Forde: Did you know one of Canberra’s greenest suburbs is in Gungahlin?
Chapman: A suburb of renewal and luxury in Canberra’s west
Macarthur: Is this suburb Tuggeranong’s best-kept secret?
While the convenience of inner north living typically comes with a price tag to match, there are a few suburbs that offer a (relatively) affordable foothold into the sought after district.
Watson is the only suburb in the inner north with a median house price below the Canberra-wide median.
According to Allhomes, Watson’s median house price in 2016 was $667,000, just under the $684,395 Canberra median.
The suburb record was smashed in 2016 when 9 Roma Mitchell Crescent sold at auction for $1,141,000. It is one of just two houses in the suburb to sell for more than $1 million.
However, Luton Properties Dickson agents Michael and Jenny McReynolds, who sold the record-breaking house, believe more seven-figure sales are on the way.
“People are doing knockdown-rebuilds, the recent Mr Fluffy sales mean new homes will be going up so you will have more million-dollar-plus homes,” Mrs McReynolds says.
“Watson has definitely gained momentum.”
The suburb sits on the north-eastern periphery of the inner north, six kilometres from the city centre, a commute soon to be made smoother by stage one of the light rail.
It’s also in the throes of a renaissance with young families moving back to Watson in droves.
Majura Primary School, Rosary Primary School and nearby Dickson College are among the draw cards for families. The suburb is also home to the n Catholic University.
Watson’s green space, its position at the foothills of Mount Majura combined with a great local shopping centre offer residents the best of both worlds.
There are a handful of modern eateries including the Cherryripe Brasserie, the Knox and My Friend Vietnamese. Dickson’s restaurant precinct is also within easy reach.
Artists, particularly those with a flair for ceramics, will also feel right at home in Watson. The Watson Arts Centre is home to the Canberra Potters’ Society and an exhibition space.
Units prices compare favourably with the Canberra-wide figures. Watson’s 2016 median unit price was $447,500, which is higher than the Canberra median of $413,697.
However, that figure is bolstered by several large townhouse sales and apartments can still be snapped up for less than $300,000.
New developments in Watson will stretch the suburb’s residential offerings towards the NSW border.
A 320-home “village” of townhouses and units is slated for the 4.4-hectare site currently occupied by Southern Cross Ten Austereo.
The Canberra Carotel is moving to an adjoining block to make way for Mt Majura Estate, a new development consisting of terrace townhouses and more than 100 single residential blocks.
Watson sometimes flies under the inner north radar while Braddon, Ainslie and Dickson steal the inner north spotlight.
But as Canberra continues its expanse to the north and the light rail is on track to pass through Watson, this unassuming suburb is certainly one to watch.