Experts in the Media

Stuart Cox –

Licensed Real Estate Agent at The Agency

What’s pushing Perth’s wealth out from the city and away from the coast?

Perth’s coast continues its reign as the enclave for Western Australia’s richest postcodes, but wealth is being pushed towards outer suburbs by soaring property prices, population growth and a desire for more space.

An analysis of the 2021 census highlights the extent to which the housing boom – and the coronavirus pandemic – are sculpting the distribution of WA’s wealth.

The list of Perth’s top 10 most affluent suburbs has changed little over the past decade and remains concentrated across a bloc of postcodes close to the city and the coast.

The prestigious beachside suburb of Cottesloe retained its position as Perth’s highest-earning suburb, with a median weekly individual income of $1458, followed by Mt Hawthorn/Leederville ($1280) and North Coogee ($1238).

Scarborough moved down to fourth spot in the 2021 census, with a median weekly income of $1232. City Beach moved up one spot to claim fifth position on $1228. Swanbourne/Mount Claremont returned to the top 10 in eighth place with a median weekly income of $1178.

The southern suburbs of Bentley, Wilson and St James recorded the biggest percentage increase in median individual weekly income soaring from $420 in 2011 to $711 over the past decade.

In Manning and Waterford the median rose from $557 in 2011 to $805 in 2021, an increase of 34 per cent over the past five years.

Rivervale has also experienced rapid growth in income, rising from a median of $679 in 2011 to $1015 in the 2021 census outstripping the metropolitan average of $848…


…The Agency general manager Stuart Cox said there were advantages and disadvantages to gentrification.

“Obviously, the areas benefit from an injection of money on the hyper local community, think of the Mount Hawthorn and Leederville lifestyle benefits of the cafes and restaurants which have opened up,” he said.

“The downside is that it affects the affordability of these areas to people who would have previously been able to buy in these suburbs.“

Across the state the suburb with the highest median individual income is Ashburton, where half of the adult population earns at least $1865 a week. Second on the list is Port Hedland, at $1841 a week.

The suburbs in the Pilbara don’t just rank as number one and two for income in WA – they rank highest for all of Australia thanks to its booming iron ore industry.