It’s no secret that Melbourne’s housing prices continue to rise at alarming rates. Unfortunately, there aren’t many suburbs safe from price increases. But for young Australian families who want to buy or rent a home in the world’s most liveable city, here are the best family-friendly suburbs — from the overlooked inner-west to the eastern seaside suburbs.
Macleod is a suburb in northeastern Melbourne that’s often overlooked. It’s located 14 kilometres (nine miles) from the CBD, but has great links to the city thanks to the Hurstbridge railway line, as well as the Eastern Freeway and Northern Ring Road. Macleod is near Northland Shopping Centre, Greensborough Plaza, and La Trobe University. There are many schools located in neighbouring suburbs, such as Bundoora, Greensborough, and Watsonia. Housing-wise, Macleod is known to have good land sizes and 1960s-style family homes.
Typical Australian brick suburban homes | © vagawi / Flickr
A smaller suburb in Melbourne’s west, Kingsville is fast becoming a popular location for young families who want to stay in the inner-city. Kingsville has a mix of period and modern homes, and there are many schools in neighbouring suburbs including Footscray and Yarraville. Kingsville residents also have access to train stations in Yarraville and West Footscray, so commuting to the city is quick and convenient. There are shopping centres in both Footscray and Yarraville too.
Bentleigh has many great aspects that make it a prime suburb for young families. Firstly, it has easy access to the city via the Frankston railway line and Nepean Highway. Secondly, it’s very close to the coast for families that enjoy time by the seaside. Its neighbours include Hampton, Brighton, and Bentleigh East. Bentleigh is also home to top-quality schools including McKinnon Secondary College, one of Victoria’s top three state schools.
Bentleigh Railway Station | © Philip Mallis / Flickr
Cranbourne isn’t close to the CBD – it’s in fact 45 kilometres (28 miles) away. But in recent years, there’s been an influx of modern housing and subdivision developments in Cranbourne. The distance from the city also means that prices are quite reasonable for Melbourne. The Cranbourne railway line begins and ends in Cranbourne, and the Cranbourne Park Shopping Centre has a great selection of shops. Finally, the suburb and its neighbours have plenty of schools to choose from. Next door in Cranbourne East, it had a record 250% increase in school-aged children over the past five years, so young families won’t be alone in the neighbourhood.
Kew is one of Melbourne’s eastern suburbs that border the Yarra River. Its neighbours include Kew East, Hawthorn, Richmond, and Collingwood. Because Kew is located only five kilometres (three miles) from the CBD, housing is quite expensive. However, Kew is also home to several high-quality schools, including Methodist Ladies’ College, Xavier College, and Trinity Grammar School. If inner-city living and schooling are important factors for certain young families, then definitely check out Kew.
Melbourne skyline view from Kew | © Rob Deutscher / Flickr
Located north of Brunswick, Coburg has been undergoing a transformation lately. In recent years, there’s been a surge in apartment and townhouse developments in the area. But the suburb is also known for its Victorian homes and Californian-style bungalows. Coburg has tram and train links to the city, family-oriented facilities, parks, restaurants, nearby schools, and connections to the Merri Creek Bike Trail. This walking and bike path follows Merri Creek from Coburg to Fitzroy North.
Altona is a seaside suburb located southwest of Melbourne. Located 13 kilometres (eight miles) from the CBD, Altona has two train stations, which makes commuting a breeze. There’s also a sandy beach and pier, for young families that want the perfect balance between the sea and the city. Altona is home to a few primary schools, and there are high schools and a college located in nearby Williamstown.
Seaside scenes in Altona | © Travellers Travel Photobook / Flickr