For the fifth year running, Melbourne has been named the world’s most liveable city. Rating the areas of stability, healthcare, culture and environment, education and infrastructure The Economist Intelligence Unit’s Global Liveability Ranking gave Melbourne a near perfect score of 97.5 out of a possible 100.
“Liveable cities are the result of smart planning and design. Safety, sustainability and smart growth have been the keys to Melbourne’s liveability and prosperity. Providing transport and infrastructure have been major elements in smart growth,” says Melbourne Lord Mayor Robert Doyle.
This liveability has seen Melbourne experience steady growth in people actually residing in the CBD, with almost 30,000 now living in the city itself. “There’s no doubt Melbourne has recorded strong population growth over the last couple of years,” says Domain Group senior economist Andrew Wilson.
While he says apartment demand hasn’t quite matched supply in the CBD, Melbourne’s neighbouring suburbs are far more promising options. “I’m very positive about fringe suburban, inner suburban apartment developments, I think they’ll continue to find buyers,” says Wilson.
Proximity to the city, plus a “neighbourhood feel” combined with the affordability advantage apartments offer over traditional houses, is creating high demand for inner-city places like Collingwood, he says. “It’s not just from owner-occupiers. Where there’s high demand, you’ll get higher rental and strong investment interest.”
Historically, it was home to industry and workmen cottages from the mid-1800s and in more recent history, up to the 1970s, waves of Irish, Greek, Italian and Vietnamese migrants. These days Collingwood is a hipster hot spot. A destination for foodies and design aficionados, the average age of the population is 20-39 years old with 67 per cent of them renting. City of Yarra data forecasts a 36.7 per cent increase in population of working age people over the next decade.
One option for buyers is the Trilby development. Located at 466-482 Smith Street, right at the border between Collingwood and Clifton Hill, Trilby will be a nine-level building consisting of 106 apartments.
Developed by Spec Property with architecture by Inhabit Design, the project will offer a variety of dwelling types. Nineteen “Loft” apartments will be over two levels with private outdoor balconies and offer one-, two- or three-bedroom accommodation; “Terrace” apartments will be up to 72 square metres and the “Sky-Homes”, up on levels eight and nine, will be up to 95 square metres and offer views of the city, north eastern suburbs and Dandenong Ranges.
Each apartment will come with storage cages, bicycle storage and there will be undercover car parking. At street level, there will be cafe and retail and up the very top, a residents’ rooftop lounge. The design, says Trilby lead architect Ariel Lopez, is a nod to the manufacturing heritage of the area. “The industrial brick facade of the building informed the identity of the development. I’m really interested in creating a visual language respectful to the street and the individual experiences of those living in the building. We understand modern apartment living and so to extend our residents’ living spaces, incorporated a rooftop garden retreat with a fully equipped kitchen, library, bar and teppanyaki grill. This is modern living in the world’s most liveable city,” he says.