Well, punks, it’s happened. Hobart has its first million dollar suburb, and that suburb is (surprise, surprise) former domain of immigrants, artists, students, dockworkers, sex workers* Battery Point (all of whom, I’m sure, would still be living there in some variation).
Same old same old, these people made the spot interesting, everyone wanted to move there.
Graphic: The Mercury, 19.11.16
And, to get real, Battery Point is a suburb that doesn’t have a peer in other Australian cities. I’ve tried to find the Sydney and Melbourne equivalents, and I come up short.
Battery Point is a completely uniquely preserved little story book suburb, the likes of which you won’t have seen outside an English period drama. It’s all little cottages, vast Victorian mansions and water views. There’ll be the occasional 1950s brick veneer mansion that slipped through the eagle eyes of the Battery Point Community Association, but mostly, especially at night when the bakers at Jackman & McRoss are hard at work, you feel like you’re wandering around a film set.
This is good, and this is bad. Battery Point is seconds away from the Salamanca Markets and a quick walk into town, but there’s an air of it not being quite real. That Hampden Road, the main drag of Battery Point, isn’t actually there for residents, it’s there for tourists.
It’s often the place many new Hobartians move to, falling in love with the history of the place and its proximity to the CBD, but after a while move beyond to other suburban enclaves.
In the 7 months I lived in a tiny flat in Battery Point, I didn’t really find a cafe I felt comfortable in, nor a restaurant I became obsessed with. That might have been me though, to be fair, as my first few months in Hobart were pretty dark-moment-of-the-soul-ish.
All of that said, I met some wonderful people at the dog park and if I did move back into the city it would be with my eyes on Battery Point or North Hobart as you don’t seem to be able to lose in terms of investment, and they’re both such damn convenient suburbs.
So, guess what, I’ve found you three properties there that won’t cost you a million dollars. Okay, one might, but more about that in a moment.
4/22 Runnymede Street, Battery Point
1 bedroom, 1 bathroom
This bright and airy little flat would be a cracking investment for a number of reasons. It’s within spitting distance of Salamanca Markets and there’s a small alley between this flat and the majestic Princes Park. It’s an ideal investment to rent to a single or couple, or try your luck as an AirBnB (although you might run into problems with this, as actual council-approved B&Bs in Battery Point are serious businesses). Also, you can’t see from this photo, but the end of the road runs into the completely charming Arthur’s Circus, which means this place is location central in Battery Point terms.
39 South Street, Battery Point
3 bedroom, 1 bathroom
In Sydney/Melbourne terms, this is obviously a bargain, but in wider Hobart terms, it’s outrageous. Still, the architects behind the reno of this tiny cottage have obviously done some super things with their renovations. It’s small, modern and neat and really gives that Battery Point experience. To be honest, if I were made of money, it’s the kind of place I’d get as my Hobart guest house. Tourists, friends would love the experience, although to live in it longer as anything but a single person or couple might test you a little.
99 Hampden Road, Battery Point
5 bedroom, 2 bathroom
$800,000+ (yeah right)
This is a great buy, no matter what the angle. It will go for much more than $800K, I suspect (unless the building inspector finds a shit load of termites or something), but this is the kind of property that with a good reno could be pretty much the dream family home or a ridiculously beautiful B&B. It’s also that wonderful Hobart unicorn – an old beautiful house with two bathrooms.
It’s on the main drag of Battery Point, Hampden Road, which is still by no means a busy street, traffic wise. If you’re in the front room, you might be kept awake by an errant dog walker in the evenings, but that’s about all.
I love this place, and if I had a partner who I intended to procreate and acquire more dogs with, I’d be going in hard for this place.
*this information came to me via Twitter and you know about Twitter, everything there is true as.