Australia’s busiest property markets revealed in two surprising Melbourne suburbs


According to data from, more homes changed hands in Craigieburn (896) and Pakenham (924) than in any other Australian postcode in 2019.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, between July 1 – September 30, 2019, the largest number of first home buyer grant applications across Victoria also came from the Craigieburn postcode.

Why is this such a popular area to buy?

Craigieburn is located 28km north of Melbourne, a 30-minute drive or 43-minute train ride to the city centre, and just a 15-minute drive from the Melbourne Airport.

A major employment and economic hub, the Melbourne Airport contributes $7 billion to the economy each year and caters to over 38.8 million passengers per annum. These figures are expected to grow to $12 billion and 67.8 million passengers each year by 2038.

These numbers of course reflect figures prior to COVID-19, however it is expected the economy activity produced by the airport will bounce back quickly as domestic travel resumes in the short term, with a substantial 75.1% of flights into and out of the Melbourne airport being domestic. By 2038, it is expected employment numbers will have grown to 35,000 from 20,600 last year.

Adjacent to the airport is the Melbourne Airport Business Park, the largest business park in the Southern Hemisphere. It stretches over 410 hectares of land, and includes freight and logistic tenants including Toll, TNT Express, DHL Express and Geodis.

The Hume City Council area, where Craigieburn and the Airport are both located, will also house two new communities with substantial employment hubs. These are located 10 minutes north of Craigieburn, at Merrifield and Cloverton. The Merrifield Business Park will on completion contain 415 hectares of industrial land, and, according to Stockland, the Cloverton Town Centre will create up to 7,000 jobs, and an impressive 80,000m2 of retail space.

Hume City Council has also enjoyed strong population growth. Melbourne has for some time surpassed Sydney as the fastest-growing city in Australia; Hume City has outperformed Greater Melbourne as whole.

The suburb of Craigieburn also had rapid population growth, which slowed slightly since 2017 off the back of skyrocketing house prices, however is still very strong at over 4%, well above the state and national growth rates. Its population has tripled in a very short 17-year period.

Over the last 20 years, capital growth in Craigieburn has been 7.2% per annum – meaning property values have doubled every 10 years – another sign of its growing popularity.

The Craigieburn property market is predominantly comprised of young families looking for their first or second home. Interestingly, for investors – the vacancy rate has not been impacted by COVID-19 still sitting at a low 1.8% in April, showing the strong appeal of the area, particularly by owner occupiers.

With a great location, plenty of employment opportunities, relatively affordable property prices and desirable community, we expect Craigieburn to continue to attract young families, and particularly first home buyers.

Introducing Eastside – Highland Estate

Ironfish’s latest opportunity in Craigieburn lies within Eastside, an infill townhouse development right in the heart of the action of the impressive Highlands Estate. Eastside takes advantage of all of Craigieburn’s many conveniences – just a 5-minute drive from Craigieburn’s train station, and within walking distance of an incredibly array of amenity including the substantial Craigieburn Central shopping centre, the Craigieburn Library, Medical Centre, Splash Aquatic Centre and the Spring Athletics Centre.

craigieburn property market

Investors will also note that rental returns in Craigieburn and the surrounding area currently average 3.9% for houses, while existing townhouses within the Eastside development are returning a strong 4.82% average yield for Ironfish investors already within the estate. This makes Eastside townhouses much easier to hold from a cashflow perspective compared houses in the local area – especially at a time when interest rates are sitting under 3%.

Offering every modern-day convenience at your doorstep, along with a 20-year history of strong capital growth, current low vacancy, and strong yields, it is easy to understand the appeal of Eastside.

“Craigieburn is a suburb we have been involved in for a number of years now. The growth we have seen across the market is reflective of the appeal of the area, particularly for the owner occupier market. Being only 28km from the Melbourne CBD yet being able to secure a brand-new townhouse starting from $415,000 is really quite an attractive proposition. We are pleased to be able to present to our investors the final stage of this unique Eastside estate” said Ironfish Head of Property, William Mitchell.

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