What is the ideal city to live in? According to the latest report by the Economist Intelligence Unit, Melbourne is the world's most liveable city, edging Vancouver out of top spot for the first time in 10 years.
Australia fared well in the survey of 140 cities globally. Sydney is in sixth place, while Perth and Adelaide are joint eighth. 'Australia, with a low population density and relatively low crime rates, continues to supply some of the world's most liveable cities,' says Economist Intelligence Unit survey editor Jon Copestake. 'Despite the rising cost of living driven by the strong Australian dollar, these cities offer a range of factors to make them highly attractive.'
Melbourne's property prices fell 2.7 per cent over three months to July. After rising 29 per cent in 2009 and 2010, RP Data research director Tim Lawless says Melbourne homes have fallen 5.3 per cent this year. The present weakness in housing market conditions is related to the anxiety consumers have about their future finances, Lawless says. He notes this opens up 'some attractive investment opportunities for prospective buyers'.
Enzo Raimondo, CEO, Real Estate Institute of Victoria, says: 'The last 20 years have shown that investment in Melbourne property has provided better returns than the stock market, that will provide further comfort to property investors.'
For the green-conscious, Convesso, fronting Melbourne's own Victoria Harbour, is Australia's first luxury high-rise tower to receive a 4-star Green Star environmental rating. Located on prime water frontage, its 220 residences comprise 17 waterfront homes, 117 tower apartments, 77 cityside apartments and nine penthouses. Prices range from A$465,000 (HK$3.84 million) to more than A$5 million.
Melbourne is also famous for its parkland and, for buyers considering a Melbourne investment right now, the leafy greenery of Madison at Upper West Side, a stylish new apartment project in the central business district represented by Colliers, may appeal.
Four separate towers, rising from 32 to 49 storeys on the Spencer/Lonsdale/Little Bourke Streets corner, are linked by a podium rooftop garden almost one acre in size. This green space will incorporate parkland, trees, vegetable gardens, recreational areas, barbecue areas and a children's playground. One-bedroom prices start at A$344,000, and two-bedroom, two-bathroom designs from A$508,000.