The Melbourne downsizers buying city properties to suit their beach lifestyle

For those lucky enough to own one, a beach house on the Mornington Peninsula is the ideal weekend escape from busy Melbourne. Getting there on a Friday afternoon during peak hour, however, is to be avoided at all costs.

An emerging trend in the downsizer property market shows buyers are purchasing inner-city properties with convenient freeway access as their top priority to enable them to spend weekends at the beach.

This lifestyle is the motivation of interested buyers in Glenarm Square, a new development in Glen Iris. Ideally positioned near the Monash Freeway, which connects with Peninsula Link, the location offers a quick 55-minute trip to the peninsula.

Marshall White Projects director Leonard Teplin has seen a steady increase in buyers seeking projects with convenient freeway access since the completion of the Peninsula Link.

South-eastern suburbs such as Glen Iris, Malvern East, and Kooyong are among the most coveted areas for these purchasers, given their popular cafes and shopping strips, transport connections and proximity to the CBD.

“The opening of the Peninsula Link has transformed the buying market’s view on commuting to the peninsula on either a daily or weekly basis,” Teplin says.

“It’s much more feasible now to get down there every weekend, so purchasers do consider living near the major freeways as a way to facilitate this and give them a beach lifestyle while remaining close to the city.”

Buyers within this demographic are likely to have a larger (and more affordable) home in the Mornington Peninsula with a smaller city base for work before officially retiring, or for visiting friends and family. They typically buy apartments close to their previous home with at least two bedrooms to suit most of their existing furniture and have space to host overnight guests.

Glenarm Square ticks all these boxes as well as featuring luxury lifestyle amenities including an indoor pool, gym, yoga studio, cinema, business lounge and communal 16-seater dining room co-designed by Shane Delia of MAHA, and relatively affordable owners corporation fees.

Teplin says these factors, along with strong local infrastructure, makes the project attractive to both owner-occupiers and investors, with few developments in the area offering the same level of amenity.

Buyers and sellers advocate Wendy Chamberlain from Chamberlain Property Advocates has also observed the surge in Mornington Peninsula buyers seeking a convenient second home.

“I think there is a definite trend of downsizers buying a low-maintenance city base in Melbourne that offers them quick and easy access to freeways to escape down the coast as they please. They know the timings necessary to leave by to miss the peak traffic times,” she says.

Parking is also a huge consideration for these buyers to safely store the car they use to drive to the peninsula on weekends.

Chamberlain recently worked with a couple who own acreage in Red Hill and were seeking a low-maintenance city base after selling their large home in Malvern East.

“Ease of access to the M1 was paramount, as was being able to jump on a tram to catch a show in the city. The property needed to be new or fully renovated with minimal upkeep required so they could lock up and leave as needed,” Chamberlain says.

Her clients eventually purchased a fully renovated, three-bedroom, two-bathroom Prahran terrace with secure parking for two cars.

“Location and convenience are top of the downsizer shopping list, so suburbs on the CBD doorstep and inner south and south east are hugely popular, especially leafy suburbs neighbouring the M1 and Princes Highway,” Chamberlain says.

“The beach property needs to offer the lifestyle the city property does not – space and a slower pace. These homes tend to be bigger and cater to accommodating the whole family for Christmas celebrations and special occasions.”

Originally published by Domain on 24 January 2019. Written by Annabel Ross.