Infocus – Williamstown 3016

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Welcome to Williamstown. Long heralded as one of Melbourne’s most picturesque waterfront suburbs, Williamstown finds itself nestled in Melbourne’s otherwise somewhat industrial west, some 9 kilometres from the CBD via the Westgate Bridge. Altona neighbours Williamstown to the west and Spotswood to the north.

Parallel to the bay, you’ll find Williamstown’s charming shopping strip, Nelson Place. Known for its quaint cafes, boutique shops and historic pubs and restaurants, weekends can get very busy here indeed: locals head northbound to Ferguson Street or Douglas Parade – a little more accessible for day-to-day errands and shopping.

Locals are well connected: bus and train routes operate from high street shopping strips and Williamstown, Williamstown Beach and North Williamstown stations to the CBD via Yarraville and South Kensington. New highway upgrades offer increased ease of access to regional Victoria – Ballarat, Daylesford and Bendigo are but an hour’s drive away.

Primary schools to consider include St. Mary’s, Williamstown, and Williamstown North and Bayside Secondary College. Local high schools of note include Williamstown High School and Westbourne Grammar Junior School.

Local recreational areas abound in the City of Hobson’s Bay: Williamstown Botanic Gardens and Williamstown Beach provide ample outdoor entertainment for weekend visitors, tourists and locals alike.

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Williamstown’s rich maritime history presents charmingly along The Strand in its bluestone buildings and Victorian terraces, its seaside appeal splashed casually throughout the suburb by way of bright ‘n’beachy weatherboards. Luxe modernist apartments dot the sidestreets intermittedly with the Melburnian mid-century flat staple.

If you live in Williamstown, there’s a good chance (64%) you call a separate house home. A fifth of locals live in semi-detached houses, and a relatively low percentage are living loftily in apartments (14.9%).

Almost 40% of locals own their homes outright, the median price sitting at $958,709 for a house or $464,049 for a unit. Following close behind are the 33.7% who are working off their mortgages. In 2013, 200 houses and 54 units sold in Williamstown, taking around 70 and 45 days respectively to sell once listed on the market.

In Williamstown, just over a quarter of locals rent, a median price being $320 per week for a unit and $837 for a house.

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Waltz through Williamstown and you’re sure to stumble across a ‘typical’ local. Of its (approximately) 13,203 citizens, Williamstown’s median age comes in at 40 years – there’s a high chance they’re employed full-time in the education sector (just under 5%), healthcare or are otherwise professionals/in management. Given the dining strips nearby, it’s no surprise that many hospitality and customer service workers live nearby, too.

The 45- 54 age bracket comprises just under 20% of the population, followed by the 35-44 year-olds at 15.4%.  Watch out for the prams (and picnic umbrellas) as you wander down the family-friendly high streets: some 50% of couples in Williamstown have kids.