Watson sits around 10km from the Canberra CBD and houses several schools, a university campus, a shopping centre and a couple of television studios. Access to the city centre is good, with Northbourne Avenue bordering the north of the suburb.
“Watson’s inner-north, and Canberra people go for that,” explains LJ Hooker Dickson sales agent Peter Stewart. “They love the inner suburbs. It’s close to the city, but it’s still one of the affordable inner-north suburbs.”
He adds that this relative affordability, coupled with the suburbs excellent schools, has been drawing in families in increasing numbers.
“North Watson tends to have quite a few units and townhouses, and there’s a brand new development that they’re constructing at the moment on the far north side of Watson called the Fair. There are around 300 new dwellings going there, and they’re brand new one-, two and three-bedroom properties,” Stewart says.
“That will attract investors, as well as first home buyers, and even some downsizers who are looking to stay in the area.”
He cites the example of the Solstice development, which significantly increased both the number of units in the area and their median price when it came on to the Watson the market several years ago.
Looking ahead, Stewart believes that Watson’s location and relative affordability will provide the area with sustained capital growth, citing his own buying and selling experience as a sign of the area’s strength.
“I bought my first property in Watson – a one-bedroom unit – in 2001. I sold it at the beginning of this year and it had more than doubled in price,” he explains.
“That’s pretty standard across the inner north in general, and I can’t see that really changing. The more they build out in Canberra, the more Watson’s going to become an ‘inner’ area.”