Located 10km east of Melbourne’s CBD with a population of 15,312 (2006 Census). Balwyn is an affluent suburb renowned for its high end real estate prices and the prestigious Balwyn high school. Wide tree lined streets, large blocks of land, and grand McMansion style homes don the streets with abundant park land making up the landscape. Whitehorse Rd is the main east/west thoroughfare and cuts directly through the centre of Balwyn. Located on the intersection of Balwyn Rd and Whitehorse Rd is Balwyn shopping centre featuring a range of shops, restaurants, cinema complex, and various community services. A large number of residents in Balwyn are primarily employed in the finance and banking sectors and as a consequence house prices took a hit during the 2008 financial crisis as the banking and share market faltered forcing the need for quick sales. Balwyn High School is located in North Balwyn, however the school zone extends into Balwyn and property prices reflect competition from families who are required to live in the zone for enrolment. However the school is already at maximum capacity and with a large international student population, even a property in the zone may not guarantee a place in the school (the school zone). Although Balwyn is much loved by the residents, its also known as one of Melbourne’s most boring, uninspiring suburbs. An article in the AGE newspaper (2008) ‘Balwyn mauling’ sums it up nicely when it states “among all the suburbs of Marvellous Melbourne, Balwyn was just plain old boring.” . However it’s considered a safe suburb – quiet and private, and under continual gentrification, is now attracting a fairly large Asian proportion of Asian families who join together to afford the grander properties on offer.
Main Schools –
- Balwyn High School (North Balwyn)
- Deepdene State School
- Balwyn Primary School
- Fintona Girls School
- Belmore School
Transport – Closest train station is Canterbury – major tram routes and bus services operate along Whitehorse Rd
Shopping – Whitehorse Rd Shopping Strip (Balwyun shopping centre) located at the intersection of Whitehorse Rd and Balwyn Rd.
Balwyn contains a mixture of post war housing much of which has been replaced by luxurious mc-mansions similar to those found in Toorak. The suburb is largely owner occupied with approximately 54% owning their properties outright. A much smaller proportion rent and as such apartments and small villa units are not a prevalent feature. However they can be found around the shopping strip and transport hubs. Modern single and double story town residences are common, and usually designed to attract down-sizers.