North vs. South – Where to invest?

investment property

For those that are Perth born and bred, the age-old debate of north vs. south of the river is pretty familiar – and everyone has an opinion! Whether you are looking to rent or buy there are advantages to residing or investing on both sides of the river. We’ve looked into the lifestyle, the local attractions and market insights to give you a better understanding of what area will best suit your situation. 

North of the River

The Lifestyle

With Perth’s central city located just north of the river, living north of the river is a big pull for those wanting a quick work commute or easy access to the inner-city attractions such as shopping, restaurants and the bustling nightlife. In fact, the northern suburbs are generally considered to be packed with more attractions and a denser population than southern suburbs. 

Northbridge, North Perth, Leederville, Mount Lawley and Scarborough are all night-time hotspots for people from north and south of the river – so if that is a priority, you could save yourself a lot of money on Ubers, parking and public transport by living in the northern suburbs. 

That’s not to say there aren’t also plenty of family-friendly activities close by – beach, parks and public museums, galleries and libraries are all at your disposal.

Local Attractions

As mentioned above, the Perth CBD, restaurants and bars are major drawcards for buying or renting in the northern suburbs. There is also the City of Perth Library, the Art Gallery of WA, the WA Museum Boola Bardip, the Royal Perth Hospital, Perth Children’s Hospital and a selection of private hospitals. 

If top-class schooling is a factor in your decision-making, there are a range of options in the northern suburbs with some of Perth’s highest-ranking schools on the list including Perth Modern School, St Hilda’s, Christ Church Grammar School, Perth College and Shenton College. 

Not to mention, some of Perth’s best beaches are north of the river – Cottesloe, Scarborough and Hillarys to name some favourites. Keep this in mind for easy family outings, refreshing summer swims and, for the surfers among us, catching some waves.

Market Insights

Depending on your personal circumstances, whether it be budget, family needs, lifestyle – it’s your choice whether North or South is right for you. From a supply and demand perspective, it does say something that the majority of the Perth metro population chooses to live in the northern suburbs and west of the river. You can see why this is by looking at the type of properties available and the corresponding local amenities and lifestyle. 

Popular northern suburbs median house prices based on the last 12 months according to REIWA: 

Mount Lawley: $1,020,000

Leederville: $865,500

Scarborough: $740,000

Cottesloe: $2,175,000

Northbridge: $1,250,000

South of the River

The Lifestyle

As mentioned above, the northern suburbs are more densely populated than the south, however, there are popular hubs to be found south of the river in Fremantle and Victoria Park. Plus, suburbs such as South Perth, Kensington, Burswood and Lathlain are an easy commute to the city. 

Suburbs south of the river are traditionally popular among families with lots of schooling options and parks to enjoy. Fremantle and Coogee are beachy suburbs to suit those looking for a more laid back lifestyle – or explore the riverside with easy access in East Fremantle, Bicton, Applecross and South Perth.

Marketing Insights

There are plenty of affordable suburbs to buy into on the south side of the river, making it a desirable option for first home buyers and young families. The median house and rental prices are lower than the northern suburbs and the blocks of land are bigger on average. In recent years there has been a high annual growth in southern suburbs which shows an increase in buyer interest for the area, however there are less high-value properties to be found in the southern suburbs compared with those north of the river. 

Popular southern suburbs median house prices based on the last 12 months according to REIWA:

Fremantle: $780,000

South Perth: $1,255,000

Applecross: $1,560,000

Bicton: $942,000

Victoria Park: $638,750

So, what’s your preference?

Although the Limnios family is based north of the river, there truly is no right or wrong answer – you need to look at your own lifestyle and prerequisites to make the call that is right for you. For some, living close to friends and family is a priority, for others, a shorter work commute is a must or perhaps you’re trying to live in a specific school catchment. Ask yourself the following questions to help you decide: 

  • How long will my work commute be? 
  • How long will my partner’s work commute be?
  • How long will my children’s school commute be?
  • Do I need (or want) to be close to friends and family? What suburbs are they in?
  • How far away is my gym? Favourite restaurants? Other often-visited places?
  • Do I like being close to the beach or river?
  • Do I like being close to the hills?
  • Do I need to have a nearby frequent holiday destination like the Swan Valley, Margaret River, Lancelin or Jurien Bay?

If you need some more personalised guidance on where is best to invest, we’ll help you back your planning with over 50 years of experience in the Perth property market. Give us a call today – we’re happy to help!