Where does suburbia fit into the Perth equation?
PropertyESP recently attended the PIA State Conference which was aptly termed “Rocking the suburbs.”
Minister Rita Saffioti opened the conference and posed the question – does every suburb wish to be rocked and went on to explain that in the East, the focus in the 1990’s was all about the inner ring and that suburbs were seen nearly as a second class choice.
In contrast – Perth is the exact opposite – even some 27 years on.
Our population growth certainly has been part of the reason for this evolution with some residents happy to travel over an hour into the City for work while living in our burgeoning outer suburbs. This is true regardless of age.
But what is evident in the Eastern States, is that now, some three decades later, the inner city is reserved solely for the wealthy.
Interestingly 83% of lawyers work in our CBD, 62% engineers, 39% white collar professionals and 26% health workers – however this is not reflected in their choice of housing suburb.
This is partially because house sizes have not declined drastically and yet the range of housing choices in the CBD continues to cater for 1-2 person households.
The Minister therefore believes that we will see a shift whereby suburbia will become more like business districts and the City will evolve into an amenity district. This certainly aligns with their Metronet model.
At PropertyESP we believe that Perth will follow the same pattern as the East, with the CBD becoming a desired location over the next decade. But first we need to see greater choice of housing and added amenities such as schools in order to cater to a broader cross section of the community.
But on the tail of that, there are many suburbs that were established in the 1970’s to 90’s that really do lack any sense of pulse and hence in order to retain their residents, their Councils will also need to be progressive in the provision of services and development of community spirit.
There is no doubt that Perth is in a flux of change and as a result of significant investment in the inner CBD and key suburban shopping centres, we will see the rise of preferred suburbs over the next 5-10 years. But that also means that there will be many suburbs that languish.
The question is, are the LGA’s prepared to rock the boat and their suburbs and evolve with WA’s changing needs?