Outer Melbourne liveability to increase as remote working becomes norm

PwC has today revealed a new CityPulse analysis showing liveability of suburbs in Melbourne’s middle and outer rings increase significantly when people can work remotely to reduce their weekly commute.

The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated that many people have been able to work effectively from home and avoid often lengthy work commutes. PwC’s latest CityPulse release, Future Victoria 2020, was undertaken to understand how a sustained increase in remote working might affect liveability across Victoria’s suburbs.

PwC’s new CityPulse analysis shows that the liveability scores - that is, how each area performs against each of the three Live, Work, Play metrics - of middle and outer ring suburbs have the largest improvements when reduced commute times for white collar workers are taken into account.

PwC Melbourne Managing Partner Peter Konidaris says, “When we undertook the first CityPulse analysis two years ago, we weren’t surprised to find that proximity to the CBD and related access to jobs and amenities was a strong factor in determining a suburb’s liveability. But new ways of working accelerated by COVID-19 might be the catalyst for change.

“While inner-city suburbs continued to be the majority of suburbs with the highest absolute liveability scores in our new analysis, the improved scores in pockets across the northern, southern, eastern and western city boundaries create a more balanced picture of liveability across Victoria.

“Point Cook, for example, has seen the greatest jump in Live scores, with residents having a 50 per cent capability to work from home and an average commute distance that is 30 per cent higher than the Melbourne average, at approximately 20.5km. Mount Eliza in the South, Panton Hill in the North and Beaconsfield in the East are also among the suburbs with the most improved Live scores.”

In the new CityPulse, PwC modified the ‘Live’ score by adding a Commute Saving metric to reflect the impact of increased remote working on the liveability of suburbs across Victoria. The Top 10 Live scores 10-20km from CBD are:

  1. Surrey Hills (West) - Canterbury
  2. Carnegie
  3. Surrey Hills (East) - Mont Albert
  4. Malvern East
  5. Camberwell
  6. Blackburn
  7. Bentleigh - McKinnon
  8. Nunawading
  9. Bulleen
  10. Templestowe Lower

The Top 10 Live scores >20km from CBD:

  1. Cranbourne East
  2. Point Cook - East
  3. Mitcham (Vic.)
  4. Point Cook - South
  5. Eltham
  6. Warrandyte - Wonga Park
  7. Beaconsfield - Officer
  8. Donvale - Park Orchards
  9. Tarneit
  10. Truganina

PwC’s latest CityPulse also identifies seven suburbs in the >20km+ ring with stand out liveability scores above the average suburb in the 10-20km ring:

  1. Mitcham (Vic.)
  2. Eltham
  3. Warrandyte - Wonga Park
  4. Donvale - Park Orchards
  5. Rowville - South
  6. Vermont South
  7. Ringwood East

The six suburbs in the 10-20km ring with stand out liveability scores above the average suburb in the 5-10km ring are:

  1. Carnegie
  2. Blackburn
  3. Nunawading
  4. Bulleen
  5. Templestowe Lower
  6. Doncaster

“It’s still too early to say with any certainty what the long lasting impacts will be in people’s work habits, but if new ways of working are sustained we could see a big impact on liveability across our State,” Mr Konidaris added.

“Travel around the suburbs could become more important relative to proximity to the city - with projects such as the Suburban Rail Loop connecting Melbourne’s middle ring of suburbs from the east around to the west - becoming far more relevant.

“We could also see more opportunity for amenity investment in these middle and outer suburbs as they become more affluent due to rising home values. Wouldn’t it be great to see a Michelin-star restaurant in Point Cook or Arts Centre Beaconsfield?

“Our analysis highlights a big opportunity to increase liveability across our northern, southern, eastern and western city boundaries as remote working continues to increase. To see an even greater jump in liveability we need to iron out gaps in ‘Play’ - aspects of the locality that make it an appealing place for leisure activities.”

About PwC

At PwC, our purpose is to build trust in society and solve important problems. We’re a network of firms in 157 countries with more than 223,000 people who are committed to delivering quality in assurance, advisory and tax services. Find out more and tell us what matters to you by visiting us at www.pwc.com.

PwC refers to the PwC network and/or one or more of its member firms, each of which is a separate legal entity. Please see www.pwc.com/structure for further details.

© 2019 PwC. All rights reserved.

Contact us

Patrick Lane

Head of Media, Reputation, PwC Australia

Tel: +61 437 884 010

Lucy Hinton

Senior Manager, Media, PwC Australia

Tel: +61 401 415 773

Follow PwC Australia