Is buying in this small Melbourne suburb better than the Peninsula?

Luxury holiday-house hunters are looking closer to Melbourne for their dream getaways and discovering exceptional beaches and properties with direct waterfront access less than 50 kilometres from the CBD.

Prospective purchasers who may have traditionally bought in Portsea and Sorrento are citing traffic and tourism chaos among the reasons for ditching the traditional high-end destinations in favour of uninterrupted views and beach access at a fraction of the price.

73 Nepean Highway, Aspendale VIC 3195

Aspendale is emerging as the new holiday house hotspot, and although prices are far from accessible to the average Aussie home buyer, they are more reasonable than many of the 500 homes boasting beach access from Portsea to Melbourne.

It’s also possible to purchase properties off the golden mile that are more affordable, but still offer the benefits of a beautiful lifestyle.

Agent Garry Donovan, from Belle Property Mentone, says many are unaware of Aspendale’s stunning beaches and easy access to the city.

“The beaches are absolutely amazing – no rocks, no seaweed, beautiful white sand, clear waters,” he says. “The best beaches I’ve ever seen. A lot of people drive down Nepean Highway and don’t know it’s out there.

It is rare for a listing like 73 Nepean Highway Aspendale. Photo: Belle Property

“About 900 metres of this particular area is the most tightly held. There are no car parks, no lifesaving clubs, no beach boxes, and the fortunate thing for these properties is the public can’t really access the beach – they’re away from side streets.

“Even on a 30 or 40-degree day, you go onto that beach, and you’ll see four or five people. It’s very private.”

The latest luxury home to hit the Aspendale market, at 73 Nepean Highway, is tipped to eclipse the previous $6.01 million price benchmark set in 2017. It’s expected to attract interest at $8.5 million to $8.95 million.

The house features three living rooms, study, 4.5 bathrooms, four-car garage, pool and spa, floodlit Modgrass tennis court and three al fresco areas. But the piece de resistance is its absolute water frontage, with spectacular views and direct beach access.

Exceptional views from the living spaces. Photo: Belle Property

“This is a rare opportunity to own this highway-to-beach classic family home on one of the last remaining absolute beachfront properties, just 45 minutes from the CBD,” Donovan says. “Why pack up and travel to the peninsula when you can have a fabulous family beachfront home 365 days of the year to walk the dog, kayak, paddle or windsurf?”

He says there is an increasing breed of buyers from inner Melbourne looking to Aspendale and its surroundings for lifestyle properties as second residences.

“A lot of people who used to go down to Portsea and Sorrento, are not going there anymore. They’re coming to these locations,” Donovan says. “In fact, a lot of these people are buying the properties or secondary properties as holiday homes. That wasn’t the case five years ago.”

The interest in Aspendale as a holiday hotspot is not new. It was once a haven for some of Australia’s most prominent artists.

French-born Australian artist Mirka Mora and her art dealer and restaurateur husband Georges had a beach house in Aspendale in the 1960s, famously hosting artists such Albert Tucker and Sidney Nolan.

Art patrons John and Sunday Reed had a neighbouring home in the Aspendale dunes.

Mirka and Georges’ son, gallery owner William Mora, fondly recalls summer holidays spent in the family beach house.

“We always had big cook-offs on big tables with lots of people at either ours or the Reeds’ house,” he says.

“To have a house where you could step onto the beach was wonderful. It was considered exotic, even though it was quite suburban.”

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