Melbourne rental rates falling
Image – Canva
  • House prices have risen sharply in Melbourne, but not as high as Sydney
  • Demand remains strong for traditional three-bedroom family homes in the $1-1.3 million price range
  • We have picked the 20 best suburbs for families across various price ranges, and taken into account local schools and green areas

While much of the Covid-related property hype was directed at house prices in Sydney, Melbourne also witnessed very strong growth.

SQM Research shows that while prices were steady throughout the early part of the 2010s, they rose significantly during the latter part of the decade and during the pandemic, although it has declined recently, albeit a small decrease.


But, what suburbs are the best for families?

Miriam Sandkuhler, CEO and Senior Property Advocate at Property Mavens, told The Property Tribune his team is witnessing a strong demand in Melbourne for solid traditional family homes – three bedrooms with a backyards on an established street at a price range of $1 million to $1.3 million.

“That is being driven by interest from homebuyers, especially downsizers and first-time upgraders looking for more room. And that action is focused on the inner- middle suburban belt, roughly seven to 15 kilometres from the CBD,” she said.

“For the inner-middle family home, suburbs like Reservoir, Alphington and Carnegie typify what’s going on. These areas have great transport, high amenity and all the services for comfortable urban living. And lots of period 20th century homes situated in leafy streets.”

Ms Sandkuhler added that as the “froth comes out of the market” areas with amenity in the inner-middle suburban ring are holding up strongly.

“Further out, areas like Rowville, Lilydale and Bayswater have been sporting high clearance rates in recent months but we expect these areas to fade back towards the market norm.

“Upmarket parts of Melbourne, where so-called trophy homes had a stellar 2021, are now mostly showing falls in value of around seven per cent.

“A surprising winner this year, after a poor first quarter, is established apartments.

“After the huge jump in house prices in 2020 and 2021, many homebuyers shifted their sights from a detached house to a unit – bringing on ‘the sandwich effect’’; where the price difference between houses and units decreases.

“All the interest here is focused on spacious, established units with high amenity, good living space and that ‘something extra’ in areas like South Yarra, Northcote and Hawthorn.

“But that interest is not extending to newly built, high-rise apartments which ae proving difficult to sell.”

Jessica Conte-Singh, Director at Stone Whittlesea, put forward Eltham and Montmorency – the latter known locally as “Monty” – as her two picks for family-friendly suburbs.

“Eltham and Montmorency, two suburbs situated in the North East of Melbourne, are undoubtedly right up the top when it comes to the most liveable suburbs for families,” she said.

“Both suburbs have leafy surrounds, and despite having a country feel are located around 20-21 kms from the Melbourne CBD.

“There are larger-than-average sized blocks which is always a plus for growing families, and access to a mixture of fantastic state schools as well as top-tier private schools like Eltham College, Parade College, Loyola College.

“Eltham and Montmorency are also close-by to a variety of excellent amenities such as sporting fields, stadiums, large shopping centres, public transport, cafes and restaurants – all within 5km radius (5-10 minutes in any direction).

“On top of that, Universities in Bundoora are under 10km away, while Austin Hospital, Mercy Hospital, Warringal Private Hospital are all under 10km away. It’s less than 30km from Melbourne Airport as well as just 45km from the beautiful Yarra Valley.”

In light of this commentary, and using a range of sources, we have, in no particular order, ranked the top 20 best suburbs for families in Melbourne, across a broad price range. Factors taken account include the quality of local schools, recreational facilities and parklands.

20 Best & Most Liveable Suburbs in Melbourne for Families

  1. Caroline Springs
  2. South Yarra
  3. Bayswater
  4. Carnegie
  5. Rowville
  6. Lilydale
  7. Montmorency
  8. Alphington
  9. Northcote
  10. Hawthorn
  11. Eltham
  12. Cranbourne
  13. Bentleigh
  14. Reservoir
  15. Point Cook
  16. Roxburgh Park
  17. Coburg
  18. Heatherton
  19. Ascot Vale
  20. Glen Waverley

Caroline Springs, 3023

Located 21 kilometres west of Melbourne, Caroline Springs is a popular large suburb of 25,000 people. It is one of the fastest growing suburbs in the city, it is home to a range of shopping centres and recreation facilities, with the area surrounding the lake very popular. The median house price is $750,000, with apartments at $478,500.

South Yarra, 3141

Located in Melbourne’s inner east, just four kilometres from the CBD, is South Yarra. It is a large suburb with 25,000 residents and unlike many suburbs on this list, has a strong restaurant, café and nightclub culture.  Although the median house price is $2.38 million, the unit median price is far lower at $611,000. Families can enjoy close proximity to a range of amenities and recreation areas, along with a range of schools. Nearby is St Kilda and the Royal Botanic Gardens too.

Bayswater, 3153

Bayswater is an industrial and residential suburb, located 27 km east of the CBD. With a population of just over 12,000, it is popular with families given the range of shops, parks and public transport in the area. The median house price is currently $930,000, up 9.4%, with the current unit median at $660,000, representing 3.9% growth.

Carnegie, 3163

Located 12 kilometres south-east of the CBD, Carnegie is home to 18,000 residents.  The suburb is popular with families given there are a range of parks, playgrounds and schools. There are also many restaurants, and Chadstone Shopping Centre is 10 minutes away. Houses prices are on the higher end, with the median house price sitting at $1.72 million. Units are currently at $613,600.

Rowville, 3178

27 kilometres southeast of the CBD is Rowville, home to just over 33,500 residents. There are great parks in the area, and several shopping centres. Despite strong bus connections, there are no train stations in the area. The median house price is $1.16 million, with the unit median price at $740,000.

Lilydale, 3140

Lilydale is outer suburb of Melbourne, located 34 kilometres northeast of the CBD in the Yarra Valley. Despite its distance from the city, it is surrounded by various shopping centres, cafes, restaurants and parkland, including the Lilydale Lake. The median price is $862,500, far more affordable than many suburbs on this list.

Image – Canva

Montmorency, 3094

Montmorency is located 18 kilometres northeast of the CBD, within the City of Banyule. Home to just over 9,000, there are many green spaces making it a very family-friendly suburb. There are many schools to choose from too. The median house price is $1.22 million, up 27% over the past year, with units up by 13.9% to $884,000.

Alphington, 3078

Alphington, seven kilometres northeast of the CBD, is a small but popular up-and-coming suburb with a range of new cafes and businesses. There are parks and great schools in the area too. It has a population of 5,700. The suburb has experienced strong growth in the past year, significantly increasing the median house price by 30.4% to $2.13 million.

Northcote, 3070

Northcote is an inner-city suburb of Melbourne, just seven kilometres northeast of the CBD. It is home to over 25,000 residents and experienced significant gentrification since the early 2000s. It is a strong multicultural suburb with good schools and nice parklands in the area, ideal for families. The median house price is $1.68 million, less than many other inner city suburbs.

Hawthorn, 3122

Possibly the best-known suburb on this list, Hawthorn is a trendy suburb and is just six kilometres east of the CBD. Hwthorn has a range of amenities and tree lined streets. Houses, however, are expensive. The median house price is $2.45 million, with units at $597,500. The median house price has declined by 4.9% over the past 12 months.

Eltham, 3095

Located 20 kilometres northeast of the CBD, Eltham is major green wedge area that is relatively underdeveloped. There are many tree-lined streets and leafy reserves, making it popular with families. With a popualtion of just under 19,000, the median house price is $1.3 million, with $850,000 for units, quite high given its distance to the CBD.

Cranbourne, 3977

Cranbourne is a popular suburb with families thanks to its safety, decent schools and the huge Botanic Gardens. Located 43 kilometres from the CBD, over 21,000 call the suburb home. Cranbourne is a relatively affordable suburb with a median price of $660,000 for houses and $460,000 for units.

Bentleigh, 3204

Located in the City of Glen Eira, 13 kilometres southeast of the Melbourne CBD, with a population of 18,900, Bentleigh is a popular family neighbourhood close to the city. The McKinnon Secondary school falls in the suburb. The median house price is $1.73 million, with units at $659,000.

Reservoir, 3073

Reservoir, 11 kilometres north of the CBD, a large suburb, home to 51,000. The suburb has a diverse range of standard brick and weatherboard homes with new developments. There is a range of popular recreation areas and facilities, making it popular with families. Houses have a median price of $940,000, with $625,250 for units.

Point Cook, 3030

22 kilometres southwest of the CBD is Point Cook, one of the fastest-growing suburbs in Melbourne. Point Cook has a range of good schools, parks and other recreational facilities, making it more popular for families compared to other western suburbs. The median house price is affordable at $760,000, up 9.4% over the last 12 months, with units at $501,000.

Roxburgh Park, 3064

21 kilometres north of the CBD is Roxburgh Park. Home to over 24,000, there is a range of parks and recreational facilities in the area. Houses are highly affordable compared to much of Melbourne, with a median price of $650,000. Units have a median price of $440,000.

Coburg, 3058

Located eight kilometres north of the CBD, Coburg is a popular inner suburb of Melbourne. It is quieter and more spacious than neighbouring suburbs and is known for its multiculturism. It is popular with families. The median house price is $1.23 million, on the lower end compared to suburbs close to the CBD.

Heatherton, 3202

Heatherton is a popular suburb for families with parklands and a great community spirit. It is located 19 kilometres southeast of the Melbourne CBD, with a small population of 2,826. The median house price is $1.2 million, up 15.4% over the past 12 months.

Ascot Vale, 3032

A popular suburb just six kilometres northwest of the CBD, Ascot Vale is home to 15,000. There are river trails in the suburb, making it a very green suburb that is popular with families. The median house price is $1.35 million, with $567,00 for units.

Glen Waverley, 3150

A large and well-known suburb 19 kilometres east of the CBD, Glen Waverley is home to 42,600 residents. There are top schools, quality restaurants and many parks and reserves scattered throughout the suburb. The medina house price is $1.63 million, with units priced very high at $904,000, reflecting growth of 8.6% and 6.8% over the past 2 months.


For the best suburbs for families in Brisbane, check out this article.

Before making any financial decisions, please do your own independent research, taking into account your own situation. This article does not purport to provide financial or investment advice. See our Terms of Use.

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