Mount Lawley

Mount Lawley

Living in Mount Lawley

The Vibe…

Beaufort St Festival in Mount Lawley

Beaufort Street Festival

Whilst Mt Lawley is considered to be one of Perth’s more upmarket and expensive suburbs suburbs (a one-bedroom unit will probably set you back close to $300k and an “entry level” home on a full block in the Avenues over $1m), I like to think of it as being a little more lively, diverse and bohemian than comparably priced neighbourhoods in the Western Suburbs. Yes, some of it’s pretty upmarket, and it’s never been cheap to live here, but you’re more likely to see the locals out in their sneakers and thongs (albeit funky, branded ones) than heels, and the local boutiques and shops have more of an emphasis on casual street fashion and living rather than luxury bling. There’s a sense of youthfulness, optimism and inclusiveness that comes from its mix of population, thriving café and small bar scene, community events (the annual Beaufort Street Festival being the standout) and housing options. It’s a suburb that people aspire to live in, and once here, rarely leave.

Who lives there?

Primarily considered a “family” area (49.8% of its residents are classified as families), in the 2011 census Mount Lawley had a population of approx. 10,700 people and a median resident age of 34 (against 37 for all of WA). It has one of the higher median house prices in WA of $900,000 (as against $470,000 for the Perth Metro area) and today’s property buyers are typically young professionals and families. That said, Mount Lawley isn’t a vanilla flavoured suburb. It consists of several distinct parts with a range of home prices and living options that is surprisingly diverse – from one-bedroom bedsits on William Street and smaller character “semi’s” and cottages on the streets South of Walcott (going towards the City), through to a number of villa, townhouse and other multi-dwelling options on Queens Crescent and the Avenues – predominantly, but not exclusively, on the East of Beaufort St (towards the railway line) as well as closer to the social heart itself. Then there’s the often-overlooked “river” side of Mount Lawley, east of the Railway line and Lord Street, with its mix of apartment blocks, cottage style homes on smaller blocks and larger homes or luxury group dwellings, many with river views.

The Lifestyle…

Most people move to Mount Lawley for the lifestyle: proximity to the city and river; walking distance to cafes and restaurants; tree lined streets; parks and ovals; proximity to local transport (bus and train); ease of access to beaches and freeways so that nothing (that a local might want to visit anyway) is more than 20 minutes anyway; sporting clubs and amenities or for the perceived quality of schooling options (the local state schools, both Primary and High are well-regarded, St Paul’s is a popular Catholic primary school and Perth College is one of the leading private girls’ schools in Perth).

The social heart of Mount Lawley is unarguably based around the intersection of Beaufort and Walcott Streets and is primarily referred to by locals just as “Beaufort Street”. It consists of a mix of cafés, restaurants, pubs, clubs, boutiques, specialty stores, small supermarkets, take-aways and the iconic art-deco Astor Theatre (which has gone from strength to strength since it was allowed to become a multi-purpose venue). Further along Beaufort Street, moving north towards and along “The Avenues”, you’ll also find a range of health service providers like doctors, dentists, physio’s, and a Wellness Clinic, a mix of residential and commercial developments housing more restaurants and take-aways (cnr Third Avenue and Beaufort), a soon to be additional small supermarket and speciality shops on the cnr of Second Avenue abd Beaufort St, banks, the local money-lender, gym, and another pub just before you hit the border on Central Ave.

If you’re looking to buy property in Mount Lawley…

The quality of housing is one of the major attractions of the suburb, with Mount Lawley being home to many turn of the (20th) century character homes on mostly larger blocks. A large proportion of Mount Lawley falls under the control of the City of Stirling and is designated as a Heritage Precinct – streetscapes are rigorously protected in planning laws and demolition of older dwellings is all but impossible. The City of Vincent appears to be more flexible in the type and style of housing development and renovations it will allow, but it too will frown upon requests to demolish older buildings.

For more information about heritage and building approvals, see the City of Stirling’s page on heritage protection areas and the City of Vincent’s Planning and Building policies.

The schools…

Whilst all of Mount Lawley is within the public Mount Lawley Senior High School Zone, this is not the case for with respect to the Mount Lawley Primary School. Annual enrolment numbers influence the boundary and those living furthest away from the school (other side of the railway line or Walcott St and sometimes even within those areas but further away from the school) will find that they will be required to enroll in Highgate Primary School instead.

For more information about local schools, click on the links below:

Parking and roads…

Parking in some of the streets closer to the social hub and border of 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.

Finally, a heads up if you’re thinking of buying on one of the major roads – Walcott St, Lord St and Guildford Rd each have road reservations on them that provide for the future widening of the roads. When and if this will happen is unknown, but it does mean that at some future point in time some of your front yard could be resumed for these works. Road reservations are shown on the Certificate of Title and should (!) be communicated to you by the selling Agent.

Want to know more?

If you’re thinking of buying in Mt Lawley 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 Mount Lawley, see our Mount Lawley local business reviewsMount Lawley news and events, and Mount Lawley culture and lifestyle.