Populated countries around the world and a 20km radius to the city.

Hi all, was just thinking about the Melbourne market comparing East vs West. Generally speaking, the East is more expensive than the West, even 15-20km's out.

So this raises a question and that is, what is it like in heavily populated area's around the globe when comparing West vs East vs South vs North? Is there a big price difference between areas like it is in Oz?

In 10-20 years, will area dictate price or will distance to the city be the main driver in Oz? I'm currently looking at the Western suburbs of Melb and it's cheap compared to the East. If distance to city is the key driver and the state becomes heavily populated which has been forecasted due to immigration, theoretically speaking the West would be a great area to invest in? Eventually, it will catch up.

What's it like in Londan, Paris, New York, etc? What's the key driver for house values in these heavily populated cities, distance to city or area?
 
I'd agree. I think East-side land values may well be as much as double those out west (this is probably an exaggeration). I suppose the question is whether distance to the CBD is the key driver. Although rather than distance it should actually be rush hour travel time.

The key places to look at out west to understand why its "undervalued" is Williamstown and Essendon. Why do these two suburbs have east-side prices?

Williamstown is on the water and has a train line. Note Altona/Seaholme are similar.

What about Essendon/Strathmore. Its close to the city, it has a train line, good schools, freeway access. River. Parks. This seems to be a rare suburb out west. See link below for a sample ad, $700K for 565m2 block.

http://www.realestate.com.au/cgi-bin/rsearch?a=o&id=106142379&f=0&p=10&t=res&ty=&fmt=&header=&cc=&c=43026630&s=vic&tm=1261019428
 
Singapore is very similar to Melbourne. The East is more desired than the West and North which are more industrial. Bukit Timah, the "Toorak" of Singapore is the most expensive area and is located inner north and has properties with large land and houses. Katong, the "Brighton" of Singapore is located middle East and near the beach and sea. The CBD is located just north of the Marina Bay. Sheares Bridge, the "West Gate Bridge" of Singapore flies over the Marina Bay, connecting the eastern and western part of Singapore as well as having exits to the CBD. The Port of Singapore is located south-west of the CBD.

Properties in the inner west (Outram, Bukit Merah, Tiong Bahru, etc) have become very expensive (more expensive than those in outer/middle east). They used to be places where people don't want to live. So are properties in the outer west (Clementi, Jurong). But there is one difference. The National University of Singapore and science parks are located in the outer west. But heavy industries such as oil refineries, chemical plants, shipyards, factories are also located in the outer west.

Personally, I think distance to the CBD is a very important factor. Other factors are also important - facilities, future development of the area, proximity to the water, gentrification and change of people's perception towards certain areas over time.

In Singapore, the title lease (freehold vs leasehold) and land area are greater determinants of price and appreciation potential. I don't think these 2 factors apply to Melbourne because most properties here are freehold and a small inner suburb apartment can be more expensive than a larger outer suburb house.
 
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The only think I disliked about being a Westie, and working East
was driving into sunrise to work every morning
and
driving into sunset home every evening
would be strange if that were a reason for price differences, the inconvenience of squinting
 
I suppose it come down to "how desirable is an area to live?"

The more desirable a product, for a variety of reasons, the more people will pay and vice versa. Supply and demand, that's all there is to it.
 
The only think I disliked about being a Westie, and working East
was driving into sunrise to work every morning
and
driving into sunset home every evening
would be strange if that were a reason for price differences, the inconvenience of squinting

That is a reason actually. Quite well know reason.
 
Williamstown is on the water and has a train line. Note Altona/Seaholme are similar.

I like all three areas but I disagree that the two are similar.

Williamstown is on a peninsula with water on all three sides and no through traffic. Its history, historical buildings and quiet little residential lanes shape its character. It has the best cafe strip in the west.

Altona is largely flat, postwar, lacks Williamstown's residential character but has a lake, has a growing cafe strip but is tarnished by the refinery (actually some distance away). Having said that there are some great streets, particularly near the Seaholme end. Like Williamstown Altona is off the main highways.

Both Williamstown, but to a greater extent Altona, are a bit remote, with a lot of shopping needs only available outside the suburb (Footscray, Hoppers Crossing or Altona Gate). It's not like a big suburban centre like Frankston or Werribee/Hoppers Crossing where nearly everything can be had within 3km.

Williamstown will always be dearer than Altona, but for those who can't afford Williamstown Altona will remain in demand as the next best thing.
 
Like Williamstown Altona is off the main highways. Both Williamstown, but to a greater extent Altona, are a bit remote, with a lot of shopping needs only available outside the suburb (Footscray, Hoppers Crossing or Altona Gate). It's not like a big suburban centre like Frankston or Werribee/Hoppers Crossing where nearly everything can be had within 3km.

Maidstone St in western Altona is not far away from M1. Altona Gate S.C. or Point Cook S.C. is 10 minutes away. Smaller shopping centres/strips are either within Altona (Pier St, Harrington Square) or in neighbouring Altona Meadows (Central Square) and Altona North (Borrack Square). Nearest Bunnings is 5 min away, nearest Aldi is currently in Point Cook S.C. (will be in Spotswood in the future), nearest Tasman Meat is in Brooklyn, nearest Medicare office & Kmart in Altona Gate S.C., nearest BigW in Central Square, nearest Target in Point Cook S.C., nearest KFC/McDonalds in Altona North/Meadows. We are able to buy cheap groceries (Aldi), cheap meat (Tasman Meat), cheap medicine (Chemist Warehouse), cheap Asian Food (Footscray) all within very convenient distances so we are not complaining.

Shopping needs can also be met locally (Pier St has a Coles open 7-12, CBA branch, Bendigo Bank branch, Post Office, 2 pharmacies, bakeries, large video rental shop, bike shop, shoe shop, etc). There is a market every Tues on Pier St and every 1st Sun at Cherry Lake - these are more like flea markets.

Altona also has 3 train stations, 3 bus services including Smartbus 903, 4 primary schools, 2 secondary schools, a few kindergartens, a childcare, a maternal/child clinic, a considerably large library, a fire station, several clinics/dentists, the expansive & scenic Kooringal Golf Course, Hobsons Bay City Council Chamber, several churches, numerous sports clubs, boat pier, etc. Hence, Altona has no lack of infrastructure and facilities.
 
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Williamstown is on a peninsula with water on all three sides and no through traffic. Its history, historical buildings and quiet little residential lanes shape its character. It has the best cafe strip in the west.

Not many people know that Williamstown has one of the best postcard views of Melbourne city. Together with the Westgate Bridge in the background and yachts dotting the bay, the scenery is stunning!

I was actually quite surprised that many of my colleagues have not heard of Williamstown or know where it is located.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/neil1965/2310024478/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/jimdimo/2813294579/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/deanmelbourne/2467195125/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/sharon_lea/1136699295/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/scharks/2430656391/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/10659687@N03/3734254850/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/adchang888/2525738053/in/set-72157604390684555/









 
I always thought the West was cheaper due to the industry and it's associated drawbacks (pollution, heavy traffic etc). Also a degree of snobbishness regarding the inhabitants who'd been brought over from other climes to work those industries.
Similarly to the way that Dandenong area was cheap although theoretically being well placed overall.
Assuming that the price paid over land and house value is 'desirability', perhaps West is/was the workers, East the managers, North, workers and managers, South retirees and workers - and they buy as they can afford.
That's a wild guess!!
 
In general terms, when I lived in London in 2005 it was the West that was more desirable than the East. Suburbs like Earls Court, Hammersmith and Fulham were more desirable to live in than Mile End, West Ham and some of the other suburbs in the East (however they were undergoing some urban renewal in time for the Olympics and were slowly becoming "trendy" places to live so things may have changed.

Jamie
 
In general terms, when I lived in London in 2005 it was the West that was more desirable than the East.

With London gloomy weather, there is barely any sun so people wouldn't have to squint when they drive from/to work if they live in West! :p

Seriously, I am a big believer of proximity to CBD. People's perception and demographic change over time, proximity to CBD and water (beach and river) tend to be static in our lifetime.
 
People's perception and demographic change over time, proximity to CBD and water (beach and river) tend to be static in our lifetime.

I'm not sure if one can assume preferences are static.

For example:

* 40 or so years ago the inner suburbs were regarded as dirty and noisy industrial areas full of 'new Australians' (a bit like central Footscray now?). The middle classes bought further out. Retail investment also shifted from the CBD and inner suburbs to new centres such as Northland and Chadstone.

* Ditto for the water. A generation ago some waterside areas were mosquito ridden or had stinking algae. And in some cases houses a bit back from the beach were favoured over those on the (windy) waterfront.
 
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