moving to Perth - but which areas are best?
  • Hi,

    My husband, two children (ages 7 & 9) are looking to move to Perth later on this year but we have never been and know very little about which suburbs are good for families. Obviously good schools are important to us but so is having a good lifestyle etc and this is all going to be fairly dependent on affordability. We've looked on various websites but would love some advice from people who live there and know which areas to focus on or ones to avoid.

  • Hi,

    This question gets asked a lot - the good news is that there a LOTS of great suburbs that are good for families. But to narrow the choice down, think about what your own family's needs and wants are - for example:

    Will the kids be going to private schools or state (at secondary level)? If state, then you will want to locate yourself within the catchment area of a good state school. Even though they are primary age now, I would be thinking more about the high school than the primary school. Why? Because kids are not really pushed academically in primary schools here and kids can get a good 'all-round' education in pretty much any primary school. But at high school the work really starts and so the choice of high school is more important. Some state high schools with very good reputations are Rossmoyne, Churchlands. Also Carine, Woodvale and Greenwood and probably many more that other people may like to suggest. If they will be going to private schools, then location is not so important because you can get them into any school that has vacancies wherever you live (there may be more travelling, that's all).

    Next, what sort of leisure activities do you want? If you love the beach, then that's the place to start - pick a beachside suburb where you can afford the median house price. If you can't afford it, look at the next suburb north/south/east. Eg, Cottesloe is a pretty nice beachside suburb, but you need about $1.7million to get an average house. Trigg, a suburb further up the coast (north, away from the city) is also great, you only need $942,500 to get in there :) Go further north to Kallaroo and the median is $615,000, and so on as you move further from the city. All these suburbs have parks, sports facilities, shops, doctors, libraries etc etc, so there's not a lot to choose between them in those respects.

    What about travelling to work? If you know where you are likely to be working, then that's a factor. Commuting from the far northern or southern suburbs into Perth CBD can take over an hour - not bad by London standards maybe, but this is a relatively new thing for Perth. If you don't like the sound of that, then think about living close to work - if that's going to be in the CBD, then you need to look at suburbs close to the city. If you can afford it, South Perth, Rossmoyne, Shelley, Mt Lawley, West Leederville, Floreat, Wembley are all very nice suburbs and there are plenty more.

    Last thing I am going to mention is the established suburb versus new suburb choice. Perth has grown a lot in the last few years and there are many new suburbs that are still being developed - most are a fair distance from the city. In general new suburbs have lots of new migrants, young families, new houses that have modern designs and little or no maintenance, smaller blocks, fewer trees, less open spaces. Established suburbs have older houses - some fairly weird designs (70s and 80s!!) and some really nice character designs. Older houses usually need ongoing maintenance. Usually bigger blocks, with many more established trees. More open spaces and possibly even some native bushland. It's difficult to really paint a picture of the differences, but I would say when you get here, take a drive around some new suburbs - Butler, Ridgewood, Clarkson etc and also some older suburbs - eg. Kingsley, Woodvale and you will know what sort of suburb you prefer. BTW, I'm not saying one is better than the other - there are differences and pros and cons to each.

    I hope that gives you a few ideas - if you want to tell me your approximate budget for buying a house and your preferences for 'lifestyle' I can give you some more specific suggestions - send in a PM if you prefer.


  • Thank you so much Geoff! We are in a fortunate position as my husband's employers will provide us with an apartment for a few weeks when we arrive which will give us time to look at various areas and see where we would like live. We are planning to rent initially and then buy when we are more established. The information you have given us will be a good starting point!
    Thank you again.
  • Hi Geoff! The info you are providing on this site on various topics is invaluable to us newcomers. Thanks a lot for your detailed answers.

    I find that there is little info about the hills area. Do people actually live there? :)

    We are going to be based near Kalamunda, and the kids, aged 9 and 11, will start school there in mid July. The reason we chose the hills is because we wanted a quarter of an acre block in a leafy suburb with parks and good public schools. If you or anyone else has any info on living in the hills I would be very grateful.

    What is the community like, are there any recreation activities? What about shops/markets, doctors around this area? Is cycling possible or too hilly/dangerous for kids to use bikes?