Ask any Melburnian what they love about their city and the answers will vary.
A foodie haven rich in the arts and culture and coined “the sporting capital of Australia”, the city of Melbourne’s diversity and its proximity to popular destinations such as Surf Coast, Mornington Peninsula, and the Yarra Valley make it a place over five million people proudly call home.
So where are the top five locations to live in a luxury apartment or townhome in Melbourne? Apartments & Developments spoke to a property expert to find out.
Melbourne: as famous for its brunch and lunch spots; theatres; immaculate gardens and premium retail stores as it is for its four seasons in one day.
As director of Marshall White Projects, Leonard Teplin has access to some of the finest off-the-plan and established properties in Melbourne and is well-versed in the wants and needs of luxury apartment and townhome buyers in the city. So what is it about Melbourne that makes it a sought-after location for luxury living?
“Residents of Melbourne enjoy an abundance of options,” Leonard explains.
“Its proximity to convenient transportation, essential retail, and world-renowned schools all within walking distance sets it apart, plus the fact the city is known for its green, clean, and safe environment — a feature often taken for granted.
“The offerings maintain a consistently high standard, constantly evolving to incorporate new design trends and technological advances.
“This continual innovation aims to enhance the quality of life for the city's occupants.”
Leonard’s Top 5 List of Luxury Apartment Living
Possessing a wealth of knowledge in both aiding developers sell their projects and helping purchasers buy them, we asked Leonard to give us his top five luxury developments in Melbourne – and what makes them no-brainers.
1. Pier 103: 103 Beach Street, Port Melbourne
According to Leonard, it’s the rich history of the area coupled with the building’s aspect that makes Pier 103 special.
“The views are incredible!” Leonard said.
“For nearly a century, the pier has been the initial sight for ships and new migrants arriving in Melbourne.
“It stands as an iconic location, celebrated for offering the finest views of both the bay and the city.”
2. Society, Armadale: 79-83 Wattletree Road, Armadale
Leonard cites ‘convenience’ as the drawcard for Society, believing the apartment development elevates the standard of living by introducing unprecedented features including a first-of-its-kind concierge service in the area.
“The keyless entry system is implemented throughout, with parcel lockers for seamless food deliveries, a private dining room, EV chargers, and exclusive private garages,” he said.
“Designed by Jack Merlo, bespoke pools enhance each garden residence, contributing to the unique offerings.
“Furthermore, the apartments boast an average size that is 10 square metres larger than the typical home, setting a new benchmark in residential offerings.”
3. Malvern Gardens: 1287-1295 High Street, Malvern
Malvern is renowned for its tree-lined streets, chic cafes, and pristine parklands - and now also for the 24-apartment development, Malvern Gardens.
Leonard believes Malvern Gardens represents timeless beauty.
“Nearly 2,500 flowers and plants were hand-selected by landscape architect Jack Merlo to ensure low-maintenance, 'lock up and leave' elegance,” Leonard said.
Add to that spacious floorplans with generous living zones; permeable indoor-outdoor areas, and timeless materials and you have yourself a dream residence.
“Roulston, Buxton Group, Ewert Leaf, and Jack Merlo have outdone themselves to present this series of elegant residences in the heart of Malvern,” Leonard said.
4. Lynden Park: 207 Highfield Road, Camberwell
North-facing living is epitomised in Camberwell’s Lynden Park residences, designed by architect Gonzalo Ascui from Ascui & Co – one of many reasons this development makes Leonard’s top five list.
“These luxury family homes are situated opposite Lynden Park and represent timeless design,” Leonard said.
“They’re also future-proofed for generations to come, incorporating a suite of sustainability accreditations such as solar panels, EV chargers, double glazing, and rainwater collection.
“Lynden Park is exquisite and intelligent elegance.”
5. Mercer Road: 30 Mercer Road, Armadale
Lastly on Leonard’s list is a boutique townhome development in Melbourne’s picture-perfect Armadale – home to world-class shopping strip, High Street.
“Mercer Road is the place that balances modern design with timeless sophistication,” Leonard explains.
“Designed by well-renowned Conrad Architects, each home includes a personal lift, premium Gaggenau appliances, natural marble stone features and private cellars.
“The townhomes are also future-proofed, granting the development a coveted 6.5 Star NatHERS rating.
“Offering just eight residences, this development is truly exclusive, boutique, and private – all in a sought-after postcode.”
Luxury apartment trends
Home deliveries, electric vehicles, statutory energy changes, and visiting tradesmen have all contributed to the evolution of intelligent design trends, Leonard believes, and will continue to be the way of the future.
“The demand for future-proofing homes remains strong, particularly those equipped with induction cooking and EV chargers,” Leonard explains.
“Interestingly, many potential buyers are discovering most apartment buildings lack sufficient power supply to support government changes from 1 January 2024.
“With the impending end of petrol-powered vehicles by the end of the decade and a state requirement that all new buildings are electric, these buildings could face obsolescence or require costly upgrades, often running into hundreds of thousands - if not millions - of dollars, to provide this seemingly simple service.
“Buyers now also expect added conveniences like storage lockers for secure home deliveries, accommodating everything from basic groceries to online shopping, including perishables like ice cream.
“Additionally, digital locks have gained popularity, stemming from the frustration of waiting for service technicians and tradesmen, which often necessitate hours of waiting: with digital locks, a one-time key can be provided to service personnel for hassle-free access.”
And what about the future?
“Looking ahead to the coming year, we anticipate further technological advancements and legislative changes, especially with the shift towards all-new homes being electric,” Leonard said.
“This is expected to influence individuals' lifestyle choices, and we anticipate buyers will be willing to invest more in new housing to avoid outdated technology and potential impacts on their future resale value.
“Savvy buyers recognise that more than two million individuals are expected to enter Australia over the next couple of years, and the production of new homes simply isn't keeping pace with this demand.”
Helping sellers meet demand
With 10 years of experience in helping developers sell their off-the-plan projects and homebuyers purchase them, Marshall White Projects uses data to guide both buyers and sellers.
“One of the more important services we provide is to educate sellers to best understand buyer behaviour,” Leonard said.
“We carefully look at the data on what people are searching for when it comes to products and prices online.
“This helps us understand how the market is behaving, giving our clients useful insights to identify unique niches and gaining a competitive advantage.
“Subsequently, these data sets are applied to help clients pinpoint promising new sites.
“We also pay attention to what's happening right now by meeting over 3000 buyers every year.
“This crucial information is seamlessly conveyed to our developers and design teams, empowering them to create designs that not only align with current trends but also cater to the specific preferences and popular requirements of buyers.”