Ask anyone walking on Swanston Street in Melbourne’s CBD what Victoria’s most expensive suburb is, and chances are 9 out of 10 will say Toorak, the holy grail of Melbourne suburbs. Ever since James Jackson’s 1849 Toorak House became home to Governor’s Residence from 1854 to 1876, Melbourne society shifted from their East Melbourne and St Kilda Road mansions to Toorak and have since remained. So what is Deepdene doing as Victoria’s most expensive suburb and Australia’s 6th priciest?!?
Just last October, as Jonathan Chancellor reported, Deepdene came second fiddle to Toorak, but not this time around. Clocking in with just 15 sales, Deepdene achieved a median price of $2.495m, $95k more than Toorak’s median price of 103 home sales. But what explains Deepdene’s expense and why haven’t you heard of it? Well, for starters, the suburb is very new. Although it’s original strip of stores hugging Whitehorse Road was developed nearly 100 years ago, Balwyn quickly enveloped the suburb and annexed it into the 3103 post code. Only in 2010 did Deepdene become an official suburb within the City of Boroondara, after a residents’ campaign (hello, Bondi Junction-turned-Queens Park!). And its high price? Well, it’s a bit misleading; Deepdene did not log any sales above $5m (unlike Toorak and a small handful of other Victorian suburbs), but it does have a consistent stock of homes in the $1.5m - $3m range with very few outliers, driving up the median price. The homes clustering around Whitehorse Road are most desirable and considerably more consistent in their inter-war architecture than neighbouring Big Brother Balwyn. Toorak has a (perhaps surprising) significant number of town houses and sub-$2m homes south of Toorak Road and west of Orrong Road.
No other suburbs come as much of a shock on the list. Noticibly absent Darling Point can thank too few sales to register on the list (10 were needed). What we at the Radical Terrace would truly love to see is a historical list, charting the relative desirability of suburbs over time (watching the Upper North Shore of Sydney fall off the list and the likes of Tamarama rise up). I guess we’ll just have to make that chart ourselves.
Photo credit: Property Observer