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Perth’s Migrants | What’s it Like Living in Perth?

Rottnest Island: Perth in the Background

Rottnest Island: Perth in the Background

Perth has a population of one and three-quarter million people, living in one of the world’s most isolated cities. Perth is an island of people, with vast stretches of virtually uninhabited desert to the east and thousands of miles of Indian Ocean to the west. Other Australian cities are several hours by jet plane.

Perth’s lucky residents enjoy a Mediterranean climate and a relaxed lifestyle in a very beautiful, clean, spacious feeling city.

Like most Australian cities, the majority of people live in detached houses with gardens. This means the city sprawls over a large area. At the heart of the city lies the beautiful, wide, Swan River.

Slightly over one third of Perth’s residents were born overseas.

According to the Bureau of Statistics, people from the UK are Perth’s biggest migrant group, making up 12.4 percent of the population. The next biggest groups are New Zealanders (2.5%), Italians (1.6%), Malaysians (1.2%) and South Africans (1.0%).

Around 6.5% of the population is Asian and 0.6% come from the Middle East or North Africa. Aboriginal Australians represent 1.5% of Perth’s population.

Despite having well over one million inhabitants, Perth is markedly quieter than the larger cities of Sydney and Melbourne. Perth is not really an ideal location for young, single people seeking exciting city nightlife. Many people think Perth is an excellent location for families.

Most migrants find Perth is a friendly place to settle, particularly compared with Sydney where people sometimes seem to have less time for one another.

One of Perth’s big plusses is its beautiful beaches. Many migrants dream of living next to these although houses in good, beachside suburbs tend to be very pricey.

Unlike the big east-coast cities, where the sun rises over the Pacific Ocean, Perth sees spectacular sunsets over the Indian Ocean.

Modern Row Houses in Perth

 

Where to live in Perth

Almost three-quarters of Perth’s houses are detached, with varying sizes of garden. The average prices we mention below are for houses and not apartments.

Apartments / flats are cheaper.

Generally speaking, the north and west of the city are the most highly regarded areas to live.

Many British migrants have chosen to settle in the northern suburbs around half an hour north of the city centre.

In suburbs such as Beldon, Connolly, Edgewater, Heathridge, Joondalup, Mullaloo and Ocean Reef, British immigrants make up around one quarter of the population.

In late 2016, average house prices in these areas ranged from the mid $400,000s in Heathridge, and Beldon, high $400,000s in Edgewater, low $500,000s in Joondalup, mid $700,000s in Mullaloo, and Connolly and high $700,000s in Ocean Reef.

The northern and central suburbs of Perth are where people with the highest salaries tend to live.

Houses in top suburbs close to the central city, such as Nedlands and Dalkeith, situated on the beautiful Swan River, command median prices of around $1.5 to $3.0 million.

All over the world, beachside properties have been in demand and fetch very high prices.

Perth has followed this trend – an evening stroll along the beach and a dip in the sea is an attractive prospect.

Less obvious advantages of living near the sea in Perth include less extreme summer heat and fewer flies than can be found farther inland.

           

There are, however, some disadvantages to buying beachside property in Perth. High winds can become annoying. When they are strong, they can blow garden umbrellas around and bring sand into gardens and houses.

Suburban developments close to the coast also tend to have houses packed more densely than elsewhere.

In the coastal suburbs of Scarborough and Wembley Downs, to the north west and west of the city centre, the median house prices were low $800,000s and low $900,000s in late 2016.

Some of the south eastern suburbs, such as Maddington, Gosnells, Lynwood, and Thornlie are less well regarded than Perth’s other areas. The average house prices in these suburbs ranged between $350,000 – $450,000 in late 2016.

Perth is a very clean city although, sadly, graffiti and “hoons” are becoming an issue in many locations – even some of the better suburbs. Hoons are youths causing problems such as vandalism and reckless driving.

A major attraction of Perth is its many parks and play areas for children. Perth is an ideal location for people who enjoy an outdoor lifestyle.

Summing Up – Pros and Cons

Perth is a pleasant city, with a relaxed, outdoors lifestyle and beautiful beaches, lying on the eastern rim of the Indian Ocean.

Western Australia, of which Perth is the capital, is Australia’s largest state – bigger than most countries.

Perth Pros

A sunny, warm, Mediterranean climate

A beautiful, clean city

Expansive white-sand beaches

Warm seas and breathtaking sunsets over the Indian Ocean

Pleasant suburbs with easy traffic

Excellent public transport

Very attractive countryside around the city

The Fremantle Doctor, an afternoon sea breeze, is a great relief on the hottest days

Perth Cons

Some summer days are too hot

The swarms of flies that come sometimes in summer when winds bring them in from the east

There are too many boy-racers on the roads

Perth has the highest burglary rates of any major Australian city

are, however, some disadvantages to buying beachside property in Perth. High winds can become annoying. When they are strong, they can blow garden umbrellas around and bring sand into gardens and houses.

Suburban developments close to the coast also tend to have houses packed more densely than elsewhere.

In the coastal suburbs of Scarborough and Wembley Downs, to the north west and west of the city centre, the median house prices were low $800,000s and low $900,000s in late 2016.

Some of the south eastern suburbs, such as Maddington, Gosnells, Lynwood, and Thornlie are less well regarded than Perth’s other areas. The average house prices in these suburbs ranged between $350,000 – $450,000 in late 2016.

Perth is a very clean city although, sadly, graffiti and “hoons” are becoming an issue in many locations – even some of the better suburbs. Hoons are youths causing problems such as vandalism and reckless driving.

A major attraction of Perth is its many parks and play areas for children. Perth is an ideal location for people who enjoy an outdoor lifestyle.

Summing Up – Pros and Cons

Perth is a pleasant city, with a relaxed, outdoors lifestyle and beautiful beaches, lying on the eastern rim of the Indian Ocean.

Western Australia, of which Perth is the capital, is Australia’s largest state – bigger than most countries.

Perth Pros

A sunny, warm, Mediterranean climate

A beautiful, clean city

Expansive white-sand beaches

Warm seas and breathtaking sunsets over the Indian Ocean

Pleasant suburbs with easy traffic

Excellent public transport

Very attractive countryside around the city

The Fremantle Doctor, an afternoon sea breeze, is a great relief on the hottest days

Perth Cons

Some summer days are too hot

The swarms of flies that come sometimes in summer when winds bring them in from the east

There are too many boy-racers on the roads

Perth has the highest burglary rates of any major Australian city

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I know the article quoted but some update required.

Perth Con's include..

An increasingly poor job market with the greater probability of far further to fall ....

A still too over priced city in general....but at least real estate, while still over priced has fallen.

A massive suburban sprawl consisting of many meh type localities...

While public transport is adequate to reach the city from a number of locations, it is hardly good. Perth remains an auto focused city where car remains king.

Walkability is low in comparison with international city walkability scales.

Not particularly good for aged folk due to sprawl and auto focus but depends on location . (same for young)

Beaches are okay but force of wind should not be under estimated, making beach conditions not especially durable during certain times of year and times of day in summer.

High power bills. (I believe highest in Australia?)

Isolation (though Bali, for those that have the need, is close enough.)

More insular than bigger cities and can be cliquey.

 

Perth's Pro's include...

Light dress avails for a large part of the year...

Winter's usually not particularly cold. Although can be colder indoors than out due to poor insulation.

Increasing cosmopolitan city focus and both sides of the equation that brings

House price falling hence more affordable than bigger cities, for those lucky enough to have steady employment.

A less of a 'big city feel ' for those that prefer quieter and less frantic locations.

 

 

 

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As a recent frequent visitor and recent migrant to Perth, I'd have to agree with nearly all of the above and it is similar to my experience

Very overpriced for leisure, drinks, cafes, meals etc.

Property becoming more affordable.

Definitely need a car, public transport is there but needs further investment

Employment is hard to come by.  Perth needs some new industries to balance out the boom & bust of mining.  Similar timezone to Singapore, could look to become a back office provider to Singapore's financial services industry

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I personally don't see any ready solutions for Perth. The days when it was way cheaper than Sydney and Melbourne have long passed. We are on par. Indeed substantially more expensive than European cities like Stuttgart (which is located in the richest state of Germany) There is little reason for the excessive cost of living, especially anything of a social nature. Deteriorates quality of life.

Perhaps an Asian future in that the elites of Malaysia, Singapore and India seeking more sanitised pastures may in part come to the rescue? Perth will need to lift its game though and become a more open and exciting place. I'm afraid the early to bed, early to rise preference will win few favours within that particular market.

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Perthpom should be ambling in soon to give his valued appraisal!:P

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10 minutes ago, Evandale said:

Perthpom should be ambling in soon to give his valued appraisal!:P

Yawn!

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All very subjective but my take is:

PROS

Property prices are falling with the worsening employment situation - stick it out a few years before you buy.

It has some lovely Parks and the jogging or cycling along the river is pleasant

Its super ultra mega quiet

Does not feel like you are living in a city - lots of privacy, as much as you want

Nobody will bother you much

If you love your weather hot - it gets very hot

Nice for small children

Nice life for young Mums & Dads with children

Café scene is nice if cafes are your thing.

Most immigrants very friendly

 

CONS

Very isolated, cut off from the world,  so isolated that after a year or two the isolation and repetitiveness of doing the same old things and going to the same places over and over again gets old very fast

TV is awful

Employment situation is bleak - be prepared to go after a lesser job, you may have to

Locals can be insular and not well travelled- they only know about Perth & Australia and believe its the greatest place in the world

Expensive - over priced and poor value especially the low standard of housing

Limited choice of expensive low quality food & produce in supermarkets compared to your typical modern supermarket in Britain

Nothing to do for kids in their teens and absolutely nothing for those in their early 20s, no pub/club scene at all

All the streets in all the cities look the same almost, except Sydney which is just a much more grubbier, crowded and run down version of Perth

Its all about family life. Awful for single people or childless couples, no singles scene,  worse if you're a guy as there are far too many men

Yobbos / bored 16-21 year olds kicking up a stink everywhere even in the so called nicer suburbs

Transient mainly immigrant population and a bit soulless as a result

Not good if you have any hobby other than boats or cars - mostly you will have to buy your hobby things online from overseas, wait weeks for them to come then pay tax & customs on it.

 

 

 

 

 

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6 hours ago, Home and Happy said:

All very subjective but my take is:

PROS

Property prices are falling with the worsening employment situation - stick it out a few years before you buy.

It has some lovely Parks and the jogging or cycling along the river is pleasant

Its super ultra mega quiet

Does not feel like you are living in a city - lots of privacy, as much as you want

Nobody will bother you much

If you love your weather hot - it gets very hot

Nice for small children

Nice life for young Mums & Dads with children

Café scene is nice if cafes are your thing.

Most immigrants very friendly

 

CONS

Very isolated, cut off from the world,  so isolated that after a year or two the isolation and repetitiveness of doing the same old things and going to the same places over and over again gets old very fast

TV is awful

Employment situation is bleak - be prepared to go after a lesser job, you may have to

Locals can be insular and not well travelled- they only know about Perth & Australia and believe its the greatest place in the world

Expensive - over priced and poor value especially the low standard of housing

Limited choice of expensive low quality food & produce in supermarkets compared to your typical modern supermarket in Britain

Nothing to do for kids in their teens and absolutely nothing for those in their early 20s, no pub/club scene at all

All the streets in all the cities look the same almost, except Sydney which is just a much more grubbier, crowded and run down version of Perth

Its all about family life. Awful for single people or childless couples, no singles scene,  worse if you're a guy as there are far too many men

Yobbos / bored 16-21 year olds kicking up a stink everywhere even in the so called nicer suburbs

Transient mainly immigrant population and a bit soulless as a result

Not good if you have any hobby other than boats or cars - mostly you will have to buy your hobby things online from overseas, wait weeks for them to come then pay tax & customs on it.

 

 

 

 

 

Absolutely agree with the above remarks. Well observed and articulated. Certainly not a place where everyone will feel comfortable.

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Very subjective!

 

I am enjoying a lot of what WA has to offer. Many of the things above I just can't agree with. Clearly if you still live in Perth you need to seek pastures new or remain negative!

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9 hours ago, benj1980 said:

Very subjective!

 

I am enjoying a lot of what WA has to offer. Many of the things above I just can't agree with. Clearly if you still live in Perth you need to seek pastures new or remain negative!

 

Owl.jpg

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The usual 2 will find this soon and give you their well informed and completely unbiased views

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13 hours ago, benj1980 said:

Very subjective!

 

I am enjoying a lot of what WA has to offer. Many of the things above I just can't agree with. Clearly if you still live in Perth you need to seek pastures new or remain negative!

How would you describe the cons, even if they are cons you have experienced elsewhere?

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Not really subjective. (well no more than is hot or cold weather preferable)Some have different priorities so may or may not register as an issue. Such issues have been raised constantly over time. Equally it is not an issue of hating. I don't see it as an issue of enjoying WA, or not. To deny downsides would be of greater concern of a longer period.

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3 hours ago, rob dc said:

The usual 2 will find this soon and give you their well informed and completely unbiased views

I don't see any bias. Thankfully some can give a rounded account of life experienced in Perth. Like most things in life it has pluses and minuses.

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I normally find the negatives have been exaggerated and it doesn't seem to reflect what I see and do. The cons that I consider are really personal things that I don't think are worth sharing!  

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Hey!

Hope everyones enjoyed a day off for the Queens Birthday. Hoping to get some advice or suggestions. We are a couple (34 + 28) currently living in Hobart Tasmania and before this in Melbourne. We have really enjoyed our time in Hobart and could quite easy settle here but we have decided its just too far from our family and friends in the UK and Ireland and we are considering a move to Perth WA as we would like to experience living somewhere hot and we feel it will be much easier to get back to UK and to holiday in Asia. We are planning on packing up towards the end of the year and taking a 10,000km road trip to Perth.

Is it easy is it to make new friends in Perth and surrounds as a young couple? we have been lucky in Melbourne and Hobart but the fear of starting again is worrying.

We have come to really enjoy the beach since moving to Australia and enjoy an outdoor lifestyle camping and exploring would like to start kitesurfing and kayaking. We enjoy an occasional meal and drinks out but don’t really need anything too hectic. We like the idea of being able to get on a train and get to Perth CBD within 30-40 mins. 

Any advice, ideas or suggestions on where we could live would be ace, we would be looking to rent initially but then buy our first home after a year hopefully in the $350,00-400,000 bracket.

Thanks,

 

Peter 

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Hey Peter,

Happy to give you my 2 cents worth.  I have recently moved from Sydney to Perth and have been travelling over a good bit over the last few years.

First up is what do you do for a living?  Perth is a boom and bust town and is very much in bust terriority at the moment.  Depending on what you do, work is hard to come by although there are some green shoots in patches.  There are a lot of people leaving Perth at the moment.

The silver lining is that property is a lot cheaper both the rent and to buy.

Perth is fairly easy to get around but you do need a car.  If you are going to be commuting to the CBD, being on/near a train line is probably a plus too.  People tend to either go NOR or SOR (north of the river etc).  Perth CBD has improved but is still a bit soul less IMO.  I'm really warming to Freo and it has a nicer vibe IMO.

By the way, I don't know about Hobart but excluding property, Perth is expensive for leisure activities - meals, drinks etc, $90 for the ferry to Rottnest - wtf?  I think it is about 20% more expensive than Sydney for non-accommodation costs.

Regarding areas, it depends on what you are into and what is important to you.  I find Perth very quiet compared to Sydney or Melbourne but it may be busier than Hobart.  I think at your ages you will want to be closer to the CBD than 30-40mins on a train.  I suggest you rent for a year (prices are still dropping so no rush to buy).  I would think the following areas are worthy of consideration Freo and surrounds, Vic pack, East Vic park, Mount Lawley, North Perth, Leederville and surrounds, West Perth, Scarborough (big Kite surfing spot).  These all have a bit of a cafe culture and a bit of life around them. Further out, I find it to be a bit surburbia but others may disagree.  I'm in Mount Hawthorn which is NOR and just outside the CBD, pretty close to Leederville too.

Meetup.com is a good resource for meeting people or joining a sports club etc.

There is also a Perth poms forum which may be worth posting in.

Hope this helps, happy to answer any specific ?s if I can.  That road trip sounds awesome, very jealous.

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1 hour ago, Collie said:

Hey Peter,

Happy to give you my 2 cents worth.  I have recently moved from Sydney to Perth and have been travelling over a good bit over the last few years.

First up is what do you do for a living?  Perth is a boom and bust town and is very much in bust terriority at the moment.  Depending on what you do, work is hard to come by although there are some green shoots in patches.  There are a lot of people leaving Perth at the moment.

The silver lining is that property is a lot cheaper both the rent and to buy.

Perth is fairly easy to get around but you do need a car.  If you are going to be commuting to the CBD, being on/near a train line is probably a plus too.  People tend to either go NOR or SOR (north of the river etc).  Perth CBD has improved but is still a bit soul less IMO.  I'm really warming to Freo and it has a nicer vibe IMO.

By the way, I don't know about Hobart but excluding property, Perth is expensive for leisure activities - meals, drinks etc, $90 for the ferry to Rottnest - wtf?  I think it is about 20% more expensive than Sydney for non-accommodation costs.

Regarding areas, it depends on what you are into and what is important to you.  I find Perth very quiet compared to Sydney or Melbourne but it may be busier than Hobart.  I think at your ages you will want to be closer to the CBD than 30-40mins on a train.  I suggest you rent for a year (prices are still dropping so no rush to buy).  I would think the following areas are worthy of consideration Freo and surrounds, Vic pack, East Vic park, Mount Lawley, North Perth, Leederville and surrounds, West Perth, Scarborough (big Kite surfing spot).  These all have a bit of a cafe culture and a bit of life around them. Further out, I find it to be a bit surburbia but others may disagree.  I'm in Mount Hawthorn which is NOR and just outside the CBD, pretty close to Leederville too.

Meetup.com is a good resource for meeting people or joining a sports club etc.

There is also a Perth poms forum which may be worth posting in.

Hope this helps, happy to answer any specific ?s if I can.  That road trip sounds awesome, very jealous.

Thanks a million Collie, really appreciate that info. We were a bit concerned about moving to Perth given the economic climate but I think the work we do - physiotherapy and employment services should be ok. Having moved from Melbourne to Hobart we are used to things costing a bit more and paying island prices but we can still get out to Bruny Island for $30 so you are getting shafted on Rotnest. i hear good things about Freo and could work well for us as Hobart has done. 

Thanks again

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Tis what it tis, and you make it what it tis by doing the things you enjoy. Anywhere can be expensive just depends on what your budget is and how far into debt you want to go if at all.

Don't shop in diamond ring shops when all you wanted was a newspaper.

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May be worth flying over for a reccie trip before making the perm move.  Can set up a few meetings with relevant receruiters as well.  I would think physio's will always find work but no experience in that area

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