We here at Home Loan Experts just love to talk about property, whether it’s about the current property boom or what the Australian real estate market will look like 10 years from now.
Apart from median house prices, rental yields and the overall investment potential of a particular suburb, we rarely talk about the “livability” of a suburb, which is essential if you’re looking for somewhere to build the life you want.
From employment prospects, retail outlets, access to public transport and main roads, restaurants and cafes, schools and overall community culture, here’s our pick of the top 10 most liveable suburbs in Australia in 2015.
No, not that Manly.
Imagine living in a place where everyday is like a holiday. Just 20 minutes east of Brisbane’s central business district (CBD), you’ll find a small village, complete with a long coastal walking path along Moreton Bay and a large marina.
The suburb has undergone a lot of redevelopment over the years so today you’ll find beautifully renovated homes from the past (including a number of heritage-listed sites). Nearby you’ll also find a top-performing private girl’s school.
This family-friendly suburb is especially great for anyone who wants to be close to the city but also wants to enjoy the lifestyle of living on the bay. Manly offers all sorts of outdoor activities such as fishing, canoeing, bike riding, markets and swimming but it’s probably best known as a boating town.
In fact, it boasts the largest boat harbour facility in the Southern Hemisphere.
Coogee, New South Wales
Coogee is a great place to live for anyone who loves the beach.
You’ll find plenty of University of New South Wales (UNSW) students living next to families, young urban professionals and backpackers. It’s no surprise that the beach gets awfully crowded on hot days!
In many ways, Coogee is like a smaller version of Bondi beach but with a much friendlier attitude. That means you won’t feel out of place if you’re not wearing the latest season’s sunglasses, chinos or moccasins!
The market and restaurants on the other side of the beach are usually buzzing all-year round, reaching their peak in mid-summer when tourists and inland Sydneysiders descend on the surf.
The proximity to the beach means you can enjoy the delights of the shoreline no matter the time of year and manage your work/life balance while you’re at it. When you’re that close to the shoreline, good luck with that.
On Melbourne’s northern edge lies Carlton, affectionately dubbed ‘Little Italy’. If you’re looking for a pleasant, literary feel or a chilled out and vibrant environment, then Carlton is the place to be.
It’s home to one of Melbourne’s finest book stores, top-notch Italian cuisine and it’s residents include intellectual university types, families, newly-arrived migrants and, of course, long-time Italian locals.
Lygon Street is the heart and Italian soul of the entire suburb. You’ll find here many beautiful single-storey and double-storey Victorian-style cottages and terraces, as well as nearby Rathdowne Street. Best of all, Lygon Street is a stone’s throw away from the city.
Apart from the rich history and culture, recent years have seen the development of high-rise apartment buildings grow exponentially in order to cater for the growing student population.
Student life is another key component of Carlton so lively sharehouses are in abundance.
With almost 10 per cent of residents working in cafes, restaurants and takeaway businesses, Carlton is a melting pot of culture and sophistication with the charm of a hip, inner city suburb.
Norwood, South Australia
Transforming from a working-class suburb with a large Italian influence to a cosmopolitan hotspot with an awesome cafe culture, Norwood stands as one of Adelaide’s best suburbs.
A great shopping centre, a superb Italian deli, a theatre, a cinema, good schools and an excellent public transport system are just some of the hip amenities that Norwood has to offer. The Norwood Town Hall and the Clayton-Wesley Uniting Church are two of the suburb’s most notable landmarks.
The properties themselves offer many surprises, ranging from small cottages to large sandstone homes with gorgeous gardens and architecture. The high concentration of Italian people is reflected in the numerous restaurants and fashion boutiques of The Parade.
You’ll also get a taste of Adelaide’s nationally-renowned love for the finer things at the Norwood Parade Food and Wine Festival which attracts over 80,000 visitors every year in February.
Bohemian with a hell of a lot of class, Norwood really is the queen of Adelaide’s eastern suburbs.
Mount Lawley, Western Australia
Music lovers will fall in love with Mount Lawley. This is the latest cultural hub for hipsters, especially for those who are into the alternative or indie culture.
The suburb offers a wide range of shops, cafes and pubs including the iconic Flying Scotsman, Beaufort Street, a shopping mecca for the rich and stylish, and the classic Astor Theatre, a cinema that played it’s film in 1936.
The suburb features some of Perth’s top high schools including Perth College and Mount Lawley Senior High. It’s also home to Edith Cowan University, the Central Institute of Technology and the prestigious West Australian Academy of Performing Arts here.
If you enjoy a classic vibe, then Mount Lawley’s restored heritage-listed properties will give you the retro feel that you’re looking for.
With top schools, easy city access, great eateries and classic Federation architecture (specifically, Queen Anne-style), Mount Lawley offers you the complete package.
The beautiful suburb is set between two reaches of the Brisbane River, with classic post-war timber homes designed to take advantage of the river breeze.
Heritage-listed properties dot much of the area, with the centrepiece being the 1930s-built Graceville Uniting Church. The Graceville railway station, Graceville Memorial Park and Beth-Eden are among other heritage listed properties that preserve the rare aspects of Queensland’s cultural heritage.
After taking in the rich post-war history, treat yourself with a relaxing breakfast, a cup of coffee and a movie at the historic Regal Twin cinema on Sundays, or, if you’re looking for retail therapy, Honor Avenue hosts an attractive shopping strip which is the heart of the suburb’s cafe culture.
Graceville is also a popular area for families because of its spacious parks, top class public schools and the number of sporting clubs that represent the area including the Western Suburbs Cricket Club, West Taylor Bridge Rugby Club and the South West United Hockey Team.
Graceville stands as a stunning and iconic suburb that perfectly captures Queensland’s sub-tropical lifestyle.
St Kilda, New South Wales
It was once known as a beachside getaway for the posh but the St Kilda of today is one of the coolest suburbs in Melbourne.
With a laid back, cafe and beach holiday vibe all rolled into one, it has has something to offer everyone, including community festivals, live music, gay and lesbian pride parades, organic markets, art shops and artisan coffee, cake and wine makers.
Luna Park is definitely one of the suburb’s biggest attractions but there are also charming independent theatres and galleries, not to mention the iconic Esplanade Hotel and St Kilda Beach.
Home to many other distinctive landmarks, such as the St Kilda Pier and the St Kilda Pavilion, a unique Edwardian building which has high cultural importance to Melbournians. The moorish themed St Kilda Sea Baths has its own history dating back to the 1850s.
Acland Street is the pivotal hub for shoppers and food lovers alike with famous cake shops and cafes which feature a lot of public artwork.
With plenty of Victorian and Edwardian architecture standing shoulder to shoulder with art deco, you’ll find a lot of beautifully-renovated historic buildings with awesome balcony views of the shoreline.
St Kilda really is an eclectic junction for people, from travelling backpackers to long-time locals.
Marion, South Australia
If you’re into architecture from the 50s and well-manicured gardens, then Adelaide’s retro paradise Marion is where it’s at.
Home to a number of parks and reserves, including the Oaklands Wetland and Reserve, you’ll also find plenty of good schools as well as Flinders University, one of the leading teaching and research institutions in Australia.
If you’re a fitness nut then check out the South Australia Aquatic and Leisure Centre, Australia’s most advanced swimming and diving facility. For all you hikers, there’s a popular trail along the Sturt River Linear Park which follows the Sturt River from Marion to Glenelg.
If you get bored of strolling down the quiet and well-kept streets, Glenelg and Brighton beaches are close-by.
Marion offers a truly relaxed and tranquil lifestyle to escape from the hustle and bustle of the city.
Fremantle, Western Australia
Looking for a chilled-out place to live? You probably couldn’t do much better than Freemantle.
‘Freo’ is a cool place with a lot of culture, from creative, artsy and bohemian, all the way to high-end living.
With a notable cafe culture, Fremantle is lined with busy markets, galleries, quite a few pubs and plenty of microbreweries.
For the history lovers, he suburb is also home to stunning Victorian buildings and homes on the port.
The annual Fremantle Festival in November, Fremantle Street Festival over Easter and the West Coast Blues and Roots Festival in March are just a few of the many festivals that Fremantle place has to offer, but, apart from live music, the nightclub scene here is insane.
With refreshing winds on hot summer afternoons, the beaches are a year-round getaway, especially if you like refreshing walks on the sand or you’re into kite surfing.
Like Graceville, Sandgate is a historic suburb with a pleasant and tranquil vibe.
Situated on Bramble Bay, Sandgate has a number of heritage-listed sites, including the Sandgate Town Hall, Sandgate Baptist Church, Sandgate War Memorial Park and Broadhurst. There’s also a train station, a community theatre and plenty of picnic spots for families.
Sandgate has it’s own community theatre group called Sandgate Theatre Incorporated, which is host to the Yarrageh festival, the longest running community theatre festival in all of Brisbane celebrated each year around August/September at the Town Hall.
Of course, you can always do some fishing in Bramble Bay or Cabbage Tree Creek in the south.
The suburb is mostly made up of freestanding houses but because of its high end, leisure lifestyle, the suburb’s popularity is on the rise and there has been an increase in the development of new apartment buildings.
In short, there is a lot of investment potential in this bayside suburb.
Want to buy a home in one of these suburbs?
There are more than 8,000 suburbs in Australia which means that finding a property for yourself can be very difficult and time consuming if you don’t have the proper knowledge and guidance.
Some suburbs are pretty well locked up by investors, resulting in exorbitant prices for even the most meagre pieces of real estate. Other locations are probably not worth your time.
It all comes down to whether the suburb will satisfy your lifestyle needs and wants.
Although we can’t advise you on where to buy, our mortgage brokers are home loan specialists who can help you compare a number of mortgage solutions from our panel of more than 40 lenders.
Call us on 1800 889 743 or fill in our free assessment form today.