CityPulse Perth: a new blueprint to unlock the city’s potential

21 April 

PwC has today revealed the top 10 places to ‘live, work and play’ in Perth as part of its CityPulse campaign designed to provide a suburb by suburb snapshot for each of our major cities.

The three category ‘Live, Work, Play’ index unveils key data points with a view to sparking important conversations with residents, businesses and policy makers about the current and future state of Perth to better understand where opportunities exist for new investment, to identify where improved planning can play a role, and to make residents’ day to day lives better right across the city.

The Top 10 CityPulse Results for Perth




1. Wembley - West Leederville - Glendalough

1. Perth City

1. Perth City

2. North Perth

2. Subiaco - Shenton Park

2. Swanbourne - Mount Claremont

3. Booragoon

3. Nedlands - Dalkeith - Crawley

3. Fremantle

4. South Perth - Kensington

=4. South Perth - Kensington

4. City Beach

5. Mount Hawthorn - Leederville

=4. Wembley - West Leederville - Glendalough

5. Bayswater - Embleton - Bedford

6. Bateman

6. Madeley - Darch - Landsdale

=6. Victoria Park - Lathlain - Burswood

=7. Mount Lawley - Inglewood

7. Forrestdale - Harrisdale - Piara Waters

=6. Wembley - West Leederville - Glendalough

=7. Bull Creek

=8. Applecross - Ardross

=6. East Victoria Park - Carlisle

=7. Leeming

=8. Victoria Park - Lathlain - Burswood

9. Belmont - Ascot - Redcliffe

10. Wembley Downs - Churchlands - Woodlands

10. Mount Hawthorn - Leederville

10. Mount Hawthorn - Leederville


Live measures the overall amenity of a locality based on factors such as housing affordability, crime rates and access to services such as health care and schools and ranks Wembley, West Leederville and Glendalough first due in significant part to their accessibility to services and low levels of mortgage stress.

Perth Managing Partner Michelle Tremain explained that the analysis of mortgage stress illuminates the pattern of housing affordability in the city, revealing a story which unites homeowners across the suburbs with some of the highest and lowest average property prices.

“Mortgage stress is a unifying experience for Perth residents and should be a spur for planning reform, concentrating on housing affordability, land tenure reform and urban consolidation,” she said.

“Starting with the Western Suburbs, we see that core suburbs, including Mosman Park and Peppermint Grove, are experiencing high levels of mortgage to income pressure. They are surrounded by concentric belts of suburbs with lower and higher levels of mortgage stress as you move East, North and South. By the time you reach Ellenbrook and Gosnells, mortgages as a proportion of income are back up to the levels seen in Mosman Park and Peppermint Grove (around 20%).

“The extent and common nature of the housing affordability challenge right across the city suggests an urgent need for planning reform and more affordable housing alternatives. This will benefit the young families who want to remain close to their support networks, and older citizens looking to downsize without being forced to leave their beloved neighbourhood.”

The ‘live’ analysis also demonstrated that a car is still required to be within easy reach of schools, childcare, higher education, health centres and hospitals - the amenities that underpin the quality of urban life.

“Perth is still a car city but public transport investment is key to making amenities more accessible, not just into Perth, but between suburbs and across the metropolitan area,” Ms Tremain said.

“As Perth’s population expands to a projected 3.5 million by 2050, Perth’s easy accessibility by car will no longer hold as increased congestion takes place and we will need to see major investments in connective infrastructure to avoid a dramatic increase in congestion.”

Work which assesses a range of economic factors such as business activity, employment rates, access to jobs and economic performance rates Perth City as number one.

“Jobs in Perth are highly concentrated around the CBD, with job accessibility by public transport declining rapidly once you move beyond this central region. This trend is most pronounced in Perth’s southern suburbs, with the exception of a narrow corridor along the Mandurah train line.

“What’s important to recognise is that not many of us work close to where we live in Perth, so it’s important that we grow jobs in all locations while improving our transport infrastructure so that people everywhere can get to where the jobs are,” Ms Tremain explained.

The CityPulse also reveals that while the majority of businesses are located within the CBD, there are opportunities to promote the establishment of new knowledge-based and economic precincts, and new jobs, in the middle-outer suburban ring of Perth, traditionally dominated by population-based employment. The northern suburbs of Balcatta, Hamersley and Lansdale especially have a great opportunity where a strong innovation culture is developing.

Play, measuring aspects of the locality that make it an appealing place for leisure activities such as entertainment, dining and cultural or sporting activities, saw Perth City again ranked first.

“The last ten years has seen policy reforms and transformation in the cultural and entertainment options available within Perth’s CBD which will no doubt continue. The Perth City Link and more recently, the Yagan Square redevelopment, is providing a mix of housing, services, shops, bars, restaurants and entertainment facilities, while major architectural projects include Perth Arena, the new Optus Stadium, Elizabeth Quay and the Treasury Buildings contributing to a new level of cultural and entertainment options.

“The opportunity now is to look beyond the CBD in order to open up new areas for locals and visitors to easily access cultural, dining, entertainment and recreational facilities. Fremantle, where there has been no significant investment other than the WA Maritime Museum since the America’s Cup over 30 years ago, represents a largely untapped opportunity to establish a redeveloped Victoria Quay entertainment hub.”

The report also points to similar opportunities north of the Swan River to compliment the tourism investment in places such as Scarborough and Hillarys.

The CityPulse also revealed that geography plays an important role in determining the options available in terms of access to fitness centres, sports facilities, recreational waters, parklands and gardens.

For example, fitness and sports facilities are more easily accessible in the northern suburbs, while boat facilities are highly concentrated in the south metropolitan area, beaches are most accessible from the central and western suburbs, but the residents of the Perth Hills can step out into national parks.

“Perth’s greatest assets are an abundance of open space and national parks, a world class new sports stadium and some of the country’s best urban beaches and boating facilities. But as Perth grows to over 3.5 million people, with commensurate congestion, building upon this base, equitable access for all residents to these amenities is our next challenge,” Ms Tremain concluded.

For more details about the CityPulse Perth and for the full results please visit:

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

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 for further details.

© 2017 PwC. All rights reserved.

Contact us

Kristen Cusack

Corporate Affairs Senior Manager, PwC Australia

Tel: +61 2 8266 1648
Mobile: +61 422 799 830

Follow PwC Australia