Kilsyth’s claim to fame is that it was found to be Australia’s happiest suburb based on the results of a Sunday Telegraph survey back in 2009. What it’s got going for it is a scenic and quiet location, with the Dandenong Ranges providing a stunning backdrop – and it's commutable from the Melbourne CBD.
Being around 30km from the city centre, the drive to the CBD takes around an hour via the Eastern Freeway. Or it’s a 45-minute train ride from the city via the nearby Croydon railway station. All of which makes Kilsyth popular with families who need adequate access to the CBD, but don’t want the bright lights of the city right on their doorstep.
“There are a lot of nature trails, swimming pools, cycling tracks and family friendly amenities,” explains Hocking Stuart Mooroolbark director Ken Chappell. “There are some good schools nearby, such as Kilsyth Primary and the Pembroke Secondary College. There are also private schools nearby such as Bilanook.”
What helped Kilsyth into Your Investment Property's top 100 in 2011 was a combination of its relative affordability compared to neighbouring suburbs, solid historical growth figures and an excellent supply to demand ratio.
The demographics here are good, too, with the Maroondah/Croydon Statistical Local Area showing an average annual population growth rate of over 1% over the past four years, and the average weekly family income in Kilsyth just beating the statewide average at last count ($1,196 vs $1,134).
Kilsyth’s median house price is relatively affordable in comparison to neighbouring Croydon, Montrose and Mooroolbark, and Chappell thinks that Kilsyth looks like a good option for investors chasing the ripple effect.
“Kilsyth will catch up with areas like Croydon. People start looking a couple of suburbs further in, then choose Kilsyth when they see what they can get for their money,” he says.
In terms of amenities, Kilsyth has branches or ATMs for all of the big four banks, there are three Coles supermarkets and an IGA all within a 3km radius, eight schools in the near vicinity, and a handful of pubs and cinemas all within 5km. There are parks dotted around the suburb, the largest of which is the Dorset Recreational Reserve and public golf course.
Renters accounted for 14% of all residents at last count during the 2006 Census, and SQM predicts that this figure will remain pretty solid over the next decade or so.
Chappell suggests purchasing good four-bedroom homes to capitalise on Kilsyth’s family oriented rental market. He suggests that properties areas just off the main road with access to shopping facilities will be snapped up.
“Hawthory Road, Durham Road and Cambridge Road are all within walking distance of schools and the Churinga shopping centre,” he says. “There are also townhouse developments that are attracting investors, with a fair bit happening on Cambridge Road. These developments are eight to twelve townhouses and they rent very quickly.”