Sydney's Rising Star Suburbs

Monday, January 04, 2016

Analysis of the Urban Living Index shows the
top 3 growth areas to watch

The Urban Living Index rates each of Sydney’s suburbs based on five key liveability factors: Community, Employability, Amenity, Accessibility and importantly, Affordability.

While some of Sydney’s most glamorous suburbs such as Bondi, Neutral Bay and Manly did very well on the first four measures, they did not do well in the affordability category. The cost of living and the cost of housing are currently red-hot issues for Sydney siders and so affordability is in many ways the priority issue with the other lifestyle measures remaining purely theoretical for those priced out of an area.

The majority of Sydneysiders (51%) believe that their area will be even less affordable in three years’ time than it is today- which is almost five times as many as those who believe their area will become more affordable. And most strikingly, almost 9 in 10 Sydney residents (88%) state that housing affordability will be a massive or significant challenge for the next generation.

With this in mind, we have analysed the Urban Living Index data of all Sydney suburbs to find the areas that have excellent affordability- but also rate very well on the other lifestyle measures.

While there are 25 suburbs that score 15 or above (out of 20) for affordability, there are three areas in this list that have great results in the other liveability categories as well.

1st Lalor Park

Lalor Park and the adjoining Kings Langley toped our hot spotting list. The affordability score (15) was excellent, and these suburbs have an amenity score (a measure of the number of shops, restaurants, arts and recreation facilities and educational options in the suburb) which was very good. In fact these suburbs scored higher on the local amenity provisions than suburbs including Newport, Wahroonga and Frenchs Forest. Similarly Lalor Park and Kings Langley scored well on accessibility (a measure that looks at public transport, employment access and walkability of an area) and above beach and harbour side suburbs like Avalon and Rose Bay.

While the overall score for Lalor Park-Kings Langley is in the “Very Good” category, its excellent affordability ranking makes it a suburb likely to boom.

2nd Menai

Menai and the adjoining suburbs of Lucas Heights and Woronora are the next suburbs set to take off based on this analysis. Relative to other Sydney suburbs, the affordability is in the excellent category and this is matched by the employability category. So the combination of good employment numbers, a significant local economy and access to housing more affordable than much of Sydney, this area in Sydney’s south is a clear hotspot.

3rd Blaxland

The third most rated area from this affordability and liveability analysis is Blaxland at the foot of the Blue Mountains and the adjoining suburbs of Warrimoo and Lapstone. Just 8 minutes from the M4 motorway, and less than 10 minutes from the Western Sydney suburbs of Penrith and Emu Plains, this area has become part of Sydney’s greater west yet the affordability, along with the community and amenity scores lift it above many areas in the outer western Sydney ring.

As the urban living index data shows, liveability depends on more than just water views and beach access- the practical factors of educational options, employment access, public transport and other built amenity and of course affordability all make an area desirable and facilitate lifestyle. That is why each of these areas have rated on the Index above the well-heeled suburbs of Palm Beach, Belrose and Vaucluse and it is why they stand out as rising stars.

This research we conducted for Urban Taskforce Australia is an example of robust research generating significant media activity and reader interest. This particular piece was summarised in the Sydney Morning Herald here, and as you can see from the image below was in the top 5 most read columns on the day in the Sydney Morning Herald, the Melbourne Age and the Brisbane Times.

For more information

The Urban Living Index was developed by McCrindle for Urban Taskforce Australia. More information and interactive maps are available at

An event recap of the Urban Living Index launch

Monday, December 14, 2015

It was a privilege for two of our team, Mark McCrindle and Annie Phillips to attend and present at Urban Taskforce’s launch of the Urban Living Index on Thursday 10th December.

The event was an opportunity to showcase the Urban Living Index and how it can be best utilised as Sydney continues to grow and increase in densification.

The Urban Living Index

Earlier this year we had the opportunity to develop The Urban Living Index, which is going to be used as an ongoing measure for the liveability of suburbs in Sydney. This instrument considers the affordability, community, employability, amenity and accessibility of an area to determine how liveable it is. The challenge for Sydney’s future is to ensure that it responds to population growth yet maintains its world-beating lifestyle and that its liveability rises to match its increasing density. While a city can always improve, the results of the Index show that the city planning and unit development are creating thriving urban communities, as evidenced by the results that show superior liveability in high density Sydney suburbs.

To read the full report, visit the Urban Living Index website here.

Sydney’s most liveable suburbs

Crows Nest-Waverton
Surry Hills
Potts Point – Woolloomooloo

In the media

Sydney Morning Herald - Measuring urban living across Sydney

Welcome to our blog...

We have a passion for research that tells a story, that can be presented visually, that brings about change and improves organisations. And we hope these resources help you know the times.

Our Social Media Sites

Facebook | McCrindle Research Social Media YouTube | McCrindle Research Social Media Twitter | McCrindle Research Social Media Flickr | McCrindle Research Social Media Pinterest | McCrindle Research Social Media Google Plus | McCrindle Research Social Media LinkedIn | McCrindle Research Social Media Mark McCrindle Slideshare

Last 150 Articles


schools students resource unaffordable public speaking Valentine’s Day potts point households goals waverton world residents rule keeper Financial Planning Association thought leadership Charlotte high school growth proactive WA REIV National Conference lalor park FPA statistics list housing Queensland future of education emerging technologies global Generation X 10 years Christmas lunch outsourcing trends of 2016 bondi Mark McCrindle socialites learning national private wealth menai gender EFF Deaths New South Wales organisations survey design communities commute geomapping Northern Territory huffington post Northern Beaches Christian School ABS mccrindle tea low density internet report housing market collaborative 1994 holiday retirement language sydney event stats 23 million society trends tattoos Aussie The Daily Edition high density personalities twentyseventeen 24 million DIY cost transport ideas DESTEL conference speaker 1975 meals skills hopes Australian demographics Financial Planning Association of Australia 1980 church brand experience small business alpha 1968 visualisation not for profit property data toys offenders Wodonga environmental scanning ease of travel trend tuesday priorities conference cultural diversity holidays poor mccrindle research educated social lives fresh New Zeland australians staying home more kate middleton tv renting area social hornsby suburb GPO learning styles Sydney keynote speaker Australian Home hobart SA population faux-ciliser The ABC of XYZ 2017 internship survey friendship communicate media commentary gold coast house insights click follow cloudy days community event unemployment jobs staff digital McCrindle Speakers national crime rates relevant litter megatrends suburbs professional speaker millionth leader Australian schools couple insight Australian Families keynote winter blues crows nest marrickville generational trends future proof Aussies innovation property price communications ACT social impact 24,000,000 world youth day Christmas presents event cancel plans greatness names consumerism investor tips religion conference presentation South Australia not-for-profit sector wide study Social Trend states mentor sentiments rent futurist food optimistic shifts urban living economy Bathburst wages charity career family rental stress entertainment Australian Communities Trends Melbourne workplace culture living research pack australian communities forum infographic snapshot trends presentations dream trends analyst future of work trend stay home typical australian Channel 7 financial future news energy in the media thrive deloitte income future-proof tea annual income google for education Myth equip gen z learner award Real Estate Institute of Victoria house prices publication princess charlotte capital city PSI study teach plans housing trends christianity youth Research Executive vegemite university degree cold generations crime experience environment hello fresh student HSC local educhat media social change collaboration group Gen X define social shifts easter entrepreneurial australian communities trends report earnings "know the times" cancelling event mobile group session culture parenting employers state ashley fell socialising Financial Planning Week wellbeing weather dreaming facts quote learn domestic responsive mccrindle in the media research data baby narcissism faux-cilise data analyst faux-cilising sydneysiders demographic transformations social media brand sydney speaker cartodb city builders newspaper wolloomooloo visual media release Population Clock in depth interviews divorce rate tableau suburban living organisational culture townhouses Caregiver school students demographic trends trends of 2017 Tasmania Geoff Brailey JOMO internships leadership cooking generation global financial crisis earn business index financial dreams young people acf15 perth Scouts capital cities professional development household national wealth australia presentation social trends darwin researcher the changing face of February 16 overcast population map research services forecasting urban education sector omnibus home owner moreton bay cash baby boom coffee Territory school satisfaction 2020 Gen Y ethnography mythbusting optus my business awards non profit Channel Seven marriage repayments blaxland personal growth mythbusters water eliane clothing fears affordability school teachers cancelling plans grandparents shbc sunny days Australia Day 2017 Wellington local communities winter happiness social analysis investment women change housing growth relational demographer monarchy renter of the future royal influence dessert safe consumer sports Adelaide workshop Australians World Water Day 2013 debate Births careers balance woolworths sustainable wealth social researcher Word Up keynote speaker nfp high density apartments technology NEETs wealth distribution financial independence challenge society TAS financial System's Architect generation alpha Queensland: QLD mateship ashley mckenzie training Real Estate vegetarian aussie culture hills shire men analysis Western Australia media activity rising house prices Merry Christmas English work-life Crime Rates volunteers professional emerging trends identity interactive etiquette video demographic wealth and income distribution IT Specialists growing population eliane miles NSW average aussie sun focus group year 12 rich ultimo population growth jobs of the future politics celebration real baby name predictions social commentary Assistant Store Manager government children Australian communities mortgage 2015 education post rationalism economic millenials cars mover and shaker high density living increasing densification logan tuesday prince george case study research Wagga Wagga public holiday home australian social research salary shopping focus groups Australian Dream wealth and income shopper's pick global generations slideshare young australians families affordable networking Education Future Forum NT product Australian Bureau of Statistics university social research VIC summer engagement Do It Yourself 40 million employment divorce social enquiry baby names weekly earnings Christmas season 2014 new york times land of the middle class owning a home teacher Kiwi easy rider Engineering Manager urban taskforce census leadership workshop Sydney village recap daily telegraph engage going out apartment pyrmont schools authenticity population milestone mccrindle gen alpha dare to dream finance Tuesday Trends Australian Trends social researchers brisbane Australia Day Kirsten Brewer moderators guide Canberra buildings work mates FOMO teleworking sydneycity life entrepreneurs of today budget CBD Northern Beaches market research future proofing middle class royal emerging generations criminal community work spend Northern beaches Event property market 2016 teaching motivate Australian Census education future mother's day TDE New Zealand anzac year 7 graphs data visualisation program speakers communication youth unemployment optus education research research visualisation victoria students wedding sunburnt country intern community engagement participants christmas seasons January 26th know the times marketing goal sector Hornsby Shire Council events ACF results resilience manly daily commute house price selfie workforce lifestyle ageing population marriages education future report online shopping tertiary education urban living index brands 2012 ACF 2016 baby name trends paying to work parents millennials poker master REIV Conference debt curiosity Christchurch child care staying in home ownership sector wide online father's day cost of living social life google rain Love entrepreneur housing affordability baby name mining boom panel Netflix royal baby Res Vis demographics royal family customer ipswich long weekend Tuesday Trend baby boomers forum rise of local business Generation Y friends social commentator future innovative qualitative research generation Z Royals neutral bay workplace Duchess of Cambridge