Just inland from better-known St Kilda, Balaclava doesn’t have the bayside village feel of its coastal neighbour, but it does offer the convenience of a train station. It’s one of APM’s top picks in terms of growth in both sales volumes and prices.
Affordability however is another matter, with Balaclava's historical growth performance putting its median house price at more than $800,000. This is still cheaper than its neighbours such as St Kilda, Windsor and Caulfield North – where median house prices are between – suggesting Balaclava’s house market has room for growth.
Renters account for just under half of the suburb’s occupants, and its monthly vacancy rate has held firm at around 2% for several years, according to SQM Research.
Amenities are excellent, with scores of shops, cafes and restaurants lining Balaclava Road, and good schools being found in the area. Train times to the city from Balaclava station are around 15 minutes.
All of which has made Balaclava a highly sought after area, says Buyer Solutions’ Janet Spencer. She suggests targeting two- to three-bedroom single fronted Victorian cottages.
“A lot of people are seeking charm, so those old cottages sell very well. And of course they’re not making them anymore, so they’re a good investment from a supply and demand point of view,” she says.
And in terms of street selection, she picks out Talbot and Melby Avenues, on the cusp of Balaclava and St Kilda East, as two to watch: “They’re very good streets with a little almost secret park at the end – Greenmeadows Gardens.”