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Brisbane’s favourite old-money address, Ascot, has been revealed as the most liveable place for our baby boomer population.
New research has shown that, perhaps not surprisingly, the most liveable suburbs for this economically influential generation also happen to be some of Brisbane’s premier postcodes.
Blue-chip Ascot was closely followed by Wilston, Alderley, Paddington, Grange, Red Hill and Kalinga.
Newmarket, Bardon, Auchenflower, Wavell Heights and Clayfield also rated highly, as did coastal suburbs Lota, Shorncliffe and Sandgate.
The new Domain Liveable Brisbane study, authored by Deloitte Access Economics and Tract Consultants, rated Brisbane suburbs based on their capacity to provide quality of life for their residents using 18 indicators including access to cafes, schools, transport and employment, as well as airport noise, traffic congestion, the suburb’s crime rate, its walkability, open space and proximity to the coast or beach.
These results were then weighted to reflect the different priorities for individuals at different life stages — baby boomers were assumed to biased towards retailing, cafes, open space, crime, and coast/beach proximity.
It was for these exact reasons that Claire Burridge, 56, made the move to Ascot a couple of years ago, buying a two-bedroom unit in a location that enables her to walk to everything she needs.
“Before I bought here I looked all around Brisbane and I’d lived at Southbank and Kangaroo Point but I just kept coming back to Ascot,” she said.
“I love the fact I can walk to everything – the chemist, the dentist, the doctor, the movies at Portside, the races, all the restaurants. The other two ladies I know who are also on their own, none of us want to be mowing lawns and cutting hedges – we enjoy the cafe life, all within minutes of our homes.
“The choice in mode of transport here is amazing. There’s the train line, the bus services and there’s also the CityCat.”
Ms Burridge said 20 years ago her priorities in a suburb were weighted more heavily towards schools and a bigger house, which pushed her further out into the suburbs.
“Twenty years ago I had teenage children. Schools were a priority then and so you go more to suburbia where it’s more affordable to get the extra space that you need,” she said.
“Now I’m at the stage where I don’t need a house, I have a unit, which allows me to live in a suburb like Ascot that gives me that great lifestyle.”
Local Harcourts agent and Ascot resident Loretta Accornero said many of the baby boomers living in Ascot apartments downsized from large, grand homes after raising their children.
“People are here for generations and then they downsize into apartments. Many of the apartment blocks just off Racecourse Road are all occupied solely by baby boomers,” she said.
“They like to meet people for coffee, it’s close to the race track, close to Portside. They can hop on the CityCat and get in to the city, there’s lots of buses and there’s nice boutiques and restaurants everywhere.
“It’s the perfect place for baby boomers to be – they’re at the point in their lives where they want to be around these things. And Ascot’s also a very safe suburb. That’s important as well.”
Ray White Ascot principal and local resident Dwight Ferguson said baby boomers were typically at a stage where they wanted to enjoy the best of what life could offer, including the suburb they lived in.
“This is a really interesting community and that’s the one thing that I absolutely adore about Ascot: the community. For baby boomers, it’s all based around their closest and most frequented friends, who are usually based around their children,” he said.
“They’re the parents of kids who went to school together, played rugby together; now they’re grown up but the parents are still all close. It’s a suburb where they park their car on a Friday night and walk to someone’s house for drinks, go to Racecourse Road for dinner, and walk home again.
“They love the safe and beautiful streets with character homes, the fact there is never any traffic or congestion here, the cafes, the restaurants either here or at nearby Portside and the proximity to major roads – they’re trendy, they’re youthful, they want to go away to Noosa on the weekends.”
The most liveable suburbs for baby boomers:
6. Red Hill
15. Wavell Heights
16. Chermside West