The World’s Most Liveable City Keeps Moving Forward

Urban Editorial July 25, 20180 min read

For the seventh time in a row, experts have deemed Melbourne the world’s most liveable city. It is the only time a city has been crowned number one for so many consecutive years.

Each year, the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) assess 140 cities worldwide as part of the Liveability Index, ranking them according to 30 qualitative and quantitative factors across the five broad categories of stability, healthcare, culture and environment, education, and infrastructure. Melbourne living continued to impress, and the city scored highly for its low crime rate, quality of infrastructure and accessibility, as well as the artistic culture and environment.

The ranking is a win for business, with the city’s firm reputation attracting investment. Tourists will continue to flock, and Australia’s top minds will continue to congregate to make the most of education and growing career opportunities.

Always Room for Improvement

But, despite its seven-year reign, Melbourne is far from infallible. Though it received a score of 97.5 from the EIU, planners and housing experts don’t share politicians’ and residents’ faith in the scores. The population is swelling by as many as 2,000 people a week, 500 of whom are fleeing Sydney in favour of better liveability. For now, Melbourne’s streamlined transportation network is able to keep up with demand.

Melbourne has also seen a slight increase in homelessness in the past 12 months, and the gap between rich and poor is growing. There was also increased robbery and theft noted, and it wouldn’t be too far of a stretch to infer that these are merely symptoms of the rising cost of housing. Surprisingly, the affordability of housing is not a factor considered in the Liveability Index. As Melbourne’s Lord Mayor announced, the city has room for improvement, and didn’t outshine rivals in any obvious area. Instead, it was the all-round higher scores which helped it to take the win.

Active Ageing

An Australia-wide issue, the ageing population does not discriminate Melbourne in adding pressure to the economy, healthcare and housing. As we move forward, ageing is going to be a key consideration to inform city planning. One of the most important concepts is in urban planning encouraging activity and exercise, essentially reducing the healthcare burden and helping people to lead fuller, happier and healthier lives.

Five key factors influence how cities can have this impact. Open spaces and parks, urban design, transport, schools, and workplaces all contribute to how people learn, feel and behave. When each of these elements is designed to facilitate an active lifestyle, the direct results can include reduced crime, business growth, better air quality and even reduced stress levels.

While these boxes are all mostly ticked within the heart of the CBD, the surrounding suburbs don’t fare so well. Due to sudden city expansion, the quality of infrastructural planning couldn’t keep up with the population. What we need to consider now is how to continue to make Melbourne the most liveable city, so that we can continue the Melbourne living lifestyle we’ve all grown to love.

The Future of Investment in Melbourne

Many experts are beginning to turn towards Melbourne’s outskirts, tipping these as the hotspot for future investment. Take Rockbank, for example. At 28km west of the city, it had an incredible year, with median house prices skyrocketing by almost 50%. However, the further away from the city, the higher the risk of a volatile market. While an investment here could end in a big win, it could also swing the other way. Generally speaking, the closer you buy to the city, the more stable your profit will be.

Experts agree that finding a property in the ‘sweet spot’, where a property is rented out just below the median rent, encouraging a steady yield in a competitive market. No matter what area you’re looking to invest in, your strategies of rental yield versus capital growth should be considered. In any case, it’s about catering to the vibe of Melbourne living.

For those looking closer into the city, it is worthwhile to know your market. Of the 130,000 thousand people who live in Melbourne’s CBD, more than half are aged 15–34. What’s more, 50% of the CBD population is living in single-person or couple households without children, thanks to Melbourne’s high proportion of students. By knowing your potential renter to a tee, you will be able to make your property that much more attractive—the most liveable home in the worlds’ most liveable city.

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