Perth's 10 best and worst suburbs, and what's hot for rest of 2023

Perth's best and worst performing house and unit markets are dominated by suburbs at the upper and lower ends of the median price spectrum.

North Fremantle aerial view to iconic Dingo Flour building and the Swan River.
North Fremantle (pictured) was among the worst performers for unit growth, while Fremantle house prices fared even worse. (Image source:

In a drive of just nine kilometres you can travel from the Perth suburb with the best performing house market to the worst.

Two affluent suburbs with a similar median price, both close to the highly coveted Swan River, Winthrop and Salter Point are the embodiment of the fact there are always markets within markets.

In data provided exclusively to API Magazine by the Real Estate Institute of Australia (REIWA), the line between a suburb being among the top ten or bottom ten for price rises and falls was a fine one.

Winthrop and Salter Point are both affluent, leafy inner suburban south-of-the-river suburbs dominated by residents with professional occupations enjoying the roughly 20 per cent coverage of parkland in their attractive neighbourhoods.

Yet in the past year, Winthrop has enjoyed a phenomenal 25 per cent growth rate in house prices compared to the slightly higher priced Salter Point’s fall of 15 per cent.

The erratic nature of the pockets of growth and decline was also evident in the variety of suburbs in top and bottom 10 lists, a scenario that also played out in the unit market.

For houses, with a median price one third that of top placed Winthrop ($1,220,000), was the working class eastern suburb of Middle Swan ($419,000).

If any trend was to be detected, it was that the mid-priced suburbs were the mid-market performers, absent from the extremes of these lists, albeit more so for houses.

The house market’s best performers were all well above or below Perth’s median property price of $580,023. Among the worst performers, only two were within $100,000 of the median (Henley Brook and Hammond Park).

Highest Annual House Price Growth

    Annual Sale Price Growth Median Sale Price
  Suburbs May-22 to May-23 May-21 to May-22 Year to May-23
1 Winthrop 25.1% 11.0% $1,220,000
2 Middle Swan 24.7% 7.5% $419,000
3 South Perth 22.5% 2.5% $1,837,500
4 Lathlain 19.4% 7.5% $940,000
5 Hillman 17.9% 24.4% $385,000
6 Parmelia 17.6% 12.3% $370,000
7 Orelia 17.6% 15.6% $375,000
8 Bullsbrook 16.9% 5.5% $450,000
9 Merriwa 16.7% 13.4% $443,500
10 Swanbourne 16.5% 23.6% $2,333,000

Lowest Annual House Price Growth

1 Salter Point -14.9% 23.2% $1,400,000
2 West Leederville -14.6% 26.0% $1,210,895
3 Fremantle -12.5% 29.4% $962,500
4 North Perth -10.4% 26.1% $1,017,500
5 Henley Brook -9.5% 10.7% $536,000
6 Ardross -8.2% 14.2% $1,070,000
7 Hammond Park -8.0% 10.9% $515,000
8 Joondanna -8.0% 9.7% $725,000
9 Shenton Park -7.1% 26.4% $1,535,000
10 Woodlands -6.9% 29.4% $1,210,000

Source: REIWA

The Perth property market has proven remarkably resilient in the face of interest rate rises over the past year, particularly when compared to eastern states markets.

Speaking to API Magazine, REIWA CEO Cath Hart said property prices have shown growth, properties are selling quickly and sales numbers remain strong.

“This resilience has been supported by WA’s strong economy, low unemployment, growing population and relatively affordable housing,” she said.

“In particular, the affordability of housing in Perth has allowed the market to adjust to the rate rises more easily than higher priced markets - it means lower deposits are required and mortgages are smaller, so the changes are not quite as dramatic.”

She said the market strength wasn’t universal.

“We have seen sales activity decline in the under $500,000 price bracket.

“These areas are where potential buyers and homeowners are likely to be more greatly affected by cost of living and interest rate increases.

“Houses are leading the way for sales, with the median house price increasing 3.8 per cent over the past year, while the median unit price has declined 3.6 per cent.”

In May houses sold in a median 12 days, while units sold in a median 28 days.

Units also a mixed bag for big gains and losses

Among the best and worst performers in the unit market, there was some similarity to the house market, with a wide range of suburbs in each list.

While there was a greater prevalence of lower priced suburbs in the bottom ten list, there was still a wide gulf between second placed Glendalough (23 per cent decline, median price $260,000) and eighth placed North Fremantle (8.4 per cent decline, $845,000).

In their defence, and perhaps a factor in their decline, is the fact both had enjoyed stellar price growth the previous year, up 27.1 per cent and 15.3 per cent respectively.

Among the best performing unit markets in Perth, there was a relatively even spread of suburbs.

In tenth place, working class Orelia has been among the fastest growing median property prices in Perth for several years but still only commands a medium unit price of $190,000. In fourth place, prestigious Cottesloe, with its iconic beach, commands close to a million dollars for a unit.

Highest Annual Unit Price Growth

    Annual Sale Price Growth Median Sale Price
  Suburbs May-22 to May-23 May-21 to May-22 Year to May-23
1 Bibra Lake 34.0% -2.1% $315,000
2 Crawley 30.9% -9.7% $752,500
3 Booragoon 27.7% 5.3% $670,000
4 Cottesloe 24.4% -8.4% $914,589
5 Erskine 19.2% 3.0% $372,500
6 Mount Pleasant 17.6% -9.4% $715,000
7 Nedlands 15.7% -4.1% $682,500
8 Baldivis 15.6% -3.3% $341,000
9 Armadale 15.2% 31.4% $280,000
10 Orelia 15.2% 13.8% $190,000

Lowest Annual Unit Price Growth

1 Attadale -23.2% 26.9% $480,000
2 Glendalough -14.3% 27.1% $260,000
3 Inglewood -13.9% 25.0% $355,000
4 Jolimont -12.6% 31.1% $590,000
5 Maylands -9.8% 0.6% $331,250
6 Hamilton Hill -9.4% 22.7% $328,000
7 East Victoria Park -9.0% 2.0% $390,000
8 North Fremantle -8.4% 15.3% $845,000
9 Bicton -8.3% 19.2% $470,000
10 South Perth -7.9% 3.6% $520,500

Source: REIWA

Ms Hart agreed the suburbs showing strong growth are mixed.

“Proximity to desirable amenity, such as the river, city, beach or schools is always a driver for buyers, and you see that in the higher priced areas on the list.

“In addition, many buyers are seeking value, and this is reflected in the number of very affordable suburbs on the list.

“These trends are also seen in the top growth areas for units, where affordable suburbs sit alongside premium areas.”

Investors need to dig deeper for value prospects

The Perth property market is expected to remain resilient this year, despite the prospect of more interest rate rises.

Ms Hart stressed that top ten lists were interesting rear view snapshots but investors looking for value needed to dig a bit deeper.

“While capital growth is always of interest to investors, it is important to look at more than just an area’s performance over the past 12 months.

Cath Hart

Cath Hart, Chief Executive Officer, REIWA

“For example, when you look at the list of the suburbs with the lowest annual price growth to May 2023, many have come off exceptionally strong growth the year before.”

She said the number of sales each week has been 15 per cent higher than the number of weekly new listings since mid-April.

“Since 2010, sales have usually been 15 to 30 per cent lower than new listings.

“For sales to now be this much higher than new listings is unusual and has only happened a few times in the past 13 years, and never for two months in a row.

“This highlights the demand in the market.

“Demand for established homes is being fuelled by population growth as well as the tightness of the rental market and the increasing costs and timeframes of building.”

There are downsides to be wary of though.

“Interest rates do remain a concern.

“There will also be many people coming off fixed rate loans in the next few months, however, this has been well-publicised, allowing many people to prepare, and lending institutions are working with mortgage holders to deal with the transition.”

The differential in sales and listings mean there are fewer than 2,700 properties for sale in Perth, a figure not seen since 2007 and 8.8 per cent down over the month and 29.3 per cent over the year.

Regional WA market strength

Market conditions across regional WA are also expected to remain strong.

Joe White, REIWA President, told API Magazine that like suburban Perth, the tightness of rental markets and the even greater difficulty in building is supporting demand for established homes.

“Regional markets will also benefit from the state’s population growth, with some interstate and overseas migrants moving to the regions,” Mr White said.

“The State Government’s investment in ports will also support regional areas.

“Infrastructure upgrades like this are extremely beneficial for regional areas – look at the effect the Busselton Margaret River Airport redevelopment had on Busselton, Dunsborough, Margaret River and Bunbury.

“Investment in ports, particularly those that export a variety of goods, will have a flow-on effect to local economies and employment, to continue the population growth in regional centres.”

He added that lifestyle will continue to be a drawcard for the regions.

Article Q&A

Where are property prices rising in Perth?

In recent top ten lists for capital growth among Perth suburbs, Winthrop and Middle Swan were the fastest growing house markets, while for units it was Bibra Lake and Crawley.

Where are property prices falling in Perth?

In recent top ten lists for capital growth among Perth suburbs, Attadale and Glendalough delivered the biggest price falls for units while for houses Salter Point and West Leederville were down more than 14 per cent for the year.

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