Brighton

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Located 11km South East of Melbourne’s CBD with a population of 20,651 (2006 census) Brighton is home to some of Melbourne’s most wealthy residents – it’s an interesting paradox that Henry Dendy who initially purchased the land in 1840 with a view to subdividing the area into allotments and selling it to the rising population – initially failed in his quest.   Due to poor timing in lieu of the developing financial depression, the scheme didn’t take off, and Henry subsequently died a pauper with little more in remembrance to his name than ‘Dendy Street’ which spans directly across the centre of Brighton from the Nepean Highway in the east to the Esplanard on the western boarder, and the ‘Dendy Street Beach’. However anyone who owns a block of land in Brighton today is unlikely to die a pauper.

The central area of Brighton known as Middle Brighton, has a distinct circular shaped street layout which stands out amidst the grid like patterns in surrounding suburbs.  After the depression it didn’t take long for Brighton’s unique bayside appeal and large allotments of land to attract wealthy residents and it quickly became the third most populated area in Melbourne.  Properties along the Esplanard overlooking the bay rapidly rose in value.  The Elite of Melbourne’s most affluent residents quickly laid claim to the emerging bay side mansions at the end of the 19th Century, and it was probably around this time that the first of Brighton’s famous bathing boxes were built – (many of which now populate Dendy St Beach.) Painted different colours, the quaint little  house shaped boxed dwellings are one of the dominant tourist attractions of Brighton and still remain in high demand.  Sales are restricted to bayside residents with prices fetching in excess of $200,000 for the privilege of owning a piece of Brighton History.

Other highlights of Brighton include ‘Middle Brighton Sea Baths’ – an outdoor zoned area of the beach set aside for swimming.  The baths attract residents year round – whatever the weather!

Brighton Yacht club and pier offer facilities for fishing, and attract walkers and joggers with areas set aside to sit and enjoy the impressive views of the city skyline.

Most residents in Brighton are employed in the finance, property, and business services with over 50% managers, professionals, and administrators, therefore houses come with a hefty price-tag. Amenities are good – Brighton has three train stations (Brighton Beach, Middle Brighton, and North Brighton), and one of the best shopping strips in Melbourne located on Church St, offering boutique retail outlets, popular restaurants, cafes, numerous fashion stores all with attractive street façades to enhance the shopping experience.

Most homes are owner occupied and many streets are restricted from development with heritage overlays.  All in all Brighton is reserved for the wealthy with prices rising into the millions for homes close to the bay. However if you’re able to get a foothold into this location, the investment will pay good dividends in the long term.

Brighton really is a beautiful suburb, however considering the high price of land, and  property in the best streets tightly held with a low turnover of sales, it’s no surprise that the area is one where residents traditionally keep themselves to themselves. Owning property in Brighton is more about status than emitting a neighbourly atmosphere.


Amenities:

Schools:

  • Brighton Grammar School,
  • Brighton Secondary College,
  • Firbank Girls’ Grammar School,
  • Haileybury’s Castlefield campus,
  • St Leonard’s College,
  • Xavier College’s Kostka Hall junior campus,
  • Star of the Sea College.

Transport –

3 train stations – Brighton Beach, Middle Brighton, and North Brighton.

Shopping –

The main shopping strip is located on Church St – reputed as one of the best shopping strips in Melbourne, there are over 240 outlets offering a mix of Fashion, restaurants, cafes, boutique shops, and various other businesses designed to fit in with the ‘up-market’ culture of the suburb.


House Styles:

Brighton is predominately made up of detached homes on blocks of land roughly 600 sqm +. Homes style varies from post war, to grand period designs reminiscent of the Victorian and Edwardian eras. Newer homes are also common and more often than not reflect the affluent nature of the suburb with an element of ‘McMansion’ about them. Town houses – generally high speck designs – accommodate those looking for luxury over land. Due to the ageing demographic, down-sizer properties are popular – typically villa units, or half block sub-divisions. Flats and apartment blocks can be found closer to the commercial zones, however they are not a common feature of the Brighton landscape.


Recent Sales:

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