Apartments transform suburbs – and for the better!

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Curious to see what has happened with the recent 2016 census, PropertyESP took a look at 3 suburbs that have been transformed by apartment developments to see what other changes to the suburb this had brought.

East Perth – originally an industrial suburb, EPRA (now MRA) was established in 1991 to redevelop and urbanise the suburb.   It did so with the development of Claisebrook Village, with introduced 1450 new dwellings as well as retail and commercial properties on the site of the former East Perth Gasworks, scrap yards, contaminated industrial sites, empty warehouses and railway yards (Source: MRA Claisebrook Village Fact Sheet).

In the 2001 Census of Population and Housing, East Perth (which is broader than just Claisebrook Village) had 1631 occupied private dwellings that were apartments and flats (making 81.2% of all occupied private dwellings in the suburb).  By 2016, this had risen to 4018 apartments and flats (88.8% of occupied private dwellings).  The big transformation of East Perth occurred between 2006 & 2011, with the addition of 1160 occupied private dwellings that were apartments and flats (a 67% increase), and between 2011 & 2016, with the addition of 1125 occupied private dwellings that were apartments of flats (a 39% increase).

What else changed in East Perth over this time?

  • There was a change from these apartments and flats being predominantly rentals to owner occupied.   In 2006 and 2011, the level of owner occupancy was hovered around 34%.  By 2016, 64% of occupied private dwellings that were apartments or flats were owner occupied.  Over the same period, the level of owner occupancy for apartments and flats in Greater Perth was unchanged (around 32%).  With the redevelopment, people are choosing to own and live in apartments and flats in East Perth.
  • Median household incomes for the suburb have surged ahead of Greater Perth.  In 2006, the median household income for East Perth was $1106 per week … on par with the $1086 for Greater Perth.  By 2016, median household income for East Perth had risen to $2301, well ahead of the $1643 for Greater Perth.
  • The types of households attracted to the suburb has changed.  In 2001, 46% of East Perth households were lone person households and 29% were couple households.  By 2016, the two were on par – 37% lone person households and 36% couple households.  Both groups have remained relatively stable across Greater Perth over the same period.  Whilst families have not been attracted to East Perth in droves – they currently make up 16% of households – they have risen in number, up 251% from 210 households in 2001 to 737 households in 2016.

Burswood – another older suburb that gained new life and widespread awareness with the building of the (then) Burswood Casino in the 1980s.  The suburb was officially gazetted in 1993.  Subsequent apartment developments in a similar vein to East Perth have continued to change the suburb but it’s location on the eastern bank of the Swan River provides for a different lifestyle experience to East Perth.

The 2001 Census of Population and Housing counted 187 occupied private dwellings that were apartments and flats (making 37.4% of all occupied private dwellings in the suburb).  By 2016 this had risen 183% to 530 occupied private dwellings that were apartments or flats.  More importantly, this changed the housing profile of the suburb, with 57.2% of occupied private dwellings being apartments or flats.  The really big transformation in Burswood occurred between 2006 & 2011.

What else changed in Burswood over this time?

  • As was observed in East Perth, there was an increase in owner occupancy of apartments and flats in the suburb.   In 2001 and 2006, the level of owner occupancy was hovered around 21%.  This rose to 36% in 2011 and 41% in 2016.  Apartments and flats in Burswood are still the domain of renters, but it has seen a doubling of owner occupancy levels over 15 years.
  • Median household incomes for the suburb have surged ahead of Greater Perth.  In 2006, the median household income for Burswood was $1091 per week … on par with the $1086 for Greater Perth.  By 2016, median household income for Burswood had risen to $2273, well ahead of the $1643 for Greater Perth.
  • The types of households attracted to the suburb has changed as well.  In 2001, 38% of Burswood households were lone person households and 31% were couple households.  By 2016, the situation has reversed – 30% lone person households and 38% couple households.  The proportion of family households has also increased, up from 18% in 2001 to 23% in 2016.  In numbers, they have risen 14% from 87 households in 2001 to 213 households in 2016.

Cockburn Central – the first purpose built TOD in the Perth metro area.  It was named in 2007 and was counted as a separate suburb for the first time in the 2011 Census.  The 2016 counted 403 apartments or flats as occupied private dwellings, making up 70.8% of the 569 occupied private dwellings in the suburb.  At 10 years of age, there’s not much  history or transformation to explore.  But as a purpose built regional centre for the surrounding area and designed with density and connectivity in mind, it serves as an interesting comparison to the other suburbs.

Firstly geography, Cockburn Central is 24km from the Perth CBD, connected by the Kwinana Freeway and Transperth rail.  That makes it further from Perth than East Perth and Burswood.  It has a number of employment opportunities close by, and is also well placed to connect to employment opportunities in the Perth CBD and the SW metropolitan industrial areas.

Who is living in Cockburn Central?

  • Cockburn Central is very much a renters suburb.  At the 2016 Census of Population and Housing, 71% of occupied private dwellings that are apartments or flats are rented, higher than for Cockburn Central properties in general (58%).   The level of renting is higher than for Greater Perth.
  • Median household income for the suburb is similar to Greater Perth – $1625 per week.
  • 37% of households are lone person households (similar to East Perth), 34% are couple households (lower than East Perth but, like East Perth, the proportion of couple households is growing).

With the newness of this suburb, it does tend to however indicate that it may follow the same pattern as Burswood and East Perth in time.

As PropertyESP has always attested – apartments in the housing mix does tend to attract a more professional resident with higher disposable incomes and that is good for the LGA overall.  If you would like to know what is happening in your suburb of development contact Sam Reece at info@propertyesp.com.au.  We love to get into the nitty gritty!

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