas. Buying in a growth corridor essentially allows first home buyers to enter the property market by building a home that caters to the projected needs of their growing families, removing the need to allocate savings towards upsizing or even renovating in the future.
First home buyers who are looking at finding a plot of land in a growth corridor may also find that they have more choices with regards to the plots of land that they’d like to purchase. For instance, corner blocks tend to be highly competitive in high profile growth suburbs, but these same blocks can be a fraction of the price when they’re situated in growth corridors, simply because the value of that area’s location hasn’t caught up with the value of that particular lot.
Another benefit of purchasing within a growth corridor is that you can expect to benefit from heavy government investment in your blossoming new community. In fact, the Victorian State Government is currently acting on research from Monash University that suggests living within 20 minutes of social and community infrastructure builds communities through increased social interaction and lively local economies. The ‘20-Minute Neighbourhood’ principle, underpinning the Plan Melbourne 2017-2050 Strategy, rests on the premise that every Melburnian should be able to meet most of their daily needs within a 20-minute return trip from their homes. Unlike decades past, you shouldn’t worry about being too far from the CBD. Decentralisation means heavy government investment into local communities within growth corridors.
On top of all of this, growth corridors make for highly ideal locations for any first home buyers who are looking to build a custom home over buying an existing property, as the savings that you generate buying your plot of land can go right back into your build project. Basically, building in a growth corridor will allow you to make the absolute most of your overall budget and build a home that most aligns with your property vision board.
Top growth corridors in Melbourne
As the greater Melbourne region continues to undergo rapid urban developments and subsequent population growth, land crunch will also be an issue buyers are having to battle with. With the increasing popularity of remote working and a positive migration program returning after covid-normal, land in outer Melbourne is more sought-after than ever.
As a result, you may find yourself in a more ‘fierce competition’ buying situation than you bargained for, with many Melburnians wanting a taste of the lifestyle available within the city fringe!
If you are feeling at a loss as to where to begin your search, a good rule of thumb is to narrow your scope down to a particular region that piques your interest. For instance, many first home buyers are taken with Melbourne’s northern and western suburbs, setting their sights on growth areas like Mickleham, Melton, Greenvale, and Donnybrook. Buyers who are interested in Melbourne’s eastern suburbs can take advantage of current growth trends forecasted for Box Hill, Glen Waverley, Pakenham, Cranbourne East and surrounding suburbs.
For home buyers who are looking to settle in Melbourne’s south, your top growth corridors may be the up-and-coming suburbs of Officer, Tarneit, Truganina or Fraser Rise (Plumpton). Market analysts also assert that the coastal city of Geelong is also experiencing rapid growth and generating plenty of interest from both first home buyers and seasoned investors alike, with this growth most likely inspired by the COVID-19 pandemic.
In truth, the pandemic has held some major influences on the fabric of Melbourne’s real estate market today, with the city reporting record rates of regional population growth. First home buyers should feel encouraged to find a plot of land in any growth area that catches their eye. The sheer number of growth corridors that Melbourne currently has to offer truly makes this a buyer’s market for savvy first home buyers in particular.
So, where are the best growth corridors in Melbourne?
Melbourne’s Northern Growth Corridor - Merrifield Estate - Mickleham
Merrifield Estate is a superb master-planned and fully-integrated community, developed by MAB Corporation. Merrifield Estate has been built with the philosophy of the 20-Minute Neighbourhood in mind.
With over 7000m2 of retail space, Merrifield City shopping centre is right on your doorstep. Conveniently anchored by Coles, Merrifield City has many more exciting stores to come. What’s more is that Merrifield Estate is only 4 kilometres from Donnybrook Station, providing an easy link to the city. Similarly, a two-minute drive will take you straight onto the Hume Freeway, providing great access to the wider city and airport. In terms of neighbouring areas, Merrifield is a short drive to Craigieburn and all its wonderful facilities.
A $1.2 billion State Government investment into Victoria’s largest business and employment precinct is expected to bring 30,000 new jobs to the Mickleham area. The area, twice the size of Melbourne’s CBD, is currently used by Dulux and Ford.
Life isn’t all about work. The Merrifield Estate also offers plenty of local schools and kindergartens, with a primary school within the estate. There are also over 12 hectares of open space, including playgrounds, sports fields and running tracks.
So, if you’re looking to buy in Melbourne’s north, take advantage of the opportunity to live within the great mini-city that is Merrifield.
Melbourne’s Western Growth Corridor - Mt Atkinson Estate - Truganina
Located just 25 kilometres west of the CBD, the Mt Atkinson Estate is Stockland’s crown jewel. Just 5 minutes from Rockbank Station and with excellent connectivity to the Western Freeway, Mt Atkinson Estate is nestled in the heart of the western growth corridor.
Close to the established prime communities of Caroline Springs, Taylors Hill and Fraser Rise, the Mt Atkinson Estate presents an amazing value alternative to these already-established communities.
So, what does the Mt Atkinson Estate have in terms of facilities? There are already three schools on the estate, and Mt Atkinson is a short drive to the prestigious Westbourne Grammar and Southern Cross Grammar Schools. Plus, a Westfield Shopping Centre is currently in the works - think dining, movies, and retail, as well as a future train station right in the Centre!
The Mt Atkinson Estate is only a short drive from the 260 hectare Melbourne Business Park Precinct and Truganina, where you’ll find plenty of employment opportunities.
Melbourne’s Western Growth Corridor - Mambourin Estate
Situated only 32 kilometres from Melbourne’s CBD, the Mambourin Estate features 1200 residential lots and is Frasers Property and Stockland’s latest collaboration. Living at the Mambourin Estate also gives you exclusive access to the residents’ leisure club, complete with pools, a spa, gym, tennis courts and function centre. Or, if you love spending time outdoors, take advantage of over five hectares of wetlands and walking trails.
If you love shopping, you’ll love the major town centre that’s in the works, which will provide over 25,000 square metres of prime retail floorspace. Plus, you’ll have easy access to Wyndham Vale Square, which is also within walking distance.
As for future developments, the State Government is investing in cutting-edge facilities, including a library, childcare centre, private school and a brand new train station. For the time being, Wyndham Vale Train Station is less than 3 kilometres away, as well as established government and Catholic schools serving all years levels.
Melbourne’s Western Growth Corridor - Ellerton Estate
The Ellerton Estate, developed by Madison Quay, is situated 40 kilometres from the CBD with direct freeway access. With Cobblebank Train Station and Cobblebank Village Shopping Centre less than a kilometre away, you’ll be connected to the wider city whilst still benefiting from a close-knit community feel. Furthermore, your kids can benefit from existing primary and secondary schools that are located within three kilometres of the estate.
Ellerton residents can also expect state-of-the-art facilities including schools, a community centre, a stadium and a hospital right on your doorstep, as these are all planned future developments for this particular growth corridor.
Melbourne’s Western Growth Corridor - Botania Estate
The Botania Estate, situated north-west of Melbourne in the up-and-coming Fraser Rise, is a 575 lot master-planned community from Growland. Located on 26 hectares but only five minutes from the established community of Caroline Springs, Botania residents are super connected with the rest of Greater Melbourne, especially now with linkages to the Western Freeway. If public transport is more your jam, however, you can enjoy a stress-free commute from Rockbank Station straight into the Melbourne CBD.
The Botania neighbourhood truly has something for everyone - think beautiful natural surroundings like the Organ Pipes National Park and Caroline Springs Lake on your doorstep. This doesn’t mean you’ll have to compromise on any urban amenities. For your morning coffee, you can look forward to the charms of the Bella Vista café. If you’re wanting to shop til' you drop, look no further than the nearby Caroline Springs Square. Botania is also poised to receive investment from the State Government to fund brand new schools, town centres and fully-equipped parks.
If you want to become a part of a community full of open spaces and parkland as well as the very best in educational, recreational and employment opportunities, look no further. Now in the final stages of selling, you’ll have to get in quick!
Why choose Apex Homes for your first home build?
Here at Apex Homes, we take pride in not only building beautiful homes for Australian families, but also providing those families with a strong foundation upon which they can continue to build a thriving investment portfolio. Regardless of whether you’re looking to enter the market as an owner-occupier or as a first-time investor, our build specialists will be able to secure you a suitable house and land package situated in the region of your choice with minimal fuss and no nasty surprises along the way.
Although this is definitely a buyer’s market, it can still be incredibly difficult to find the perfect plot of land in the right location for many first home builders. Thankfully, when you build with a dedicated building company like Apex Homes, you can reap all the benefits that accompany equipping your project with a reputable and expert eye.
Our industry connections and affiliations with other Melbourne property developers also allow us to provide clients with access to plots of land before they go to market, ensuring that you get first pick of the available plots in your preferred regions.
So, why buy in a master-planned estate?
If the benefits of purchasing in a top master-planned estate weren’t already clear, let us recap.
Investing within a master-planned estate in Melbourne’s booming growth corridors is a great opportunity to secure land at a great price, meaning more money for you to build your dream home in a growing local community.
You’ll have all the beauty of the Victorian landscape on your doorstep alongside great access to the rest of the city, thanks to government investment schemes. Through a considered combination of urban convenience with all the charms of a close-knit community, master-planned estates in growth corridors are perfect for your next move.
Have further questions about the process of finding a suitable house and land package in any of Melbourne’s top growth corridors or growth suburbs? Contact one of our friendly experts at Apex Homes to inquire about finding the perfect house and land package for you and your wider household today.
Also check out on current Apex Homes promotions & latest offers!