Melbourne home buyers are now leaning towards large four-bedroom homes and medium-to-large land allotments, as evidenced by the recent strong auction clearance rates. Just last Saturday, the Domain Group posted a clearance rate of 76 per cent from 566 reported auction results.

Properties with four or more bedrooms have always attracted a premium in areas within 12 kilometres of the CBD. There is also a shortage of family accommodation in inner Melbourne because fewer young professionals are moving out when they start having children.

"People don't want to leave anymore," said Craig Shearn of Jellis Craig Group. "They are prepared to put up with the travel and the public transport commuting if kids need to go to school in Ivanhoe or the eastern suburbs – they still want to stay put."

According to buyer advocate Paul Osborne, more families are choosing properties within the inner ring, as they believe cheap home loans and a stable employment scene make it an ideal time to upgrade. They are also more prepared to consider smaller land sizes. They are looking at areas like Princess Hill or Fitzroy North and are ready to have a small backyard if a park was nearby.

"Families are trying to get as close as they can to the city and they are more open to smaller land sizes," Osborne said.

With 765 auctions scheduled for next weekend, people are looking for properties that fall between $1.5 million and $2.5 million in the inner city. On the other hand, properties that offer extra land are more in demand in Melbourne's west and south.

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