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Australia's most liveable cities as ranked by locals

A recent survey from has revealed that Canberra residents are the most satisfied with their city, as ranked by the 9,155 Australians surveyed across the country in the largest annual ongoing study of its kind. Residents in each capital city were asked to rate their satisfaction with their hometown across 16 valued attributes including affordable housing, schooling, high quality healthcare, access to nature, diversity of shopping, leisure and dining facilities and sense of community. Perth, Adelaide, Brisbane and then Hobart were next on the list. At the bottom, were Melbourne, Sydney and, finally, Darwin.

So what aspects made people most satisfied with their cities? The report reveals that Australians value safety, high quality health services, affordable housing, good job prospects and efficient public transport most of all. This is especially the case in the cities on the East coast of Australia. However, access to the natural environment rates more highly than public transport in the other Australian capitals.

In the larger cities like Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, public transport is very important (possibly symptomatic of congested roadways for commuters and larger commuting distances). With all Australian capital cities currently ranked among the top 20 least affordable cities in the world, it is not surprising that housing is an important issue across the country. On that note, Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide scored higher for having affordable, high-quality housing, with Sydney, unsurprisingly, scoring worst of all for this metric with it's highly priced property market, even despite falling house prices over the last 18 months.

Interestingly, access to the natural environment was seen as more important to Australians than being able to view or participate in sports and recreation (Councils take note: parks are more valued than stadiums). Also, Australians value a strong sense of community in the areas in which they live, which is harder to achieve in the larger cities. Brisbane and Melbourne residents actually feel less safe than they did 10 years ago, despite statistics highlighting that crime is actually falling. Perhaps widespread and rapid crime reporting on news sites and social media may have influenced this perception?

One notable feature is that Perth rose 2 places to be number two on the list, explained by an upswing in the local economy as the mining industry strengthened. Adelaide also rose due to economic factors and improved job prospects. These rises explain a fall in Brisbane's ranking this year, although it is still ranked number 4 out of the 8 cities and is second out of the eastern Australian cities.

As Brisbane locals, we at Habitat Relocations, can attest to the fact that the city is changing and, in our opinion, very much for the better. House prices have risen but not to the same degree as Sydney and Melbourne making it more affordable for new arrivals and, importantly, not encouraging rampant speculation and its associated peaks and troughs. Instead, there is a sense of genuine and natural growth in a city that is now really starting to assert itself as an international city and shedding its former "large country town" reputation. There is plenty of recent development in the CBD area, including the Howard Smith Wharf Precinct and W Hotel, for example. There is more on the way such as Queens Wharf which will offer a new leisure, entertainment, tourist and cultural facility on the CBD riverfront connecting to the vibrant South Bank leisure and cultural precinct on the opposite side of the Brisbane River.

There is also significant investment in public transport, notably the cross river rail link that is currently under construction and designed to ease transport bottlenecks and revitalise surrounding inner city areas. World class facilities exist at city hospitals and healthy construction, mining, IT and education industries provides employment opportunities. There are high quality public and private school options for families that are less costly than those in Melbourne and Sydney and have improved with the recent national curriculum efforts so they correspond with their southern state neighbours.

Given all the above, Brisbane is definitely worth considering if you are moving to Australia. If you have any questions about the realities of moving to the city, feel free to contact us at Habitat Relocations, we would be happy to help.

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