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Melbourne and Sydney's 10 richest suburbs

June 20, 2018 9:00 am by Upside

Leafy tree-lined streets. Gorgeous heritage housing. Enviable views of some of the most picturesque spots in Australia. There’s no shortage of idyllic residential appeal in Melbourne or Sydney – but which suburbs and areas are home to some of the country’s wealthiest residents? Let’s take a look.

Melbourne’s richest suburbs and areas

Despite Toorak’s long-standing reputation as being home to Melbourne’s richest residents, new census data from the ABS reveals it’s not the city’s wealthiest suburb.

East Melbourne’, ‘Glen Iris - East’, and ‘Surrey Hills (West) - Canterbury’ took the top three spots for most advantaged areas in Melbourne based on the ABS’ Socio-Economic Indexes for Areas (SEIFA). SEIFA ranks areas in Australia according to relative socio-economic advantage and disadvantage based on factors such as household income, access to material and social resources, and residents’ ability to participate in society.

Toorak has a large proportion of retired people (the median age of residents is 45) and as such, has developed an income gap compared with up-and-coming suburbs with a younger population. With the Bureau of Statistics' index of advantage and disadvantage being partially based on income and occupation, successful professionals in other areas are now outranking the retirees of Toorak.

Victoria’s top 10 richest areas
1. East Melbourne
2. Glen Iris - East
3. Surrey Hills (West) - Canterbury
4. Toorak
5. Brighton (Vic.)
6. Ivanhoe East - Eaglemont
7. South Yarra - West
8. Camberwell
9. Beaumaris
10. Albert Park

Source: ABS

As you might expect, many of Melbourne’s wealthiest suburbs are located in the inner-city areas, particularly in the inner east.

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Sydney’s richest areas

Ku-ring-gai in Sydney’s upper north shore is Sydney’s (and the the country’s) richest area, according to the latest ABS census data. The suburb outranked the traditionally-wealthy Mosman - also on the North Shore - which took the second-top spot. Sydney’s north dominated the rankings, with eight of the ten most affluent suburbs being located north of the Harbour Bridge.

Woollahra in Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs took third place for wealthiest suburb in NSW, while nearby Waverley came in at number seven. The Eastern Suburbs’ may have a reputation for being a hub for the ultra-wealthy (and the census data to prove it), Woollahra Mayor Peter Cavanagh says not to buy into the stereotypes too much.

“The whole idea that Woollahra (the local government area Point Piper falls under) is an enclave of the rich where no one else can live is quite false,” he told “To say that we’re full up and no one else can come is nonsense.”

Surprisingly, Vaucluse in Sydney’s north-east didn’t make the cut despite being home to some of Australia’s most expensive homes – including 'La Mer', which James and Erica Packer sold for $70 million, and Phoenix Acres, a sprawling waterfront estate, which was sold by Singaporean businessman Ck Ow for $67 million.

New South Wales' top 10 richest areas
1. Ku-ring-gai
2. Mosman
3. Woollahra
4. North Sydney
5. Lane Cove
6. Hunters Hill
7. Waverly
8. Willoughby
9. The Hills Shire
10. Northern Beaches

Source: ABS

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