The desirability of neighbourhoods which offer easy access to a full range of amenities and services is well known.

And, as Australia’s capital cities exercise an increasingly magnet like appeal on the population, such neighbourhoods will only grow in their appeal.

It is for this reason that the release of US company Walkscore’s 2014 “most walkable” Australian city and neighbourhood rankings should be of interest to investors.

Metropole Property Strategists’ Michael Yardney said recent research showed that, over the past decade, home values in Sydney’s walkable neighbourhoods outperformed the rest of the city, and could now attract a 20% premium.

Overseas research into the appeal of walkable neighbourhoods backed up these local findings.

Yardney said that, as populations grow and cities become more dense, easy access to amenities and walkability would only become more important – which was something investors should consider when looking at property.

“Many people will be prepared to pay a premium to be close to, but not right next to, transport, shops and amenities.”

Susan Thompson, the director of the healthy built environments program at the University of NSW, said growing numbers of people could see that walkable suburbs were the way of the future.

Walkable suburbs allowed residents to incorporate physical activity into their everyday life which provided them with a healthier and more sustainable lifestyle.

Given the busy nature of modern life, the lifestyle benefits of living in a walkable suburb were making such suburbs increasingly popular, Thompson said.

“Some very smart planners and developers realise that incorporating walkability into their work can give their projects additional value and a real edge.”

This suggests that canny investors would be well-advised to peruse Walkscore’s 2014 rankings.

According to the rankings, the most walkable Australian city and neighbourhood are:


  1. Sydney (top neighbourhoods: Haymarket, The Rocks, Sydney)
  2. Melbourne (top neighbourhoods: Carlton, Fitzroy, Fitzroy North)
  3. Adelaide (top neighbourhoods: Adelaide, Glenelg, Stepney)
  4. Brisbane (top neighbourhoods: Brisbane City, Fortitude Valley, Spring Hill)
  5. Perth (top neighbourhoods: Northbridge, Perth, Highgate)
  6. Newcastle (top neighbourhoods: Newcastle, The Hill, Cooks Hill)
  7. Wollongong (top neighbourhoods: Wollongong, Shellharbour City Centre, Gwynneville)
  8. Gold Coast (top neighbourhoods: Broad Beach, Surfers Paradise, Coolangatta)
  9. Central Coast (top neighbourhoods: The Entrance, Gosford, Ettalong Beach)
  10. Canberra (top neighbourhoods: City, Kingston, Barton)