Living in Highgate

The Vibe…

Only 2kms from the City, Perth’s second smallest and densest suburb (it covers only 0.4sq kms and is home to just under 2000 people) is arguably its funkiest.

In its heart (Beaufort Street) you’ll find cafés, small bars, restaurants, a pub, speciality shops and homewares stores that will happily satisfy most of your needs and whims (there are no mainstream chain stores here – that’s just not Highgate). Highgate is Mt Lawley’s younger, hipper sister – it’s a suburb for the young and young at heart.

It’s one of the few places in Perth that you can find people out and about after 9:00pm on a weekday – Friday and Saturday evenings on Beaufort St are typically packed – and if you live here you can rest assured that you’ll never go short of a decent cocktail or coffee again.

Who lives there?

The median average age of residents in Highgate is 33 (as opposed to 37 for the State) with a median household size of 1.9 people. 46.7% of households in the suburb are classified as families. Its median weekly household income is $1266 (slightly higher than Maylands) and reflecting its hundred plus year association with new arrivals to Perth, 38% of households speak a language other than English. 61% of dwellings in Highgate are rented (the average for WA being less than 30%).

Of the just over 1000 properties in the area, less than a quarter are stand-alone homes, the balance being attached (eg townhouses), units or apartments. Despite its smaller average lot sizes, the median house price is $735,000, slightly higher than that of Inglewood.

The Lifestyle…

Once you’re away from the buzz of Beaufort Street you’ll find that Highgate is surprisingly peaceful. Its proximity to the City and amenities means that cars are often shunned in preference to walking. The higher density of homes and smaller lot sizes means that you know and watch out for your neighbours – there’s a real sense of community. Residents often get together in the evenings with their pooches at the local parks.

Most people shop and play locally – they might have a coffee machine at home but will still pop into one of the many local cafes’s to catch up on gossip with friends, read the paper or use the free wi-fi (for some it’s an alternative to a home office). In some ways Highgate is an oxymoron – it has a diverse, youthful, playful, entrepreneurial streak that reflects what I think are some of WA’s best cultural characteristics, yet its density and boutique feel sits in direct contrast to the suburban sprawl by which Perth is most often characterised.

Highgate is well serviced by amenities from its neighbouring suburbs. It has its own public primary school – Highgate – as well as a private Catholic primary school – Sacred Heart. Secondary schools include Mt Lawley SHS in Mt Lawley, or Trinity and Mercedes Colleges (Catholic) – the latter both being located in Perth.

Residents can catch regular buses into and away from the City on Beaufort, William or Lord Streets. The East Perth train station is no more than a 15 minute walk away and there is the tranquility and green of Hyde Park on its William Street border (or Forrest Park on Harold Street) for residents seeking more open space for themselves or the kids. The closest major supermarkets are Coles in Northbridge and North Perth – but most locals pop up to the IGA, Fresh Provisions, butcher, bakery, fruit and veg shop or gourmet deli up the road for mid-week supplies.

If you’re looking to buy property in Highgate…

There is an interesting and eclectic mix of properties available to buy in Highgate, ranging from stand-alone traditional character cottages or semi-detached dwellings (mostly brick) to multi storey modern apartment complexes on or near Beaufort Street. Highgate falls under the City of Vincent and whilst the City is typically open to a range of housing styles, you’ll still find it difficult to alter the façade of or demolish a character home should you be lucky enough to find and buy one.

For more information about planning and building approvals, see the City of Vincent’s Planning and Building policies.

Parking in Highgate can be a problem – not all homes have off-street parking and there are parking restrictions that apply. You should check out the parking situation during the week and on a busy weekend (Friday night in particular) to see what it’s like if you’re thinking of buying. Residents can apply for parking permits if they have no access to off-street parking and will also receive a small allocation of permits (normally two) for visitor parking.

If, like the majority of Highate purchasers, you’re looking to buy a unit, villa, townhouse or apartment you should be mindful of strata fees, amenities (complexes with lifts and pools typically translate to higher fees), strata rules, whether any courtyard is part of your lot or common property (with older stratas it may be the latter) and the strata management company and level of owner involvement (check the minutes of the last AGM to inform yourself of current issues and to get an idea of who turns up to the meetings).

Want to know more?

If you’re thinking of buying in Highgate and want to know more, call me, Natalie Hoye, on 0405 812273 and I’ll be happy to provide more information or answer more specific questions you have about living in the area.


This information contained in this overview was believed to be correct at the time of posting but may have been changed or amended since – it also contains the personal opinions of the author. No warranty is provided as to the accuracy of this information and it should be taken to be indicative only. Readers should undertake their own due diligence investigations and not rely on the information provided on this page for the purposes of making personal or business decisions.

For more about Highgate, see our Highgate local business reviewsHighgate news and events, and Highgate culture and lifestyle.