Flemington is Melbourne’s horse racing hub, and housing experts are betting there too
At this time of year, riders around the world turn their eyes to Flemington, a neighborhood located on the edge of…
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Melbourne, Australia’s dense inner ring and home to Flemington Racecourse, where the annual Melbourne Cup has been held every November since 1861.
And for anyone in the real estate business, Flemington also happens to be known for charming, historic properties that offer more value than their more expensive neighbors. The well-connected, slowly developing neighborhood has its own identity and has become a destination for young professional buyers looking for their first taste of the suburbs.
“It’s really close to the city, and what I love about Flemington is that it’s surrounded by some very high income areas and high price points, but it’s relatively lower priced so you can get really good value there,” Kate Backus said. Melbourne-based buyer’s agent, noting that the neighborhood is evolving.
“We have a lot going on around our neck of the woods. There is a new rail program unfolding including a metro tunnel project due to be completed in the next two years. It will put that part of the world on the map,” she said.
The suburb may be known for its famous horse racing track, but its appeal goes beyond horses.
“Other than a few weeks a year when it’s a hive of activity, there’s a lot more to discover than just the track. Locals don’t really think about racing until the spring carnival comes around,” Backus added.
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Flemington is located approximately 5 kilometers from Melbourne’s CBD and is bounded to the north by Lang Road and the No. 57 tram line; From the east, the A60 motorway; To the south is the Princes Highway. And by the Maribyrnong River to the west. Because Flemington Racecourse is 314 acres and 1,437 miles in circumference, the track has a strong presence in the suburb.
Greater Melbourne has had a rough real estate ride in recent years, largely due to it being one of the world’s most locked down cities during the pandemic and the subsequent shock of rising interest rates. Now that the city is on the other side of a market downturn, overall home prices have risen 2.3% over the past 12 months.
According to CoreLogic data, the median house price in Flemington is A$1.14 million (US$730,000), up 15.4% over the past five years, but still down 2.1% in the year to October.
Flemington has proven to be less expensive than its neighbours, with the median house price in the local Essendon SA3 (the Australian Bureau of Statistics group of neighboring suburbs including Flemington) being A$1.584 million.
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Although it’s not packed with luxury properties, it has lavish prices for multi-million-dollar homes, said Jason Watts, a sales agent and auctioneer with Nelson Alexander Real Estate.
“The most expensive home ever sold in Flemington was just a fraction under A$4 million (in late 2022), but quality homes in good complexes typically range between A$1.8 million to A$4 million, depending on the land and condition The property, its size and price. He said: And the street exists.
“The average home sale price is still over $1 million, so it’s not cheap, but it’s affordable compared to the surrounding suburbs. It started out expensive and feels like it’s getting better,” Watts added.
Because of its proximity to downtown, Flemington offers buyers a valuable opportunity, Backus said.
“Only Flemington and nearby Footscray are likely to offer under A$1.2 million, but if you swing anywhere farther east, you could easily pay more than A$2 million,” Backus said.
Home to a heritage estate that prevents owners from altering the street appeal of their properties, Flemington features some of the best preserved Edwardian and Victorian homes in Melbourne. Most of the dwellings are detached family homes, single storeys or terrace houses.
“What Flemington can offer, which perhaps its neighbors cannot, is larger block sizes. Some homes are 600 to 900 square metres, and even more than 1,000 square metres. “For the same price in the surrounding suburbs, you get Much less land.
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What makes it unique
Having a world-famous racetrack in the neighborhood certainly gives Flemington an edge over its peers. Although the horse track is not a publicly accessible park, Flemington is still considered one of the most leafy areas in Melbourne.
The great outdoors is a common theme running through the suburb. Flemington has 13 public parks covering 5.2% of the total area, and is also located between Moonee Ponds Creek and the Maribyrnong River.
Although it is located just outside Flemington in the suburb of Parkville, the expansive Royal Park and neighboring Melbourne Zoo add more green space to the neighbourhood.
There are plenty of modern amenities, too, according to Backus.
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“Flemington has lots of different enclaves, some with pretty tree-lined streets, beautiful old houses and great little local cafes hidden away from the main streets. There are also some good, cheap and cheerful places to eat,” she said. “Navigating the area is easy.” “Also if you ride your bike or take the train, it’s a really relaxing area.”
Backus added that the redevelopment project, called Arden, in the Flemington area will replace old government properties with parks and new buildings, enhancing the area’s greater appeal. Meanwhile, most areas of Melbourne are less than half an hour from Flemington due to two stations on separate train lines and easy access to motorway links.
Flemington’s flamboyant Spring Racing Carnival is the ultimate showcase of high-end Australian fashion and the perfect place for socialites and VIPs to rub shoulders with each other. Over the course of 10 racing days, everything from ties to ladies’ hats are scrutinized as high society – along with thousands of racegoers daily – head to the racetrack to suit up.
Outside of the three intense weekends, there are a few other races, but other than that, Flemington settles into a more suburban lifestyle. When the horses are not running, Flemington Racecourse Market is held on the fourth Sunday of every month, where everything from food and fashion as well as arts and crafts are on the menu.
With more of a cool café atmosphere than a busy restaurant setting, Flemington has a world of flavors on offer when it comes to dining. Laksa King is a local Malaysian favorite in Pin Oak Crescent, with a younger restaurant (Laksa King Kitchen) also setting up nearby. Then there’s a historic former bookshop that now operates as a café called Pepper opposite Newmarket train station and a small-scale restaurant called Wolf and Hound, famous for its toasted sandwiches.
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Desirable schools in the area include the private Catholic institution, St Brendan’s Primary School, as well as public campuses including Flemington and Debney Meadows Primary Schools. The only secondary school in Flemington is the state-run Mount Alexander College.
Who lives there
In addition to longer-term locals compared to neighboring suburbs, newcomers consist of first home buyers, young couples and single professionals.
“They move into single-storey properties as a starting point, stay there for five to 10 years, have one or two children and grow up. Then they either go back to where they came from or upgrade and stay in the area. However, single-storey homes Duplexes are very tightly controlled, and their transaction turnover ranges from 15 to 20 years, sometimes more than 40 years.
Australian actor Gary Sweet has called Flemington his home for decades, according to published reports. The current leader of the Australian Greens political party, Adam Band, was also a long-time resident of Flemington, and praised the area on his election website.
This inner suburb has seen a host of famous Australian rules footballers grow up there over the past 150 years, and was also the birthplace of former Victorian Police Commissioner Mick Miller and Dame Ivy Evelyn Annie Wedgwood, the first woman to hold the position. Representing Victoria in the Australian Senate.
Although Melbourne’s property market has had a turbulent couple of years, the city is on the mend, said real estate expert John McGrath, founder and CEO of National McGrath Properties.
“Despite economic headwinds, signs of a price recovery have emerged since the bottom of the Melbourne property market in February,” he said in the 2023 McGrath report released in October.
“Its market entered a slowdown during the second half of 2022, as rising interest rates and concerns about the cost of living dampened buyer enthusiasm and forced sellers to think twice before listing.”
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McGrath picked Flemington as a site to look out for in 2024.
“With the prestigious North Melbourne and Kensington area on its doorstep, Flemington offers a similar level of inner-city convenience at a more attractive price,” he said.
Watts pointed to short-term buyer sentiment as the only thing holding Flemington back.
“The market is showing signs of wanting to improve, but there is a lack of confidence,” Watts added. “We are starting to crawl out of the valley, but it will really depend on which way interest rates go, among other things. I still believe the next 12 months will see the best buying opportunities in Flemington for those who are ready to buy.
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