Turn up at just about any social event – be it after-work drinks, the Saturday BBQ or even a 5-year-old’s birthday party – and the conversation will inevitably turn to the property market.

Is it a buyer’s or seller’s market? Where are the hot suburbs in Melbourne? Has the property market hit rock bottom? Just about everyone has an opinion about where the property market is headed and whether now is a good time to buy.

In reality, there is no one right time to buy. There are a lot of factors that go into deciding whether it’s time to put down a deposit and while the market cycle is a factor, it also comes down to your circumstances and goals.

What about market conditions?

Certainly, interest rates are at their lowest on record, with many banks offering mortgage rates below 4 per cent. This offers more opportunity to homeowners and investors to buy while still enjoying a decent lifestyle, or even positively gearing your investment.

And while it’s impossible to truly predict what will happen to home prices, there are a few factors to consider if ownership is on the cards in the near future.

Melbourne’s housing market has experienced a dip in the past 18 months, although recent activity indicates an uptick in prices. The underlying market conditions are strong and analysts suggest the drop was a necessary, and inevitable, market correction after the fast growth in the major capital cities.

And while it’s important to look at what’s happening in Melbourne as a whole, there is not just one property market. What’s happening in Hawthorn is different from Heidelberg West, for example.

Buy northern suburbs Melbourne - View Bank Homes

Homeowners and investors are still looking for good value property within commuting distance from the city, and many are turning to the northern suburbs of Melbourne for affordability and lifestyle.

Melbourne’s north offers proximity to the city via established train lines for commuters. But living just a little further out than the congestion of the inner north also means plenty of wide-open spaces.

An many of the northern suburbs have benefited from increased investment in public spaces and amenities. Heidelberg West, for example, has seen a $6 million investment in the local primary school. And the Westfield shopping centre in South Morang has been upgraded and now features a cinema complex, restaurants and even more facilities.

Find out more about living in South Morang in our suburb profile.

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So how do I know if it’s a good time to buy?

The reality is that it’s impossible to predict the best time to buy – that’s something only time will tell. But if you’re looking for a lifestyle change or new investment; have run the numbers; and have found a quality property designed to last then now could be a good time to buy.

What you buy can make all the difference. If you’re buying to live, choose a home that offers flexibility as your family grows and needs change. Open-plan living provides flexible living spaces that can adapt as your life does.

For investors, the key is to choose properties that are popular with renters, say professional couples and young families. New, quality constructed properties offer certainty in terms of minimal repairs and updates.

View Bank Homes has been building homes in the northern suburbs of Melbourne for 30 years. We’ve seen the area develop and grow, and believe it will only get better. Speak with us about the upcoming opportunities and to find out more about living northside.

For more information on how you can make the move to a better lifestyle in Melbourne’s northern suburbs, download our free guide to everything you need to know before buying to live or invest.