CoreLogic Head of Research Tim Lawless reviews the recent release of Socio-Economic Indexes for Areas (SEIFA) by the Australian Bureau of Statistics. The SEIFA indices provides a summary of the areas around the country that are highly advantaged and disadvantaged in terms of their socio-economic profile.
The SEIFA index ranks the areas of Australia according to their relative socio-economic advantage and disadvantage. The ABS describes relative socio-economic advantage and disadvantage as ‘people's access to material and social resources, and their ability to participate in society’. In layman's terms, this simply means that areas of high advantage will typically show higher income levels, but also residents are likely to be more educated, have professional or highly skilled occupations, there will be less overcrowding in the homes, and more people are likely to have a higher education amongst other things.
The indexes are constructed based on a series of variables that include income, education, employment, occupation, housing and other miscellaneous indicators such as the number of cars, proportion of ‘group’ households, proportion of dwellings with an internet connection and proportion of people who do or don’t speak English. A full description of the indexes can be found on the ABS web site here.
It seems logical that most households would aspire to living in an area where socio-economic advantage is high, however in many cases, the buy in price for housing also tends to be extremely high in these areas. The tables below provide a national summary of the areas where ‘advantage’ is the highest. 17 of the top 20 regions are located in Sydney, with 9 of these regions are located within the North Sydney/Hornsby area.
National Top 20 Most Advantaged Suburbs
Importantly, not all areas that are high on the socio-economic rankings are out of reach in terms of housing prices. The tables below include suburbs ranked within the top decile for advantage (ie in the top ten percent of socio-economic advantage) sorted based on the lowest median house value. While Sydney (1 suburb), Melbourne and Canberra (no suburbs) are largely absent from the top 20 list due to their higher price points, its clear that many suburbs of Perth (7 suburbs), Darwin, Hobart, Brisbane and Adelaide (all with three suburbs in the top 20) offer up a range of relatively affordable housing options in areas of high socio-economic advantage.
National Top 20: most affordable suburbs within the
10th decile of highest advantage
The following tables provide an insight around the areas of highest and lowest advantage across each of the capital cities. Additionally, for those seeking to live in areas that are within the top 10% of highly advantaged suburbs nationally, what are the more affordable entry points to the housing markets in these areas.