You know an area is experiencing gentrification when factories and warehouses are turning into modern housing estates, and that’s exactly what’s happening in Inner West Melbourne.

And it seems that homebuyers, investors and tenants are interested in not just what this area offers but what it’s going to offer.

Indeed, Inner West Melbourne has been targeted for massive new developments that have just recently been proposed. These include:


  • A new $6b suburb called E-Gate located in West Melbourne, 2km from the CBD, which would provide housing for up to 10,000 people. There would also be 50,000sqm of commercial and associated retail space, and the potential addition of a school, a sports field and a library should help attract families.
  • A long-abandoned Kinnears Rope Factory site on Ballarat Road that could be turned into a suburb for 2,500 people, which would involve more high-rise apartments.
  • A project to build 751 apartments in Footscray, within 100m of the Maribyrnong River, in four towers rising to between 16 and 28 storeys high.
Furthermore, nearly 9,000 additional dwellings were built in Footscray between 2006 and 2011, according to the Maribyrnong City Council website.

So what is it about this area that has attracted so much investor attention, which has helped it outperform some of the wealthier parts of Melbourne in recent years?

What the Inner West offers

There are two key things Inner West Melbourne has that many other Victorian suburbs don’t, says Leo Dardha, a director at Hocking Stuart Yarraville.

“I think the proximity to the CBD and the affordability are two key components which have transformed the Inner West,” he says.

“To live within 5km of the Melbourne CBD – the world’s sporting capital – and get a nice two-bedroom apartment for under the half-a-million-dollar mark is a sensational buy, whether it be an investment or a place to live.”

Dardha says the area is becoming increasingly popular among singles, professionals and young couples who are looking for nice apartments.

Footscray: the new South Yarra?

Footscray has come on in leaps and bounds, so much so that it could become like the prestigious southeast Melbourne suburb of South Yarra, says Dardha.

With median prices for Footscray at $594,000 for houses and $350,000 for units, the suburb still has a way to go before it reaches South Yarra’s $1,133,000 for houses and $547,750 for units.

“I think the proximity to the city and the infrastructure changes are really helping Footscray become one of Melbourne’s premier suburbs, and it’s heading in the direction of becoming South Yarra, which is one of Melbourne’s most sought-after locations.”

In addition to Footscray, Dardha also sees great potential in West Footscray, which he says is benefiting from the ripple effect.