Your guide to Perth’s most popular suburbs

Your guide to Perth’s most popular suburbs

Emma Norris - 13 Jul, 2021

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If you’re looking to invest in the earth, there’s no better place than Perth! While WA’s capital may be smaller and more isolated than Australia’s other capital city, it still has plenty to offer. This west coast gem is popular with those who want to live the laidback beach lifestyle, but don’t want to pay a premium for it. What it lacks in size and accessibility, it more than makes up for in liveability, friendly people and unbeatable value.

But, if going West is on your wish list, you may be wondering ‘where is the best place to buy in Perth.’ After all, for quite a small capital, Perth is still quite dispersed, with many different residential enclaves spread out across the city. To help you find the best place to base yourself, we’ve put together a guide to some of Perth’s most popular suburbs.

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Is it nice to live in Perth?

It’s often been said that if you find yourself in a relationship with someone from Perth, you’re going to end up moving to Perth. This is because locals know how unbeatable the lifestyle is.

Firstly, it gets more hours of sunshine per year than any other capital, allowing locals to take advantage of some of the most beautiful beaches in the country.

It’s not just about the surf and sand in Perth, though. It’s also known for its diverse neighbourhoods – from the historical port area of Fremantle or ‘Freo’ to the trendy Subiaco and riverside beauty of King’s Park. Other major selling points for Perth include low pollution, plentiful green spaces, a thriving job market and near-negligible crime levels.

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Which suburb is best to live in Perth?

In a report published by realestate.com.au, East Perth was named the most liveable suburb not only in Perth but all of Western Australia. This is due to its close proximity to the city (an 8-minute drive or 12 minutes by public transport), waterfront dining scene and impressive position on the Swan River. Here, the median house price is $913,000, compared to $570,000 for units.

That said, in Perth, there’s truly something for everybody and each of its suburbs has a very different feel. While there’s no hard and fast answer to the question “where is the best place to live in Perth?”, there are certain pockets of the city that are considered more liveable than others. Here are some of the popular suburbs in Perth that should be on your radar, due to their liveability, affordability and potential for future growth.

1. Fremantle

Affectionately known as ‘Freo’ to locals, this portside suburb is undoubtedly one of the most popular places to live in Perth. Located on the mouth of the Swan River, the rich maritime history in this area makes it a fascinating place to live. In this area, old meets new, with warehouse conversions becoming a trendy property option. While median property prices are on the higher side in Fremantle ($858,000 for a house and $520,000 for a unit), it’s a fairly safe place to put down roots if you can afford it — with THE already high demand increasing every year.

2. Melville

Despite being located only 11 km south of the CBD, this suburban area feels fairly self-contained. There’s an abundance of shops, cafes and restaurants within walking distance for locals to enjoy. The cluster of well-respected schools has also pushed demand in this family-friendly suburb. Properties are selling fast in this area, taking only an average of 7 days to go off-market in late 2020.

3. Rockingham

Located just 45 minutes south of Perth, this region offers some of Perth’s most spectacular natural scenery. From the sandy beaches to the environmental parks, it’s the perfect place to enjoy an outdoors lifestyle. Despite the beauty of this area, you can still find large blocks of land for relatively affordable prices, compared to its neighbours. Plus, it’s an area forecasted for substantial growth in the next year.

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4. Cottlesloe

Home to arguably Perth’s most famous beach, this upmarket area is a popular suburb to live in – particularly with young people. Here, you’ll find a mix of historic and super modern homes, all offering an enviable beachside lifestyle. Unsurprisingly, property prices in this idyllic area have been steadily on the rise, and show no sign of slowing down.

5. Forrestfield

For accessible prices with promising long-term growth, Forrestfield can’t be overlooked. Located 15 km southeast of the Perth CBD, this is a fairly quiet, suburban area. But, there’s still plenty on offer here, from a golf course and leisure centre to large residential estates. A planned train station is also set to make the suburb more accessible by linking to the city and airport. With a low median price of $380,000 and a rental yield of 4.99%, it’s a great choice for investors and first time home buyers alike.

6. Wiletton

If you’re open to investing in a fixer-upper, Willetton could be calling your name. Here, you’ll find an abundance of large, older properties with strong development potential. Located just 13 km south of the CBD, the area is seeing strong demand from both investors and owner-occupiers at the moment. It also happens to be home to some of the area’s best schools, which makes it a great family-friendly suburb, too.

7. Scarborough

Located just 12 km from the CBD, this coastal suburb offers the ideal mix of beach and city. With plenty of restaurants and cafes dotted along the foreshore and a cluster of great schools. it’s considered a great place for families. Here, you’ll find a combination of apartments and establishing housing, all with strong demand for tenants.

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8. Alkimos

If you’re willing to venture a little further from the CBD, this new development has plenty going for it. With a median house price of $400,000, Alkimos offers spacious properties and coastal living at a fraction of the price. With new infrastructure like a freeway and train lines planned for the area, demand in the area is likely to continue to soar.

9. Warnbro

This beachside locale could be considered Perth’s underdog suburb of the past year. Being located 46 km on the outskirts of the city, it’s affordable with a low median housing price of just $315,000. But, with one of the strongest rental yields in Perth, it offers one of the best returns on investment. With a 5% increase in demand in the area over the last 12 months, it seems that people are cottoning on to the potential, too.

10. Subiaco

This inner-city suburb truly has it all. From the boutiques and bars of Rokeby road to great transport and schools, it’s not hard to see why it’s one of Perth’s most sought-after postcodes. Subiaco has all the convenience of city living, but with a leafy, suburban feel. Demand in this area considers to hold strong year after year, but continued improvements to architecture mean it’s not at risk of feeling overcrowded.

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What are the safest suburbs in Perth?

If like 72% of Perth residents, safety is a top factor in choosing where to live, you’re in luck. Perth is widely considered one of the safest capital cities in Australia, with near-negligible crime levels. That said, like anywhere, certain areas are safer than others.

According to WA police data, the two safest neighbourhoods in Perth to live are Daglish and Lower Chittering, which both had only 14 incidents per 100 residents in 2020. This was followed by the affluent suburb of Dalkeith, which reported just 30 incidents last year.

Where should I not live in Perth?

Just as Perth has its safer suburbs, it also has its areas that are best avoided if this is a top priority for you. While the nightlife hub of Northbridge once topped the list as Perth’s most dangerous list, it seems crime levels have reduced here — perhaps due to reduced visitors during the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, Midvale holds the unenviable title of Perth’s most dangerous suburb, with the highest crime rate per 100 residents. This area is known for its high density of state housing.

What is the richest suburb in Perth?

Taking a walk around the western suburb of Dalkeith, you wouldn’t be surprised to hear that it is the most affluent suburb of Perth. Not only does it offer picturesque views of the Swan River on three sides, but its luxurious mansions are home to some of Australia’s wealthiest people, such as Gina Reinhart and Kerry Stokes. Here, the median house price is $2.28 million, and just 63 homes were sold in 2020.

The second richest suburb in Perth is Cottesloe, which is highly desirable for its beach lifestyle and proximity to Fremantle and the CBD. Here, the median house price sits just behind Dalkeith at $2.4 million.

Travel a little further along the coastline and you’ll find City Beach, Perth’s third most expensive suburb. Here, the name pretty much sums it up – it offers the best of both worlds. Not only is it in relatively close proximity to Perth’s city centre, but it also has some of the city’s most pristine beaches. Here, the median house price is $2 million.

Is it expensive to live in Perth?

Not compared to most capital cities! According to the Economist Intelligence Unit, Perth is the most affordable capital city in Australia, ahead of Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide.

According to data from Numbeo, the cost of living is 8.13% lower than Sydney and rent is, on average, 46.63% lower. This extends to purchasing property, too. CoreLogic data shows that as of December last year, the median house price in Perth was $456,289, compared to $973,664 in Sydney.

What are the best suburbs in Perth for families?

With its community feel, affordable prices and great natural scenery, Perth is an ideal place to raise a family. Family-friendly suburbs are spread out throughout the city and include:

Churchlands

There’s a lot to love about this suburb, located 8 km North-West of the CBD. It boasts a lake, close proximity to the beach, nature reserves and even a wildlife sanctuary. Couple that with the low crime rates and it’s an excellent place for families to live.

Dalkeith

Growing families need more space, and Dalkeith offers that in abundance. Not only does this riverside suburb have some of the biggest homes in the city, but there’s plenty of parks and wide-open spaces. While the mansions in the area push the median price up, there are still some options for family homes to accommodate other budgets.

Salter Point

If quiet, clean and safe streets are a priority, you can’t go past Salter Point. Surrounded by the Canning River, it offers plenty of places to go for a dip as a family, including the Salter lagoon. Overall, the area offers a relaxing and idyllic lifestyle.

Shelley

Located 10 km from the city centre, this suburb is developing a reputation as a hidden gem. The large lots offer plenty of privacy and despite being quite self-contained with shops and amenities, there’s easy access to the CBD.

Other suburbs that are a haven for families include Attadale, Floreat, Rossmyone, Swanbourne, Menora and Mount Claremont.

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What are the best suburbs in Perth to rent?

Perth is a popular place to rent as compared to many other major cities, your dollar can go a lot further. The most popular suburbs in Perth to rent include the Perth City centre and East Perth, which are known as the business hubs of the city. Other desirable inner-city suburbs for renters include Mount Lawley, West Perth and South Perth. Further out of the city centre, the developing suburbs of Baldivis, the suburban area of Como and the beachside area of Scarborough are also popular choices for tenants.

If affordability is the top priority, Osborne Park is currently the cheapest suburb in Perth to rent. This industrial area has a median weekly rent of just $265. Wembley and Glendalough are other accessible options, as both have a median rent of $270.

What are the cheapest suburbs in Perth?

There are plenty of suburbs where you can purchase a house for a median of around $200,000, which would be unheard of for cities like Sydney and Melbourne.

According to data from REIWA, Armadale is the cheapest suburb to buy in Perth. While the median house price in this southeast is only $219,000, this saw a 4% increase from the previous year. This indicates that the area is on the cusp of growth, so there’s no better time to stake your claim.

The second cheapest suburb to buy in Perth is the established suburb of Medina. This homebuyer hot spot saw 16% growth in the 12 months to October 2020, increasing the median house price to $226,250. Other affordable places to buy a home in Perth include Parmelia and Orelia, which both have a median price of around $242,000.

What are the best suburbs in Perth to buy?

If you’re looking to buy your first home, there are few better places to do so than Perth. It’s ideal for first-time buyers, due to its accessible entry point. While housing prices are currently low, it’s tipped by experts to experience a boom over the next few years – although it is currently unclear how the economic situation around COVID-19 will affect this.

Perth’s property market is split into the inner ring (suburbs less than 15 km from the city) and outer ring (more than 15 km from the city) The general consensus amongst real estate experts is that the inner ring is the best place to buy. As Perth is a growing city, locals are likely to want to be as close as possible to entertainment, dining options and shopping centres.

Some of the best suburbs in Perth to buy a home include:

Girrawheen

With a median house price of $278,000, this Northern suburb is a popular option with first time buyers.

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Beechboro

Located in the City of Swan area, Beechboro has a median house price of $345,000. There has been a 12.2% growth in sales over the past few years, indicating that this is a strong suburb to watch.

Tuart Hill

Located just 6 km of the city and with a median house price of just $345,000, this riverside suburb is considered something of a steak.

Bayswater

With a median house price of $530,000, this inner city suburb is one of the more expensive options on this list. However, located just 6 km from the CBD and with a major train station in development, it’s an area with strong long-term potential.

Other promising suburbs to buy in Perth include East Victoria Park, the Southern suburbs of Cannington and Willagee and the middle suburbs of Stirling and East Fremantle.

Whether you’re looking to take advantage of Perth’s accessible prices as an investment or settle into your forever home, there’s plenty of great options to buy in Perth. This may not necessarily mean buying in one of Perth’s most popular suburbs, but taking a look at what has a strong reputation can help point you in the right direction.

trawlers in a harbour in Perth suburb of Fremantle

How much does it cost to buy a house in Perth?

Looking to get a foot on Perth’s property ladder? The good news is, it’s a lot more accessible than many other capital cities. REIWA data showed that Perth’s median house price as of February 2021 was $490,000. That’s compared to $1.3 million in Sydney and $1 million in Melbourne.

Despite the accessible prices, the Perth property market is seeing unprecedented growth. So, if you’re thinking about buying in Perth, may now be the time to jump on the opportunity.

To ensure the process is as streamlined and stress-free as possible, be sure to work with an experienced broker. eChoice’s home loan specialists will work with you to compare the many mortgage products on the market and set you up for long-term success.

Words by Emma Norris

If buying a property in Perth is on the cards, be sure to work with an experienced broker to ensure the settlement process is as stress-free and streamlined as possible. As always we will discuss your options over the phone.

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