Media Release

Cost, low crime and quiet: What buyers really look for in a suburb

  • asks Australians their priorities for choosing a suburb to live in
  • Housing cost, peace and quiet, and crime rate top considerations
  • Living close to airport and entertainment rate low on the list

September 17, 2015, Sydney, Australia – When it comes to choosing where to live,
Australians rate housing cost, peace and quiet, and the suburb’s crime rate as their top considerations, according to a new survey by, one of Australia’s biggest comparison websites.

The survey, which had more than 1,058 respondents, found that half (50 percent) of homeowners are concerned with property costs. This was followed by peace and quiet (38 percent) and crime rate (24 percent).

Living close to an airport was found to be the least important factor in choosing where to live, with just 1 percent of respondents listing this in their top three wish list. Local entertainment, including bars and music, was the second least popular with just 2 percent of respondents choosing this as a priority.

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Money Expert Michelle Hutchison said it’s not surprising that housing cost is the number one consideration for Australians when choosing where to live.

“Housing is one of the most critical factors when determining which suburb to live in. For instance, not only is a mortgage most likely one of the biggest debts you’ll face, the repayment you’ll be locked into for the next 30 years could shape other aspects of your life, for better or worse.

“Before you start looking for your next home, it’s essential that you do your homework. Take at least six to eight weeks to research house prices in a handful of your preferred suburbs and compare them to cheaper nearby suburbs. It’s also important spend time comparing home loans. Remember, interest rates are not going to stay this low forever, and you’ll need to factor in a buffer of 2-3 percent to ensure you’re able to afford mortgage repayments when rates rise.

“Compromise is often part of the homeownership journey. However, compromise doesn’t have to mean giving up on your dream suburb altogether. Rather, it may mean buying an unrenovated property, on a smaller block, or ditching a view or car space to buy into that area. If you have been outpriced of a suburb, look at neighbouring areas – chances are the property values in these suburbs will increase along with demand, which may make for a wise investment.

“Choosing a property to live in should be a strategic decision to avoid landing in financial strife down the track. Pick a location with valuable features such as high rental potential, low crime rate, and close to schools, recreation and shops. The more a suburb has to offer, the easier it will be to re-sell in future regardless of market conditions.”

State by state:

  • Tasmanians love their peace and quiet. The only state where housing cost is not the most important factor in choosing a suburb is Tasmania – where it comes second place to peace and quiet.
  • New South Wales residents have a high preference for living close to work. That choice ranks third in NSW, but sixth or seventh in the other states.
  • New South Wales residents are also far less likely to want to live near a supermarket. The preference ranks eighth in NSW and fourth in every other state.
  • South Australians and Victorians prefer to live by their families – both rank this third after house prices and peace and quiet, whereas family and friends are only sixth most important on average in the other states.
  • Queenslanders prefer a cheaper home, with housing cost the biggest factor for choosing where to live, followed by peace and quiet, and then crime rate – the same priorities as the national results.


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The information in this release is accurate as of the date published, but rates, fees and other product features may have changed. Please see updated product information on's review pages for the current correct values.

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