The future of Australia's Character Houses


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Table of Contents


Character Houses
Character Houses

Heritage and character buildings are valued by many city residents, and are an important component of defining neighbourhood identity and character.

"Our Brisbane housing stock from the 1910's and 20's represents a high point of Queensland vernacular architecture, and its cultural (and monetary) value will only increase as the years go by." - House Histories

  • "From the 1930's we have inherited a collection of very distinct styles - Spanish Californian, Functionalist, Art Deco, Old English etc."
  • "All of these buildings are irreplaceable and add great character to our suburban landscape."- House Histories

  • Neighbourhood character refers to the 'look and feel of an area', in particular a residential area. ...- Wikipedia
  • In Victoria this neighbourhood character is protected by Neighbourhood Residential Zoning (see below)


Character Homes


A character home is defined as a home that:

Older Queenslander
Older Queenslander
eg for Brisbane, QLD,[3]
"Houses built in or before 1946 are to be retained, and any extensions or alterations are to complement the traditional building style."

"New houses are to be designed to fit in with the character of the street."

"In October of 1995, Council introduced a blanket layer of protection over suburbs where the majority of homes had been built before the end of World War II." (DCP overlay)
    • "After World Expo 88, Brisbane boomed and land values increased. This extra protection was needed to stop the demolition of large numbers of older homes, many of which were on two blocks of land."

For example, In Melbourne:
  • South-eastern councils including Boroondara, Bayside, Glen Eira and Whitehorse are avoiding development by locking up large swaths of their suburbs with a restrictive "neighbourhood" zone which bans medium-density housing. - The Age
    • eg. The implementation of these new Boroondara residential zones ... offer the type of controls residents have been calling for over a long period, including mandatory building heights and, in most areas, stricter standards for the look and feel of an area.[4]
    • The protection of the established character of Boroondara’s residential areas is highly valued by the local community, (and) is the guiding principle that Council is seeking to achieve.


Saving Brisbane's Character Homes


Queenslander
Queenslander

  • "The most significant and stately of our older Brisbane homes, mostly Queenslanders, are heritage-listed."
  • "But not all Queenslanders are suitable for a place in the Heritage Register because they are just too numerous."


"Many people think that Brisbane’s old-style timber homes with their shady verandahs and tin roofs, which line the hilly streets of inner suburbs like Paddington, are the essence of ‘Brisbane’.[5] (for example, the beauty and quirkiness of Brisbane and its people)
  • "You won’t see suburbs like this in Paris or Shanghai. You won’t even find them in Melbourne or Sydney."
  • "Queensland is the only place in Australia where building homes from timber was a strong tradition, right up until World War II."

"Character homes are an important component of neighbourhood identity and vibrancy and retaining them also helps meet greenest city goals."
Protecting Character Homes? From THE AGE
Protecting Character Homes? From THE AGE

"From churches and worker’s cottages, Queenslanders and traditional corner stores, to Californian bungalows and pre-federation houses, Brisbane’s heritage and character buildings reflect the best of Australian architecture and the city’s local history.
  • In order to protect Brisbane’s past and maintain the architectural heritage and character of our city and suburbs, the Brisbane City Plan outlines requirements for appropriate development in Brisbane’s older suburbs, and for renovating, demolishing or removing some buildings."
  • Demolition Control Precinct (DCP)’.
    You cannot demolish or remove a building built before 1947 in a Demolition Control Precinct without approval. There are also rules about renovating or building in a DCP."

Secretary of the Beaumaris Conservation Society, Chris Sutton has been fighting local inappropriate development for years.
He is delighted his south-eastern suburb has been given the protection of the Neighbourhood Residential Zone (NRZ) and that battles at VCAT over future developments may be over.

*Original features of character homes


  • Character buildings can be defined by a number of criteria.[6]
  • Your home is most likely a character building if it was constructed before 1940 and has character features such as authentic or period...
    1. massing (grouping of windows, or of filigree timberwork),
    2. period roof form,
    3. period front porch,
    4. authentic exterior wall materials,
    5. authentic window openings, frames and details.

Character porch details
Character porch details


Character Merit Checklist


  • as used by City of Vancouver, Canada[7]
    • Original roof form
    • Original open front porch or verandah
    • Original (timber) cladding
    • Period windows (50% or more), original location, size and shape
    • Original window casings or trim (50% or more)
    • Period details or decorative elements (e.g. two or more brackets, beams, joist ends)
    • Other period features (e.g. porch, roof, foundation)

  • Not all pre-1940 homes have Character Merit
  • However it is estimated that 80% of pre-1940 homes retain sufficient features to be considered as having Character Merit.

Character Housing and the New Brisbane City Plan

To illustrate the application of the DCP codes, let's look at some examples.
  • The two houses below are within the DCP but only the cottage to the right is protected, based on a pre-1946 construction date.
  • The house to the left, a typical post-war conventional, may be removed by the owner.
  • The Council refers mainly to the comprehensive set of 1946 aerial photos to identify buildings that existed as of that year.


Character Homes in Brisbane QLD
Character Homes in Brisbane QLD

  • However, pre-1946 houses within the DCP can be demolished or substantially modified under certain circumstances.

In the below pictures, the fabulous little 1800's worker's cottage to the left has been deemed structurally unsound and irreparable, and therefore approved for demolition.
  • A complete demolition by any reasonable definition but apparently still compliant with code.
Conserve or demolish?
Conserve or demolish?
New construction in DCPs is assessed under the Residential Character Code to ensure that designs are compatibile with the surrounding streetscape.

  • This was many months ago and the house still stands - thankfully, but its fate may be sealed.
The tragedy/travesty to the right is from Windsor, and illustrates a case where distinguishing features of the original building have been ordered to be preserved.
  • And there it is - a single gable facade, high in the air, waiting for a new box to be tucked to the back.
  • A complete demolition by any reasonable definition but apparently still compliant with code.


The Difference between Heritage and Character


Brisbane City defines four groups of Heritage and Character building types:

Brisbane Overlay maps


Overlay
What is the intent?
What are the rules?
1.
Traditional building character overlay
(known as the Demolition control precinct in Brisbane City Plan 2000)
Maintain traditional character in streets where there are houses built in or before 1946. Examples are traditional timber and tin Queenslanders and 1920’s masonry art deco buildings.
Houses built in or before 1946 are to be retained and any extensions or alterations are to complement the traditional building style.

New houses are to be designed to fit in with the character of the street.
2.
Commercial character building overlay
(known as the Commercial character building area classification in Brisbane City Plan 2000)
Allow a range of compatible uses to take place in traditional corner shops.
Commercial character buildings are to be retained and any extensions or alterations are to complement the traditional building style.

Compatible uses such as small shops, offices and services may be located in Commercial character buildings even when in zones where these uses would not otherwise be allowed, such as residential zones.
3.
Pre-1911 building overlay
Retain houses built before 1911. In some cases they may be relocated to another suitable location.
Houses built before 1911 are to be retained and any extensions should not alter the original parts of the house.

Where a pre-1911 house is located in a zone that is not intended for houses, for example an Industrial zone or the High density residential zone, the house may be relocated to another house lot that is in the Traditional building character overlay.
4.
Heritage overlay
(known as Heritage places in Brisbane City Plan 2000)
Protect specific buildings and places of heritage significance. Heritage places can be of local, state, national or world heritage significance.
Heritage places are to be retained and restored to preserve their heritage value. Development on sites next to heritage places should not impact the values of the heritage place.
- Reference Source

Why is pre-1940 or even pre-1946 a Criterion?


The Second World War (1939-1945) stopped most housing construction (by 1940) until military operations ceased, since all available resources were re-directed for the war effort.
Characater Arts and Crafts streetscape in Vancouver, Canada
Characater Arts and Crafts streetscape in Vancouver, Canada

In 1945-1946 the remaining members of the armed forces were demobilised and returned to their home towns.
  • Brisbane Council has aerial maps of Brisbane in 1946, so that explains why Brisbane's date criterion is later than normal.
Refugees also flowed into the newer population centres such as Canada and Australia.
  • Western cities grew rapidly in the late 1940s and 1950s as a result of post-war immigration and the baby boom.
  • Housing contractors began to mass-produce houses
    eg in Brisbane, (the Dutch built housing at Coopers Plainsand the French built at Zillmere, both outer suburbs of Brisbane) to cater for the chronic Queensland housing shortage after WW2.

Character Homes are valuable


  • Scarcity of character houses will continue to increase their value, according to buyers' agents (independent consultants acting for property purchasers).

Doing more with Character Homes


Capitalising on a Queensland Federation-style character home
Capitalising on a Queensland Federation-style character home

There are a lot of older properties in great locations packed with potential.

If you look at all these old beauties with fresh eyes, it’s amazing what opportunities you’ll really see.[8]
Capitalising on a character home doesn’t necessarily mean major costly renovations.
  • There are a number of things you can do to breathe new life into an older house without extensive remodelling.
  • You don’t need to be a master builder, or even a tradesman to make simple, quality changes.
  • With a sound structure and an eye for detail, you can turn a tired house into a fresh new home filled with character.
    - Read more

A record 800 'historic' houses being demolished every week in Australia

by Duncan Hughes May 5 2016 at 6:30 AM Australian Financial Review
Stately Federation home from Nelson Road, Lindfield
Stately Federation home from Nelson Road, Lindfield


external image 1426318770901.pngby Duncan Hughes
A record 800 heritage and "character" houses are falling under demolition hammers each week, destroying miles of unique streetscapes and slicing billions off their value.
  • The number of demolitions is almost one-third higher than previous estimates because it takes into account more suburbs in every capital, according to Phillip Almeida, director of Acquisitions Performance Advisory, which monitors national property markets. Read more:


A record 800 heritage and "character" houses are falling under demolition hammers each week, destroying miles of unique streetscapes and slicing billions off their value.

  • The number of demolitions is almost one-third higher than previous estimates because it takes into account more suburbs in every capital, according to Phillip Almeida, director of Acquisitions Performance Advisory, which monitors national property markets.
New homes and renovations in character areas must fit in with other homes in thestreet.
New homes and renovations in character areas must fit in with other homes in thestreet.

Original houses remaining in a streetscape transformed by a "McMansion" (a house or apartment considered to be ostentatious or lacking in architectural integrity) can lose between 10 and 25 per cent of their value from the loss of street appeal, say property specialists.
  • It could also be a short-sighted strategy for owner-developers because scarcity of character houses, which in many cases can be adapted to modern living requirements, will continue to increase their value, according to buyers' agents (independent consultants acting for property purchasers).
A bewildering mix of local and state agencies, councils, government bodies, local planning instruments and environmental controls mean determined developers can drive a wide-shovelled bulldozer through preservation laws.
  • "Profit-driven developers and Asian buyers in search of 'trophy' homes are responsible for the rapid disappearance of these dwellings," says Almeida.

Most Vulnerable Homes


Most vulnerable periods are Victorian, Edwardian, Queenslander, Californian bungalow, Spanish mission and art deco, says Almeida. Property styles include homes, terraces and smaller apartments with under 12 dwellings, he says.
  • He estimates the nation's stock has shrunk by more than 2 per cent to about 8 per cent in the past 30 months, reflecting local and overseas demand for prime locations in popular Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane postcodes

Unique streetscapes


Melbourne and Sydney have unique urban streetscapes from the building booms of the late 19th century when they were transit points for the gold fields and among the world's richest cities.
  • A lot of damage was done to their character during the 1960s thanks to misguided attempts at modernization, developer greed, lax councils and a failure by state and federal government to protect their heritage.

Read more: http://www.afr.com/real-estate/a-record-800-historic-houses-being-demolished-every-week-20160502-goklne#ixzz4emvnLpA0

Council protection for city's historic 'character homes'

Tony Moore Brisbane Times, NOVEMBER 5 2011

More than 2400 pre-1900 Brisbane character homes that could have been demolished have been identified after a five-month aerial survey by Brisbane City Council.
  • Lord Mayor Graham Quirk said that aerial survey work identified houses that could have been demolished.
  • From next Tuesday Brisbane City Council will start to apply temporary local plans to protect the first two (groups) of the properties.
A total 2475 pre-1900s Brisbane homes have so far been identified by Brisbane City Council as bieng worthy of protection ...
A total 2475 pre-1900s Brisbane homes have so far been identified by Brisbane City Council as bieng worthy of protection ...
  • At Tuesday’s council meeting ‘‘temporary local planning instruments’’ will be put in place to guard homes in Baines Street, Kangaroo Point and in Manchester Terrace, Taringa.
  • To date, 2475 older Brisbane homes have been identified which have effectively slipped through the cracks of local planning controls.
  • Under the changes, any application to demolish the home must be assessed before the full council.
  • Read more

"Playing By The Rules"

Character Home protection in Brisbane, QLD:

"It’s difficult to get approval to demolish a home built before 1947, or even part of an older home, within a Demolition Control Permit overlay.
  • Generally, if you want to demolish all or part of a pre-1947 building in a DCP, you have to
    A character home at Roy St Ashgrove.
    A character home at Roy St Ashgrove.
    • submit a development application (including forms and fees),
    • provide a town planning report and
    • perhaps other reports from a structural engineer and an architect.
All of this takes time and money.
  • If a character house contributes to the look of the street, has not been substantially altered and is capable of repair, Council will probably say ‘no’ to your application.
  • You’ll also need approval to demolish any free standing buildings built prior to 1947 such as sheds and garages on the property, unless they are at the rear of your property."[9]

QLD News:

More Brisbane character homes under threat

Tom Snowdon, The Courier-Mail October 28, 2016 1:00am

One of the homes at Real Ave, Norman Park
One of the homes at Real Ave, Norman Park

The city’s planning chief called on the State Government to make urgent changes to planning legislation that would hand council more enforcement powers while extending the notification period for approvals.
The call comes amid a bitter legal stoush that has been raging since 2010 between the council and the private certifier about the right to conduct building work on homes....
  • Outside court, the certifier refused to comment on whether he had plans to approve the demolition of other character homes.

  • He said the council was ignoring the earlier court rulings in pursuing his clients for lawful alterations to character properties.
Read more
Demolition or De-construction?
Demolition or De-construction?


Demolition by Deconstruction vs. Conventional Demolition


Conventional demolition involves rapidly knocking-down and removing a house using heavy equipment.
  • It usually takes a couple of days and produces tonnes of mixed demolition waste.
  • Mixed demolition waste generally ends up in the landfill because it is difficult to separate various materials for recycling.
Deconstruction means taking apart the house more carefully and systematically instead of knocking it down rapidly with heavy equipment.
  • By using deconstruction techniques, wood and other materials can be separated, sorted, and can be more easily reused and recycled - much like the way you separate your household waste for recycling.
  • Deconstruction requires a small increase in time and typically involves a crew with additional personnel.
  • Deconstruction techniques are one way to achieve the reuse and recycling requirements

Where are Australia's Character Homes?

A Brisbane Character Home streetscape
A Brisbane Character Home streetscape

  1. Brisbane's Character suburbs
  2. Sydney's Character suburbs
  3. Canberra's Character suburbs
  4. Melbourne's Character suburbs
  5. Hobart's Character suburbs
  6. Adelaide's Character suburbs
  7. Perth's Character suburbs

1. Brisbane's Character Homes

Most of the typical 19th century houses around inner Brisbane date from the 1880s.
  • Examples of this period houses can be seen in Paddington, Red Hill, Highgate Hill and East Brisbane.

Porch-and-Gable, Multi-gable Bungalows

The interwar building boom saw the construction of the porch-and-gable and multi-gable bungalows that characterise much of Brisbane’s timber-and-tin housing, particularly in suburbs such as Ashgrove.

Art Nouveau & Californian bungalows

To a lesser extent, the 1920s and 1930s also gave rise to more derivative domestic architecture – Californian bungalows as well as Spanish Mission, Old English, Functionalist and Art Deco style houses and flats.
  • These houses were often constructed in masonry and there are examples in suburbs such as New Farm, Bardon, Spring Hill, Coorparoo & Chelmer.

Queensland Heritage House History


Evolution of the Queenslander housing styles
Evolution of the Queenslander housing styles

Workers Cottages / Dwellings

Queensland Government Workers’ Dwelling Scheme
Tens of thousands of workers’ homes were funded by the Corporation across the state, for a range of pre-approved designs and in accordance with strict eligibility criteria for for applicants.
  • The catalogue includes high-set bungalow and transverse gabled patterns and also introduces the multi-gable designs that came to predominate later in the decade.
  • In many ways the collection represents the golden age of timber architecture in Queensland with an incredible variety of ornate and often fairly spacious designs, a testament to the prosperous “roaring twenties” and the resources invested by contemporary society in humble workers’ houses.
  • The designs are found throughout our character neighbourhoods and inner suburbs.[10]

Federation period 1890s-1910s

  • 4. Bungalow-roofed house
  • 5. Asymmetrical bungalow-roofed house
  • 6. Queen Anne style house

Interwar period 1920s-1930s

  • 7. Porch-and-gable house
  • 8. Multi-gable house
  • 9. Californian Bungalow style house
  • 10. Spanish Mission style house
  • 11. Old English style house
Brisbane's Housing Types
Brisbane's Housing Types

For the South-east suburbs of Coorparoo, Greenslopes, Camp Hill, Holland Park and Holland Park West.
  • Any development on such a site must protect the existing dwelling built in 1946 or before while allowing new one- or two-storey dwellings to be built in the character zone precinct.
  • Not proceeding with medium density proposals in some areas in Greenslopes and Holland Park, including Denman Street
  • Increasing the number of properties to be included in the character residential zone, particularly in Camp Hill and Greenslopes

My Brisbane suburb picks

- Peter Switzer

My favourite suburbs where I think there are great buying opportunities available now for future capital growth.

Kelvin Gove

  • Kelvin Grove is just 4km north west of Brisbane CBD.
  • A central hub for university students, hospital staff and city workers, it’s home to the Queensland University of Technology campus with The Royal Brisbane Hospital just next door in Herston.
  • Due to its convenience, Kelvin Grove is gaining in popularity so demand for property is strengthening.
  • Most of the homes are renovated post-war workers' cottages and Queenslander-style homes.
  • Many hip young buyers are particularly attracted to Kelvin Grove’s urban village, with its trendy apartments, shops, supermarkets, restaurants and cafes.

Bulimba

  • Bulimba is one of Brisbane's most prosperous leafy riverside suburbs.
  • It’s highly desirable among family buyers due to its close proximity to well-known schools and its beautiful local parks including Bulimba Memorial Park and Vic Lucas Park.
  • It’s also known for its thriving Oxford Street precinct with many cafés, restaurants and a cinema complex.
  • Bulimba has undergone a significant transformation since the 1990s with many of its residents choosing to buy and renovate. This has had a very positive impact as the suburb continues to experience high demand.

Hamilton

  • Hamilton is without doubt one of Brisbane's most prestigious suburbs, catering for owner-occupiers and investors alike with its admired views of the Brisbane River.
  • It is located approximately 6km from Brisbane CBD and is within walking distance of landmarks including the Eagle Farm Racecourse and Breakfast Creek Wharf.
  • Hamilton has experienced strong growth in median house prices over the past five years, however, the median house price does not reflect the diversity of properties and prices points available within the suburb.

New Farm

  • New Farm has seen an influx of professionals and trendsetters who have transformed the area into one of Brisbane's most desirable suburbs.
  • Despite its increasing popularity with young singles and couples, there is still a wide variety of houses available, ranging from historical workers' cottages and colonials through to art deco blocks of flats and modern contemporary homes and apartments.

2. Where to find Sydney's affordable character homes



A "classic Federation" home
A "classic Federation" home
These days, it can be hard to find a character home in Sydney for less than $1 million that's not falling down.

If you add the term "partially renovated", the task gets even harder.[11]
  • For those on a budget, classic period pockets such as Mosman, Haberfield, Strathfield and Queens Park are out of the question.

  • But all is not lost for those looking to capture a piece of Sydney's rich architectural history.
A surprising number of suburbs have little-known gems that successfully combine original features, modern conveniences and an affordable price tag.
154 old canterbury road summer hill nsw 2130
154 old canterbury road summer hill nsw 2130

Arncliffe


Off the Princes Highway, about eight kilometres south of the city, Arncliffe is rich Federation country.
  • First subdivided in the early 1800s, the area was dominated by farmers' markets, tradespeople and pioneers.
  • Many of the homes have been saved, restored or renovated and while it may be too far south for some or too close to the airport for others, this area takes pride in its period homes.
  • Rockdale City Council has completed a heritage study of the area to identify buildings and houses that are worth preserving and has taken an active stance on heritage listings and how they can benefit owners.
McGrath agent Nigel McAllister (0413 001 121) says "I just don't think Arncliffe has reached its full potential yet, It will get there one day, but you can still buy some affordable character homes."[12]
  • McAllister says a high percentage of homes have often been changed inside, with original features such as fireplaces taken out.
  • However, he says there's an overwhelming desire from buyers to find something with character as well as potential to have a modern liveable home. See also Bexley and Banksia
    • View houses to buy in Arncliffe and surrounds.

Canterbury


Budget-conscious buyers with an appetite for detailed facades, marble fireplaces and ornate ceilings should consider Canterbury.
36 Howard Street, Canterbury, NSW 2193
36 Howard Street, Canterbury, NSW 2193

  • While the suburb is not considered as hip as some areas, LJ Hooker Marrickville agent Jonathan Ford (0416 226 760) says it's a forgotten gem.
    • A two-bedroom Federation freestanding house renovated in the past few years, still has original features such as high ceilings and timber floors on a 500 sq m block.
  • "There's a steady supply and people are looking at it as a sleeping suburb ... I think in three to five years it will get a good following," Ford says.
  • "There's a good public school here, it's a quiet pocket, there's a 10-minute walk to the station, there's a lot of good things going for it.
  • It's a question of affordability without compromising on location. Families and couples can get a nice-sized block and grow into the home. They don't have to shift - they can extend and grow into it."

Hurlstone Park


  • In nearby Hurlstone Park, a renovated two-bedroom 1910 Federation semi, was expected to go to auction on November 17 (2007) through Harris Tripp First National.
  • A Duntroon Street home, on 266 sq m is one example of affordable character homes available in the area.
    • Close to Marrickville Golf Course and the Cooks River, its original features include formal living areas, ornate ceilings and fireplaces. A new kitchen, bathroom and rear entertainment deck have been added.
    • See also Marrickville

Ashfield


Away from the bustle of Ashfield's main street - with its dumpling restaurants, fruit and vegetable barns and other Asian delicacies - are myriad eye-catching period homes.
  • While less than 30 per cent of the properties are houses, it is possible to find a two- or three-bedroom Federation house or semi, renovated.
Harris Tripp First National principal Virginia Nicoll says Ashfield, particularly on the Summer Hill side, has many quality period homes.
  • Buyers are looking for their first home and Nicoll says most are professional young couples with no kids.
  • "There's good value in Ashfield - it's a bit cheaper than Summer Hill and you get more for your money, bigger blocks, bigger homes," she says.
  • "You get a lot of people coming here upgrading from units or rental properties in Summer Hill and Marrickville. A lot of them still want original features, the classical features and you pay for that.
  • "The majority, however, want a blend of both worlds.
  • Buyers want absolutely original features like ornate ceilings but want the comforts of today's homes with a modern bathroom and kitchen."
  • See also Summer Hill and Lewisham
    • View houses to buy in Ashfield and surrounds.

Annandale


There's a village atmosphere, wide, tree-lined streets and a short hop to the city.
44 Alfred Street, Annandale, NSW 2038
44 Alfred Street, Annandale, NSW 2038

  • It's little wonder that Annandale is a sought-after suburb for buyers of all ages.
  • But if you thought it was out of reach, think again. For every home that sells for $1 million-plus there's something on the market for less.
Last week, Ray White Annandale agent Rob Clarke sold a freestanding two-bedroom house on 106 sq m,
  • The Victorian home was fully renovated and attracted five registered bidders.
  • You can get a small home in Annandale that was once a worker's cottage, single level on a small block," Clarke says.
  • "A lot of young buyers are coming in and doing a nice renovation on them. They're freestanding or a semi, usually without parking and with two bedrooms, but it's a good entry level in the market."
  • See also Leichhardt
    • View houses to buy in Annandale and surrounds.

Eastwood


The entry price for a period home in Sydney's northern suburbs is rarely low.
In addition, they rarely come on the market because people buy them for life.
  • A four-bedroom renovated Federation home sold at auction in Stewart Street, Eastwood.
  • Jackson says the home was on a relatively small block (553 sq m), but it was beautifully presented and had ornate ceilings and intricate fretwork.
"Australian buyers love character homes because they are so hard to find in such good condition," he says. However he sold a renovated three-bedroom period home, on 900 sq m, at 50 Carlingford Road, Epping.

In Epping, it's hard to find something affordable.

Character homes are often in the best locations close to schools, shops and transport, and those with their original, features command the strongest prices.
  • "Epping, Eastwood and Denistone have been undervalued for a long time," Vaughan says.
  • "People are starting to work out that not much more than half an hour out of the city they can get great property at an affordable price."
  • See also EPPING, CARLINGFORD and BEECROFT
    • View houses to buy in Eastwood and surrounds.

3. Canberra's Character suburbs



Heritage-listed character homes charm buyers


  • Sep 27, 2014

Character homes, some of them ripe for renovation, have buyers queueing up, writes Rachel Packham.[13]

There’s something about classic homes that has Canberrans lining up for heritage-listed properties.
18 Bungonia Street Narrabundah ACT
18 Bungonia Street Narrabundah ACT

  • It’s a distinctive character that makes these homes stand out from their modern counterparts and a certain charm that attracts buyers through their doors.
  • “We find there is very strong demand for beautiful character-filled homes in the heritage areas,” Peter Blackshaw Manuka agent Louise Harget says. “This is in part because they tend to be super close to the heart of the city and partly because they just have that gorgeous feel.”

Canberra’s Garden City heritage precincts are in Forrest, Griffith and Barton in Canberra’s south and Reid, Ainslie and Braddon in the inner north.
  • “These areas are so special because they have been protected and retain the uniformed idea that Burley Griffin sparked with gardens flowing into the street,” Harget says. “The gardens in these areas, particularly at this time of the year, are also just so beautiful. Big blocks and stunning street trees add to this.”
The architecture of the homes reflects Walter Burley Griffin’s original vision for Canberra. The properties that were built to house Canberra’s first residents incorporate a mix of international architectural styles, large backyards and are usually set on a single storey – qualities that are a major drawcard for many buyers.

  • “It’s got a bit of a cult following …There’s people who want nothing more than a nice heritage cottage.
    -Nic Salter-Harding

Ainslie is one of Salter-Harding’s areas of specialty.
  • It’s one of Canberra’s oldest suburbs and many of its original facades conceal a modern, luxurious interior.
  • The suburb is home to heritage-listed areas including Corroboree Park and Wakefield Gardens and restrictions guide all renovation projects in these precincts.
  • “In a nutshell, you have to keep the facade and the streetscape of the home and you have to keep with the spirit of the area,” Salter-Harding says.
    Deakin ACT: home's character
    Deakin ACT: home's character
Architect Terry Ring of Architects Ring and Associates has worked on a number of remarkable heritage transformations in suburbs such as Griffith and Forrest.
  • “These older homes do have something,” he says.
  • “[Heritage transformations] are a matter of trying to get natural light back into the house and create a liveable home for 2014 while keeping the essence of the original home.”
Ring says the open-plan, sun-drenched spaces popular in modern builds weren’t considered in the 1920s, so renovations incorporate these features in the rear of the home.
  • “The heritage rules are quite strict and some people don’t want to go through that,” Ring says.
  • However the end result of these projects are worth the time and effort as they retain the home’s original character with all the features necessary for a comfortable, modern lifestyle.
  • “You can’t replicate original charm,” Harget says. “The heritage-significant properties can be fantastic renovation projects, respecting the facades yet upgrading internally to suit modern life.
  • They tend to be jam-packed with features such as high ceilings, fireplaces and picture rails.”
The buyers of heritage-listed properties are varied but Salter-Harding says these older properties, particularly the smaller cottages in the inner north, are attracting a growing younger market.
  • “[Young couples] comprise a lot of the people looking for this kind of thing. With a double income and no children the space suits them at this point in their lives and it’s a great way to get into the area and extend and renovate,” he says.[14]

Heritage hot spots in the ACT



Braddon

  • Braddon is one of Canberra’s oldest suburbs and construction began in 1921.
  • It was originally home to lower-income public servants and workers responsible for building the civic centre.

Ainslie

  • Construction of Ainslie’s Corroboree Park and Wakefield Gardens housing precincts began in 1925.
  • The precincts initially housed tradesmen involved in the construction of the city’s early commercial and residential areas.

Reid

  • Reid includes the heritage-listed St John the Baptist Church, consecrated in 1845. However, most of the suburb was constructed in 1926 and 1927.
  • The Reid Housing Precinct includes many examples of noted architect Kenneth H Oliphant’s work.
    Nadine and Antolin's classic Canberra home
    Nadine and Antolin's classic Canberra home

Griffith

  • Construction of Griffith’s heritage-listed Blandfordia 5 Housing Precinct began in 1926.
  • Many of Canberra’s inner suburbs were constructed around this time to provide public-servant housing before the opening of Old Parliament House in 1927.

Barton

  • The Barton Housing Precinct includes many facets integral to Walter Burley Griffin’s original plan for Canberra including Telopea Park with residential areas on either side.

Forrest


  • Heritage-listed areas dominate the suburb of Forrest.
  • These areas include the Forrest Housing Precinct and the Blandfordia 4 Housing Precinct which exemplify Burley Griffin’s garden city vision.



4. Melbourne Character zones


The small Melbourne houses surging in value


Sep 3, 2016 Chris Tolhurst
Small period homes are surging in value across inner Melbourne.
Small period homes are surging in value across inner Melbourne.

Small period homes are surging in value across inner Melbourne, according to new data compiled by the Real Estate Institute of Victoria.

Single-fronted and smaller double-fronted Victorian and Edwardian houses within 10 kilometres of the CBD have been selling for as much as $10,000 per square metre in the past three months as buyers focus on small, character homes in good locations.

The most sought after area for these smaller houses has been in Melbourne’s north and inner west, where many buyers look for value.

Smaller houses in Melbourne's north and inner west.
Smaller houses in Melbourne's north and inner west.

Photos: Jellis Craig.

Northcote has seen a $200,000 rise in the past three months (from June 1 to August 20) compared to the same period last year, according to the REIV.

This growth, of close to 30 per cent, is just ahead of Footscray which has seen a $253,000 increase (25 per cent ahead of the same period last year).

REIV chief executive Geoff White said that with development growth in the inner suburbs, there were fewer character homes than there were in the past.

“Yet they seem to be just as popular as ever before – with the demand, and lower supply, leading to prices close to or above $1 million for these smaller homes,” he said.
Suburb
Jun-Aug 2016 median
Jun-Aug 2016 median
Change
Northcote
$1,097,500
$847,500
29%
Footscray
$757,500
$604,500
25%
Williamstown
$920,000
$807,500
14%
Richmond
$1,027,500
$980,000
5%
Ascot Vale
$843,000
$805,000
5%
Moonee Ponds
$857,500
$823,000
4%
Preston
$770,000
$745,000
3%


Neighbourhood Residential Zoning


Many councils have asked to have at least three-quarters of their suburbs allocated to the NRZ, which limits development to single dwelling and dual occupancies, and has a mandatory height limit of eight metres, or two storeys.
Map Figure 4.8 Median house price (June 2012) by suburb, within the City of Melbourne
Map Figure 4.8 Median house price (June 2012) by suburb, within the City of Melbourne

Boroondara, which includes the leafy inner-eastern suburbs of
  • Kew, Camberwell, Balwyn and Glen Iris, has allocated 80 per cent of its suburban area to the NRZ.
  • Glen Eira has allocated 78 per cent, while Moonee Valley and Kingston have set aside over 75 per cent.
  • Boroondara has also curbed even dual-occupancy developments from its suburb by stipulating a minimum land size of 400 square metres for development.
  • Lots will thus need to be a minimum 800 square metres or more in order to be subdivided.
Hansen says the initial idea of the plan was to unlock the middle-ring suburbs, which include not just the heritage-rich suburbs but also those such as
  • Box Hill, Oakleigh, Reservoir and Sunshine.
  • ''There's a lot of housing in those older middle suburbs coming to the end of its life, ripe and ready for suburban renewal, and job and infrastructure rich, and they are effectively closing [that] off to densification.''
The inner and middle suburbs are those most likely to be developed by smaller family operations, often subdividing their own suburban blocks into townhouse or unit developments, Andrew Spencer, a planner with SGS Economics and Consulting points out.
  • He says 45 per cent of new dwellings are carried out by these ''cottage construction'' developers who turn around properties relatively quickly and cheaply.[15]
The NRZ in Bayside restricts development to two per lot, with a mandatory height limit of two storeys.
  • Mr Sutton would also like to see minimum lot sizes restricted to 400 square metres, as well as supporting controls to ensure future dual occupancy development respects neighbourhood character. ''But it's a start, and the zones will evolve over time.''
  • His local council will be hoping this resident satisfaction is replicated across much of the electorate: the City of Bayside has requested 83 per cent of its suburbs be allocated to the highest protection NRZ, and is waiting to hear if the Planning Minister has approved.
  • The council has been working for years on a housing policy that would ensure that development would not ''destroy'' the neighbourhood character of this historic area of Melbourne.
Chris Sutton, of Beaumaris, is pleased with how the suburb is being protected.
  • ''We believe that the distinctive neighbourhoods of Bayside are worth protecting, not just for the people who live there but for all Melburnians,'' says Bayside mayor Laurence Evans.[16]

My Melbourne suburb picks


  • Monique Sasson, founder of independent property investment firm, Wakelin Property Advisory said suburbs and regions close to the CBD in Victoria could be good for investment.

Her tips for buying in Victoria are:

Elwood

  • A Melbourne bayside suburb with easy access to the CBD that is especially good for older style apartments and single fronted cottages.

North Melbourne

  • An undervalued city-adjacent suburb that has retained a number of very consistent streetscapes of Victorian and Edwardian houses. contemporary home at 67 Melrose St, North Melbourne is priced between $680,000 and $720Source:Supplied

SET on 470sq m this home at 277 Bellerine St, Geelong will go to auction. Picture: reales
SET on 470sq m this home at 277 Bellerine St, Geelong will go to auction. Picture: reales

Brunswick

  • A cool, eclectic inner northern Melbourne suburb. Look for two-bedroom cottages and one or two-bedroom older-style apartments on quiet streets that are predominantly residential. three-bedroom sky terrace at 704/1 Lygon St, Brunswick Victoria.

Thornbury

  • Just seven kilometres northeast of the Melbourne CBD, Thornbury has good transport links to the city, a vibrant cafe scene and easy access to many parks.
  • Once again, good investment opportunity for older style two-bedroom houses and older-style one and two-bedroom apartments. [17]

5. Hobart's Character Suburbs


Character Homes Hold Appeal In Hobart
18 Franklin Street, West Hobart, Tas 7000
18 Franklin Street, West Hobart, Tas 7000

Property owners in the south are tending to upgrade to areas where larger or character homes are available.
  • Among the more popular locations that offer these types of properties are the inner-city suburbs of North Hobart, West Hobart, Sandy Bay, Hobart and Battery Point.
  • Across these suburbs, older character homes and modern 4-bedroom homes are currently priced from $550,000 through to $2 million.
  • For upgraders seeking acreage properties in the Greater Hobart area, popular locations worth a look include Acton Park,Cambridge, Richmond, Lesley Vale, Grove and Neika.

Launceston – Outer Suburbs May Hold Appeal


  • For upgraders considering Launceston, popular locations include Prospect, Legana and Newnham. These suburbs are further out from the city centre but they provide a good range of facilities and services; and 4-bedroom, 2-bathroom homes are priced from around $350,000 to $450,000.
  • By contrast, the same sort of homes in Launceston’s well-established suburbs of East, West and South Launceston typically range in price from $270,000 to $1.1 million.
  • Among upgraders seeking acreage properties in Launceston, the suburb of Relbia is a desirable location where established homes can be purchased from $625,000. Prestige homes are typically priced closer to $1 million.

Hobart Suburb Guide


Sandy Bay

  • Sandy Bay is widely regarded as one of Hobart’s most prestigious residential areas, boasting private schools and the University of Tasmania as well as an assortment of boutiques and cafés. The tree-lined streets of SandyBay course past both modern and heritage homes, all the way to its quiet beachfront.
Battery Point
  • Battery Point drips with historic charm. The renovated workman’s cottages and narrow streets and lanes of this former port and maritime village manage to hold its heritage character while also playing host to boutique stores, restaurants and café’s, as well as some of Hobart’s most luxurious modern homes.
Hobart City
 Elboden St, South Hobart
Elboden St, South Hobart

  • Hobart City is a dynamic waterfront area where the past and the contemporary ebb and flow with casual perfection. Here sandstone buildings house plasma televisions. Steep hills meet the beautiful Derwent river. Museums adjoin café’s. An historic port welcomes the cutting-edge fleet of the Sydney to Hobart yacht race. Fishing boats moor behind fine seafood restaurants. Hobart, Australia’s second oldest capital, offers all the services and sights of city living minus the anxiety.
South Hobart
  • South Hobart runs from the CBD down to the historic Cascade Brewery. Beautiful period homes adjoining lush parks help make South Hobart one of the city’s most elegant suburbs. It’s an attractive area that can cater for various needs and budgets. South Hobart features easy CBD access and facilities like St JohnsCalvaryPrivateHospital.
North Hobart
  • North Hobart is where Hobart happens. This vibrant suburb is home to a restaurant and café strip that houses over twenty of Tasmania’s coolest places to snack, dine, drink and dance. Sprinkled with art galleries, North Hobart is a tasty location for those who enjoy the good life.
West Hobart
West Hobart
West Hobart

  • West Hobart has it all – city and river views, period homes, modern townhouses and easy access to the CBD. Yet despite its attractive features, West Hobart maintains affordable prices. Residents can stroll down to the North Hobart restaurant precinct or in to the CBD for shopping and entertainment.
Mt Stuart
  • Mt Stuart looks down on the harbour and hills of Hobart. Located 3km from the CBD, Mt Stuart offers a rare mix of convenience, quiet and spectacular vistas. So if horizon is what you’re after, take a look at MountStewart.

New Town

  • New Town is a popular inner-city residential suburb featuring many Federation period homes as well as two single-sex schools, a Catholic school and a primary school. This genteel suburb lies 4km north of the CBD. A shopping centre provides New Town residents with grocery, department and specialty stores. Despite its name, New Town is one of Hobart’s oldest areas, but as with most of the prestigious regions of Hobart, the classic homes are mixed with the new.
Dynnyrne
  • Dynnyrne enjoys stunning views of the DerwentRiver. This suburb shares many characteristics with its prestigious tree-lined neighbour, SandyBay – beaches, luxury homes, a sailing club, a university campus, and close proximity to the CBD. Dynnyrne is A-list Tasmania.
54 Clare Street, New Town TAS
54 Clare Street, New Town TAS

Taroona
  • Taroona is an Aboriginal word meaning “Seashell”. The seaside suburb adjoins SandyBay to the south, and is bordered by the Truganini Reserve – an area criss-crossed by walking tracks leading an historic hill-top shot tower. Taroona is privy to panoramic views of the Derwent Estuary and is serviced by Taroona Primary and TaroonaHigh school.
Mount Nelson
  • Mount Nelson sits above picturesque SandyBay and The University of Tasmania. This esteemed residential suburb, affectionately known as “The Mountain”, provides panoramic views of the Derwent estuary and surrounding bushland. With the CBD just down the hill, MountNelson is perfect for those looking for a quiet area with a contemplative outlook as well as easy access to schools and facilities.
Tolmans Hill
  • Tolmans Hill features prominently on the skyline of Hobart. This new residential development is bordered by native bushland and offers good views of the river and Hobart area as well as direct access to the university, CBD and various schools.
Glebe
  • Glebe, one of Hobart’s smaller suburbs, lies adjacent to the city in the same area as the Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens. As such, Glebe is an intimate suburb boasting a green aspect and easy CBD access.

6. Adelaide's Character Suburbs and examples:


Charming character homes on the market

APRIL 26, 201310:52AM
Glenelg North - Eleanor Miller & Kasia Ozog, The Messenger
Glenelg North - Eleanor Miller & Kasia Ozog, The Messenger


THE stuff of picture books, chocolate boxes and movies, character homes are full of family charm - and Adelaide has plenty of them.

  • The leafy eastern suburbs are particularly known for their character offerings but, if you love heritage style, there are plenty to choose from all around town and at very different price points if you know where to look.
  • Messenger Property Writers KASIA OZOG and ELEANOR MILLER sourced these charming homes on the market, ranging from a refurbished cottage in Gawler to a villa in Dulwich with perfect presentation.

NORTH


Gawler East
Gawler East
Gawler East, 32 Lyndoch Rd

  • 4 beds, 2 baths, 2 cars
  • Agent: Peter Souter of Ray White Gawler on 0404 046 710
  • Built circa 1918, this home has a landscaped yard with rose bushes, leafy trees and red brick edging.
  • Features include high ceilings, a wide hallway, polished timber flooors, a hall archway and modern kitchen. The house is set on a 1430sq m block.
Gawler South
Gawler South

Gawler South, 18 Twelfth St
  • 3 beds, 1 bath
  • Agent: Brendan Howard of LJ Hooker - Gawler on 0416 054 731
  • Recently refurbished, this bullnose veranda property is set on an 188sq m corner allotment.
  • It has high ceilings, ornate cornices and ceiling roses as well as a wood stove (plus electric oven) and floating timber floors. The established gardens include fruit trees.
Salisbury Source:adelaidenow
Salisbury Source:adelaidenow


Salisbury, 158 Salisbury Highway

  • No price listed
  • 3 beds, 1 baths
  • Agent: Mike Lao of Ray White - Elizabeth on 0410 390 250
  • Sitting on 1827sq m, this 1915-built homestead is in the heart of Salisbury. It is made of brick and stone and is in need of some restoration and repairs.
Cockatoo Valley Source:adelaidenow
Cockatoo Valley Source:adelaidenow


Sandy Creek, 250 Pimpala Rd
4 beds, 2 baths, 4 cars

Agent: Darren Pratt of LJ Hooker - Gawler on 0428 881 406
Set on 4.86ha, on the top of a hill overlooking tree tops, this 1895 return-veranda villa has been well maintained and has 360 degree views.
Features include polished timber floors, high ceilings, a timber kitchen and horse stables.


SOUTH


Flagstaff Hill
Flagstaff Hill

Flagstaff Hill, 15 Glendale Ave
4bed 2bath 4car
Agent: Scott Torney, of Harcourts Aberfoyle Park, on 0416 005 531
This property features a generous floorplan of more than 400sq m of living space comprising four bedrooms and a traditional den or home office.
McLaren Vale Source:adelaidenow
McLaren Vale Source:adelaidenow

McLaren Vale, 187 Tatachilla Rd

  • 3bed 1bath 6car
  • Agent: Mike Cross, of Southgate Real Estate McLaren Vale, on 0438 323 933
  • Sitting on 1.477ha of land is this original and historic bungalow built circa 1932 has all the character of yesteryear including ornate ceilings, polished floorboards and a cellar.
Old Noarlunga Source:adelaidenow
Old Noarlunga Source:adelaidenow



Old Noarlunga, 4 Patapinda Rd
3bed 1bath 1car
Agent: Ainsley Cahoon, of Timms Real Estate - Christies Beach/ Somerton Park, on 0404 798 658
A character home built circa 1900 with ambience and warmth created by the current owners, who have lovingly renovated it throughout.
Willunga Source:adelaidenow
Willunga Source:adelaidenow



Willunga, Lot 7 Coombe Rd

  • 6bed 2bath 2car
  • Agent: Jurgen Ollwitz, of Ollwitz & Partners Real Estate Willunga, on 0408 083 107
  • A solid stone two-storey house with wide verandas, high ceilings and use of solid timber doors and fittings to further enhance the character.

EAST


Dulwich  Source:adelaidenow
Dulwich Source:adelaidenow

Dulwich, 14 Albert St
  • 4 beds, 2 baths, 4 cars
  • Agent: Stephanie Williams of Harcourts - Brock Williams on 0413 874 888
  • A Queen Ann return sandstone villa, this home was built circa 1900 and is ready to move into and enjoy. It has both formal and casual living areas, high ceilings, and pretty gardens.
Kensington Gardens Source:adelaidenow
Kensington Gardens Source:adelaidenow

Kensington Gardens, 20 South Tce

  • No price listed
  • 4 beds, 2 baths, 2 cars
  • Agent: Richard Thwaites of LJ Hooker - Kensington on 0418 820 545
  • Set opposite Kensington Gardens Reserve, this home has 10 main rooms and 2000sq m of private gardens, all on a corner location.
  • It has a modern kitchen and family room overlooking a pool and pergola.
St Peters Source:adelaidenow
St Peters Source:adelaidenow

St Peters, 80 First Ave

  • 4 beds, 2 baths, 1 cars
  • Agents: Judy Morris and Penny Riggs of Klemich Real Estate on 0418 816 901 or 0439 669 965
  • This renovated villa of eight main rooms has front and rear access.
  • Features include a bay window sitting room, high ceilings, polished floors, open fireplaces, hallway arch, leadlight glass, picture rails and a cellar.
Millswood Source:adelaidenow
Millswood Source:adelaidenow



Millswood, 8 Arundel Ave

  • 4 beds, 2 baths, 4 cars
  • Agent: David Cocks of Cocks Auld Real Estate on 0418 812 181
  • Superbly renovated, this 1920's sandstone family home is on 975sqm (approx) with fabulous north facing extensions, a separate studio and pool

WEST


Glandore Source:adelaidenow
Glandore Source:adelaidenow

Glandore, 23 Churchill Ave
4bed 2bath 2car
Agent: Craig Smith, of Gary J Smith We're Home Plympton, on 0417 979 694
This character home blends tastefully renovated art deco and a modern extension that matches the architectural style of the original home.
Glenelg East Source:adelaidenow
Glenelg East Source:adelaidenow



Glenelg East, 101 Augusta St

  • 3bed 3bath 2car
  • Agent: Richard Wedding, of Harcourts Glenelg, on 0418 351 007
  • Something a little bit different, this two-storey character bungalow has all the character and charm of yesteryear with the added benefits of a modern upstairs extension.
Thebarton Source:adelaidenow
Thebarton Source:adelaidenow

Thebarton, 44 Kintore St
3bed 1bath 8car

  • Agent: Peter Kiritsis, of Ray White Woodville, on 0411 501 520
  • This character bungalow has been restored and updated throughout and has a large garage/workshop.
Glenelg North Source:adelaidenow
Glenelg North Source:adelaidenow


Glenelg North, 60 MacFarlane St

  • 3bed 2bath 2car
  • Agent: John Christo, of LJ Hooker Glenelg, on 0417 800 018
  • The perfect combination of a character bungalow (built circa 1925 with modern touches) and the location.
  • This property offers a beachside lifestyle

7. Heritage homes back in demand for Perth homebuyers



CHARACTER homes are continuing to demand big premiums from Perth buyers, despite a slowdown in the rest of the market.

  • Perth. 16-room Federation, two-storey home. > Sold: January 2015. $2.25m
    Perth. 16-room Federation, two-storey home. > Sold: January 2015. $2.25m
    From 1900s Victorian brick homes to classic weatherboard cottages, heritage homes are transfixing Perth buyers.
  • While the average house sits on the market for 77 days — the longest in the country — houses with quality character features are continuing to outperform, estate agents say.
Brookwood’s Patrick Harper said while he had seen a cooling in the wider premium market, unique character homes were in demand.
  • “I’m often surprised by the range of buyers a character home will attract. Both young families and older couples will be interested and you can’t necessarily pick the typical buyer,” Mr Harper said.
“Quality brick or stone homes from the 1900s always get particularly strong interest.
  • And homes that are in good condition and have been renovated tend to attract a premium.
  • However, there are also those that are a bit more knowledgeable who want to pay less for something they can renovate themselves.”
North Perth. Renovated three-bedroom 1920s home
North Perth. Renovated three-bedroom 1920s home


Heron Todd White director Brendon Ptolomey said it was an “unusual quirk” of the Perth market that character homes continued to sell well in market downturns.

“A heritage listing is something you consider when conducting a valuation,” Mr Ptolomey said. “However, that’s not to say a home being listed will magically add a premium to a home.
  • “Generally, if the home is in good condition and has been well maintained, a heritage listing will add to the appeal. However, if buyers feel they have to do a lot of work, the listing may concern them.”
Claremont. 1910 Federation heritage Sold: March 2015.
Claremont. 1910 Federation heritage Sold: March 2015.
Mr Ptolomey said buyers should check what grading a home’s listing was before purchasing to ensure they knew what could be done.

  • Heritage Perth executive director Richard Offen said there was a misconception that a heritage listing devalued a home.
  • “Numerous studies, including those conducted on homes in Shenton Park and Mount Lawley, show that a heritage listing will add value the majority of the time or, at worst, have a neutral effect,” Mr Offen said.
“There’s a widely held mistaken belief that if a home has a heritage listing you cannot change the light bulbs. However, that’s really not the case and, in fact, you can often do multiple extensions and renovations to a listed home, provided you work within the guidelines.”[18]


Perth’s best-kept-secret neighbourhoods

Nov 4, 2015 Maya Anderson
Perth's more unassuming suburbs.
Perth's more unassuming suburbs.

Buying or renting in Perth and want to live somewhere a little special?

Here are some of Perth’s hidden gems – suburbs so lovely the locals never want to leave.


Plympton Ward precinct, East Fremantle


 Photo: Ignorant Armies
Photo: Ignorant Armies

Tucked away beyond bustling Canning Highway, the Plympton Ward precinct around George Street is one that many Perthites drive past for years but never know is there.

  • You could almost be stepping back in time when you stroll down historic George Street.
The area is made up predominantly of 19th-century houses – the construction of the Plympton Ward precinct began in 1897 – with small lots and small houses – most only two bedrooms – that linked architecturally and socially to the gold rush and the development of Fremantle’s inner harbour.

  • Now these little houses, many extended out the back, are highly desirable real estate. George Street locals love the area because of the strong community, family friendly feel and riverside location.
  • Have kids? Every Friday after school, the local playground is where it’s at – neighbourhood parents grab a pizza from down the road, a bottle of wine from the Young George bottleshop across the road, and socialise while watching the kids play.


West Leederville


If Leederville is the brash, bold, popular older sister, West Leederville is her quiet, bookish, but just as charming sweet younger sister.
  • While West Leederville is often overlooked in favour of Leederville, it has many dedicated fans who praise it for its close proximity to the city, attractive heritage streetscapes and assortment of trendy cafes such as Hylin and Piccolo’s Corner.
  • It is most popular with professional couples, singles and small families.

​Menora​



 252 Walcott Street, Menora
252 Walcott Street, Menora
Driving along on busy Walcott Street, it’s easy to whiz straight past Menora – not as easy to discover it.

  • Yet the locals like it that way. A small, quiet pocket of Perth tucked away alongside the more prominent suburbs of Mount Lawley, Inglewood and North Perth, Menora was an offshoot of Mount Lawley, given its name in 1954 in honour of an old theatre of the same name that was located within its borders.

  • The area’s large Jewish community also gave support for the name due to the significance of the menorah to them, and today Menora is home to one of Perth’s largest Jewish communities, making up 7.2 per cent of the population.

  • The houses are older, romantic character abodes, many gracious art deco residences from the 1930s mixed in with Californian bungalow, inter-war functional and Spanish Mission architecture.
  • Heritage protection in the area means very little development, renovation projects with good bones and lots of potential still there to be snapped up


South Fremantle


Its premier real estate is now hugely in demand, so it is hard to imagine that 30 to 40 years ago South Fremantle was thought of as something of a
 50 Lilly Street, South Fremantle
50 Lilly Street, South Fremantle

less-than-desirable area.
  • Quieter than the cappuccino strip of Fremantle and with treed streets with small low-maintenance blocks, South Fremantle is loved by locals, who enjoy being moments from beautiful South Beach, public transport and popular dining options, including Manna Wholefoods, Ootong & Lincoln and Missy Moo’s.
  • Properties include renovated terrace houses as well as workers cottages, character houses and more modern dwellings.

Gooseberry Hill


 1 Jaraba Avenue, Gooseberry Hill
1 Jaraba Avenue, Gooseberry Hill

Get away to the Perth hills in gorgeous Gooseberry Hill, half an hour east of Perth, nestled at the western base of the Darling Range.
  • Locals love the large blocks, the feeling of tranquillity, the views across to Perth city in the distance and the close-knit community.

  • Features include the Rose Garden in the grounds of the old Archbishop’s House, the Zig Zag scenic drive, historic village, arts and crafts galleries, wineries and patisseries such as Le Croissant du Moulin.

  • Most of its locals are older couples and families.


  1. ^ http://vancouver.ca/home-property-development/character-home-zoning-review.aspx
  2. ^ https://www.brisbane.qld.gov.au/planning-building/planning-guidelines-tools/brisbane-city-plan-2014/fact-sheets/heritage-character-buildings
  3. ^ https://www.brisbane.qld.gov.au/sites/default/files/planning_and_building_guide_to_brisbane%27s_heritage_places_and_character_homes.pdf
  4. ^ https://www.boroondara.vic.gov.au/-/media/Files/Your%20Council/Building%20and%20planning/Strategic%20planning/Amendment%20C190/Boroondara%20Residential%20Zones
  5. ^ https://www.brisbane.qld.gov.au/sites/default/files/planning_and_building_guide_to_brisbane%27s_heritage_places_and_character_homes.pdf
  6. ^ http://vancouver.ca/news-calendar/character-home-zoning-review-directions-look-to-add-housing-and-incentives-to-retain-older-homes.aspx
  7. ^ http://vancouver.ca/files/cov/character-home-zoning-review-background.pdf
  8. ^
    https://www.thehillsagents.com.au/capitalising-on-a-character-home-without-costly-renovations/
  9. ^ https://www.brisbane.qld.gov.au/sites/default/files/planning_and_building_guide_to_brisbane%27s_heritage_places_and_character_homes.pdf
  10. ^ https://www.brisbane.qld.gov.au/sites/default/files/heritage_house_history.pdf
  11. ^
    http://www.smh.com.au/news/australian-capital-territory/where-to-find-sydneys-affordable-character-homes/2007/10/31/1193618948251.html?page=fullpage#contentSwap2
  12. ^
    http://www.smh.com.au/news/australian-capital-territory/where-to-find-sydneys-affordable-character-homes/2007/10/31/1193618948251.html
  13. ^
    https://www.domain.com.au/news/heritagelisted-character-homes-charm-buyers-20140925-10lkrw/
  14. ^ https://www.domain.com.au/news/heritagelisted-character-homes-charm-buyers-20140925-10lkrw/
  15. ^ http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/reform-locks-up-our-suburbs-20140614-3a4l4.html
  16. ^ http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/plan-melbourne-series-winners-and-losers-20140621-3al86.html
  17. ^ http://www.news.com.au/finance/real-estate/where-you-should-and-shouldnt-invest-in-property/news-story/3570ea2f2b1682b993278340bc67a1ff
  18. ^
    http://www.perthnow.com.au/news/western-australia/heritage-homes-back-in-demand-for-perth-homebuyers/news-story/68386d978ffbc6f39229ee322ebf58bf