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Looking to find the next up-and-coming suburbs? New data from the Property Investment Professionals of Australia has identified which suburbs will see a makeover in the near future.

The research, according to PIPA chairman Peter Koulizos, identified four demographic factors to determine if an area is in the early stage of gentrification.

“If you had this knowledge a few decades ago, you would have bought in suburbs such as Balmain and Paddington in Sydney before they became highly sought-after and expensive,” Mr Koulizos said.

“Likewise in Melbourne, where you would have invested in Richmond or Collingwood before they became really popular and pricey.”

The four factors are the following: 

  • a decrease of people 18 years old and under that is lower than the state average;
  • an increase of couples with children that is larger than the state average;
  • an increase of those who lived at a different address five years ago that is larger than the state average;
  • and an increase of females working in professional occupations.

With less children and more couples, Mr Koulizos said that this was a significant sign of gentrification, indicating younger people moving to inner suburbs to be near universities and employment hubs.

“They can’t afford to live in the ritzy eastern suburbs of Sydney, Melbourne or Adelaide, so they target the more affordable and gentrifying inner western suburbs of these cities,” the chairman said.

The changing of the guard in a suburb is also an early sign of gentrification, Mr Koulizos said, as an increasing number of “new” residents move in.

Another early sign of gentrification is older people being replaced by younger people.

“It is often the case that before an area gentrifies, it is full of older people who are still living in the houses they bought 50 years ago,” the chairman said.

“As many of them are now on fixed incomes or pensions, they can’t afford to make substantial improvements to their homes, so, in move the younger people.

“Many of them work in professional jobs in the city, on relatively high incomes, no dependents and have a high disposable income and borrowing capacity, so they have the ability to upgrade the period and character homes.”

Independent women with professional jobs, the last point of gentrification, indicates to Mr Koulizos that they would be more likely to have funds to buy, renovate, upgrade or develop property in the area.

“Identifying areas undergoing the early stages of gentrification is just one way that property investors can get above-average returns on their assets,” the chairman said.

“The secret is to get in early before everyone else realises what is going on.”

The capital city suburbs that are showing signs of gentrification, according to the research, are:


West Footscray


St. Peters




West Croydon


Sasha Karen, Smart Property Investment, 18 June 2018