The best suburbs for families migrating to Perth

Having migrated to Perth myself over a decade ago, and working in the property industry ever since, I am pleased to highlight a few areas that I think would be most appealing to new migrants and factors that contribute to choosing your best suited suburb.

Areas

It’s worth noting that there are 250 suburbs in Perth, all of which fall into 29 local government areas, for example Town of Cambridge comprising of 6 suburbs or City of South Perth comprising 7 suburbs.

Everyone has their specific requirements and priorities when relocating, whether it be affordability, close to work, close to schools, or close to the beach for that highly sought after Perth lifestyle. With balance of all these in mind, it is recommended that you get a map of Perth (all on one page) to get a macro view of how the city, its roads, its areas are all laid out.

Transportation and Accessibility

The first thing you might notice is that Perth is divided by the Swan River. Perthites refer to the areas as “North of the river” or “South of the River”. Because of the dividing river, many suburbs which are seen as prestigious may be less convenient than others if you have to commute to the CBD (central business district) every day due to the rush hour traffic on the often only way in and out of that area as well as on the major arteries. The train lines travel alongside the freeway and not into the heart of suburbs so if you don’t intend to buy a car, you may want to consider living close to the train line or near a main road with bus access. The public transportation website www.transperth.com.au is great for route planning. Keep in mind that travel time during rush hour opposed to weekends can be significantly different.

Renting

Another point to note is that not all accommodation in the prestigious suburbs are mansions. There are affordable rentals in most “wealthy” suburbs, and no such “ghettos” as in other big cities due to the department of housing integration structure.

In order to get a feel for your new city, choosing to rent for 6 or 12 months is a great way to work out if the suburb you choose is right for you. Plotting out areas based on your priorities whether it be work, school, university, leisure activity, etc, is a great way to pinpoint areas of convenience. Rent.com.au have recently release stats on the most affordable and most expensive median weekly rents:

 

Most Affordable median weekly rent

  1. Safety Bay -$280
  2. Wembley -$280
  3. Girrawheen -$283
  4. Armadale- $288
  5. Osborne Park - $290
  6. Lockridge - $295
  7. Parmelia - $295
  8. Midland -$298
  9. Langford- $298
  10. Gosnells - $300

 

Most expensive median weekly rent

  1. Mount Claremont - $880
  2. City Beach - $875
  3. Gwelup - $650
  4. North Fremantle - $645
  5. Stirling - $638
  6. Winthrop - $638
  7. Floreat -$630
  8. Iluka - $630
  9. Mount Pleasant - $625
  10. Atwell - $620

 

 

Source: rent.com.au – released Oct 2016 based on rents adverted during July – Sept quarter 2016

 

Schools/Education

If schools are a priority for your family, below is a rating list of top schools. The major universities being University of Western Australia (UWA) and Edith Cowan University (ECU) the most recent suburb rating based on its schools (both private and public offerings) are:

 

Top suburbs for Primary Schools

  1. Scarborough
  2. Wembley Downs
  3. Daglish
  4. Shenton Park
  5. Subiaco
  6. Subiaco East
  7. City Beach
  8. Claremont
  9. Claremont North
  10. Karrakatta

Top suburbs for Secondary Schools

  1. Nedlands
  2. Crawley
  3. Dalkeith
  4. Daglish
  5. Shenton Park
  6. Subiaco
  7. Floreat
  8. Jolimont
  9. Wembley
  10. City Beach

 

Source: http://bettereducation.com.au/ - Perth suburbs with best Primary Schools – Best education 2015

 

Safe suburbs

Depending on where you are migrating from in the world, you will likely find Perth to be very well manicured and exude a sense of newness. On the whole, Perth is a relatively safe city but like everywhere, there are areas that have higher crime rates than others. This rate is ever changing but checking your top picks on the WA Police crime stats website is a good idea before making a final call. Not surprisingly, Perth CBD and Northbridge are amongst the top suburbs reported for crime, whereas Peppermint Grove (likely due to its small size and inaccessibility) and many of the Western suburbs, such as City Beach, Floreat and Wembley, were reported as having the fewest crime reports.

 

So which suburbs have it all?

As a positive, within the urban sprawl of over 100km that is makes up the area of Perth, there are too many great suburbs that offer an all-encompassing great lifestyle with accessibility, open space, shopping, cafes and restaurants, good schools, etc. to detail them all.

Below are my personal top 5 picks which are focused around affordability, accessibility and culture/lifestyle that the suburbs offer.

1. Wembley

Wembley lands on the top 10 for both affordability and highest ranking schools. It is a very well rounded suburb with both affordable and luxury homes, bustling with professionals and young families alike. Wembley is only 12 mins (5km) to Perth CBD, offers a great outdoor lifestyle with walking trails parks around Lake Monger and Herdsman Lake, and Cambridge St being the major thoroughfare is dotted with restaurants, cafes, and shops.

2. South Perth

Accessible to Perth CBD via ferry and bus, South Perth sits on the foreshore starring across at Perth CBD skyscrapers. Apartment buildings crowd near the river set back from where parks and walking trails hug the river. There is a good mix of old and new houses and same goes for pubs and cafes. Besides its riverside setting, the main attraction in South Perth is the Perth Zoo. The Zoo covers 41 acres of leafy parkland near the Mill Point Road freeway exit.

3. Maylands

Maylands is just 4.5 km North East of the city, and like South Perth sits along the Swan River. This suburb has an assortment of old and new houses, townhouses and apartments. Once considered a rougher area, Maylands has had many of its older homes refurbished, lots redeveloped, and many new apartment blocks built. It has been a popular area for revitalisation due to its accessibility to the freeway, gateway to the Swan Valley wine region and its café culture along Eight Avenue.

4. Victoria Park

Most commonly referred to as Vic Park, this suburb is also close to the CBD so easily accessible to the CBD via train to Perth underground station or Elizabeth Quay, and, if travelling by bus or car, has its own bridge “causeway” which rarely gets congested. Surrounded by upper middle class suburbs like South Perth and Como, offering great schools, parks/leisure, and considered for some of the best restaurants in Perth, Vic Park is a top pick for commuting to the CBD.

5. Burswood

Burswood’s most famous facility is the Crown Perth Casino Complex so with that comes higher crime rates in that vicinity but development of a new stadium, tennis complex, six-star hotel, as well as retail, commercial and residential developments will see the potential of this area bloom. Located immediately across the Swan River from Perth CBD accessible via both the Causeway and Graham Farmer Freeway, Burswood has wide open grass spaces with BBQ and play grounds, a golf course, cycling paths and shops.

On the whole, Perth is a multi-cultural city that has been ranked as the fourth most liveable cities in the world and with year-round weather conducive to a fantastic outdoor lifestyle, extensive green space, and over 100km of beautiful white sandy beaches, it’s easy to see why. It may surprise you to know that a move to Perth could feel like a move home. There is an ever expanding ex-pat community in Perth because it is so tempting for migrants and you won’t go for too long without hearing a familiar accent from your old home. This may be a comfort as you settle in after your move to Australia.

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