The Mercury – Wednesday 18 July 2012
WEST Hobart is one of the top 100 suburbs in Australia, according to a survey by a national real estate investment magazine.
Your Investment Property picked its 100 top spots from 15,000 suburbs around the country and West Hobart was the only place in Tasmania to make the list.
The magazine said the area “particularly impressed for its proximity to the CBD, its booming rental population, renovation potential and strong demand as a sought-after bohemian suburb”.
The desirability of West Hobart is not news to those who live and work there.
Leonie Moore has been serving customers for 12 years at the local post office, newsagency and corner shop, now called Hill Street Express.
“It’s brilliant,” she said yesterday. “It’s the customers who make it. There are lots of university students here, a real mix of people.
“Many of them come in every day and you keep an eye out for them, especially the older customers.”
One of the regulars, Noel Nichols, 84, said he had been a West Hobart resident on and off for much of his life and had lived in his present house since 1970, when it still had an outside loo.
“I love it,” he said. “I’ve got views of the mountains and part way down the river.”
Noel, a cabinet maker, said he was still “keen on making things”, still grew vegetables in his big back yard and still drove his car down to the supermarket in New Town to get supplies.
Just around the curve of Lansdowne Cres at the Lansdowne Cafe, manager Sarah Turner said business was brisk, thanks to a mix of regulars and visitors.
She said West Hobart was a friendly place with a strong community spirit.
The cafe’s chef, Laura Whalland, said her children went to Lansdowne Crescent Primary School and both the local state schools, Lansdowne and Goulburn St, had a good reputation.
“People who have done their time in Melbourne and Sydney are coming down here to raise their families,” she said.
Customer Sarah Day, a local, said she loved West Hobart because “the riches of the mountain and Knocklofty Reserve, the walks and the bush are literally your back yard, yet you can walk to the city”.
“There are not many places you can have all that,” she said.
Cynthia Archer, one of 80 residents at the A.A. Lord Homes, which provides independent living for older residents, said there was a waiting list of about 150 to get in.
“We have everything laid on,” she said. “The bus is outside the door, there’s the Hill St Grocer, the butcher, the chemist, doctors.”
Last year Cynthia organised the West Hobart Heritage Day to celebrate the community and its rich history.
Adrian Kelly, president of the Real Estate Institute of Tasmania, said West Hobart was more affordable than some other inner suburbs, such as Battery Point and Sandy Bay. He said it had a good range of rental and owner-occupied properties of various ages.