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Worst Suburbs in Newcastle, NSW

October 20, 2023
worst suburbs in newcastle nsw

Key takeaways:

  • Suburbs like Wickham, Carrington, and Islington in Newcastle, despite their appeal, grapple with high property prices and notable crime rates.
  • Affordability in suburbs such as Mayfield and Hamilton might be offset by challenges like proximity to industrial zones and increased crime.
  • Weighing affordability against safety and environmental concerns is crucial when choosing a suburb in Newcastle.
  • Before settling in any suburb, engaging with the local community and conducting thorough research can provide a more comprehensive understanding of the area’s challenges and benefits.

Newcastle, a vibrant city in NSW, offers a diverse range of suburbs. While many are thriving, some face challenges that potential residents should be aware of.

This article delves into the suburbs in Newcastle that are noticeably higher in factors such as crime rates, affordability, and environmental issues.

We’d also like to highlight that our intention in exploring the suburbs of Newcastle is purely analytical, and we encourage our readers to approach the data themselves, recognising that every community is multifaceted and ever-evolving.

1. Wickham:

worst suburbs in newcastle nsw: Wickham
Suburb of Wickham

Crime rate: 1,034 per 100,000 people or 46/100

  • Median house price: AU$450,000
  • Median rent price: AU$450 per week
  • Crime rate: 1,034 per 100,000 people

Wickham, positioned near the heart of Newcastle, is a suburb that attracts a mix of students and young professionals due to its proximity to the University of Newcastle and the bustling city centre. However, this central location comes with its own set of challenges, including how to pick a suburb to live in.

The property prices in Wickham are notably higher than many other suburbs, making it a significant investment. Furthermore, the crime rate is a concern, casting a shadow over the suburb’s many attractions.

While the allure of city living and the vibrant nightlife might be tempting, potential residents should weigh these benefits against the challenges of residing in an area with heightened safety concerns.

2. Carrington:

worst suburbs in newcastle nsw: Carrington
 Carrington’s Hydraulic Power Station by Mark McIntosh, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Crime rate: 934 per 100,000 people or 19/100

  • Median house price: AU$400,000
  • Median rent price: AU$400 per week

Adjacent to Wickham, Carrington offers a slightly more affordable living option compared to some of the best places to live in NSW. However, this affordability doesn’t come without its drawbacks, as the suburb grapples with a high crime rate.

Additionally, Carrington is home to several industrial and commercial zones. While this might be a boon for local employment, it also brings with it the challenges of noise and potential pollution. Those who value tranquillity and a peaceful environment might find Carrington’s industrial backdrop less than ideal.

Before making a decision, potential residents should consider the trade-offs involved in choosing affordability over peace and quiet.

3. Islington:

worst suburbs in newcastle nsw:  Islington
Suburb of Islington

Crime rate: 834 per 100,000 people or 33/100

  • Median house price: AU$500,000
  • Median rent price: AU$500 per week

North of the city centre lies Islington, a suburb that offers a blend of old-world charm and modern conveniences. Its streets are lined with a mix of heritage homes and properties in Wollongong, attracting a diverse group of residents.

Families find solace in the variety of schools and amenities, while young professionals are drawn to its vibrant lifestyle offerings. However, the charm of Islington comes with a price tag.

The property prices here are among the highest in Newcastle, which might be a stumbling block for many, especially those looking to enter the property market for the first time. While Islington offers a lot, the cost of living might be a deterrent for some.

4. Mayfield:

worst suburbs in newcastle nsw: Mayfield
Suburb of Mayfield

Crime rate: 1,134 per 100,000 people or 28/100

  • Median house price: AU$350,000
  • Median rent price: AU$350 per week

Situated west of Newcastle’s city centre, Mayfield presents itself as a more budget-friendly option for those looking to make a home in the region. Its affordability, however, is accompanied by certain challenges.

The suburb’s crime rate is notably higher than many of its counterparts in Newcastle, making safety a concern for potential residents. In some pockets of Mayfield, high unemployment rates have been observed, which could be a contributing factor to its challenges.

On the brighter side, Mayfield boasts a rich history, evident in the large and integrated families residing in historic brick houses on the hill. This gives the suburb a unique charm and character, setting it apart from many other areas.

Additionally, Mayfield’s proximity to industrial zones can be a double-edged sword. While it might offer employment opportunities for some, it also raises concerns about noise and pollution. Those who value a serene environment might find Mayfield’s industrial backdrop a bit overwhelming.

However, the suburb is not without its conveniences. With numerous grocery stores, public schools, and being just 10 minutes away from Newcastle CBD, Mayfield offers a blend of urban amenities and suburban charm.

5. Hamilton South:

worst suburbs in newcastle nsw: Hamilton
Old Hamilton train station by Mark McIntosh, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Crime rate: 1,234 per 100,000 people or 20/100

  • Median house price: AU$300,000
  • Median rent price: AU$300 per week

Nestled south of Newcastle’s bustling centre, Hamilton emerges as one of the most budget-friendly suburbs in the region, with prices that might remind one of cheap beach houses for sale in NSW. Its affordability, however, comes with its own set of challenges. The suburb’s crime rate is alarmingly high, making it a significant concern for those prioritising safety in their living choices.

Additionally, Hamilton’s location, close to commercial zones and the Newcastle Airport, might not be ideal for everyone. The noise from the airport and the hustle and bustle of commercial areas might disrupt the peace and quiet many seek in a residential suburb.

While Hamilton’s affordability might be tempting, potential residents should be cautious and conduct thorough research, especially considering the suburb’s high crime rate and proximity to noisy areas.

6. Jesmond

By Adamdaley – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0

Crime rate: 207 per 1,000 people or 57/100

  • Median house price: AU$690,000
  • Median rent price: AU$500 per week

Jesmond, situated to the west of Newcastle, is a suburb with a mix of residential and commercial areas. It’s a high rental suburb especially because of its proximity to Newcastle University.

Over the years, Jesmond has been identified for certain pockets where crime rates, especially petty crimes and burglaries, have been a concern.

Some attribute this to its proximity to major roads and commercial zones, making it an easy target for opportunistic crimes.

Nevertheless, the local community and authorities are proactive in implementing measures to enhance security and foster a sense of community spirit.

7. Fennell Bay

By OpenStreetMap contributors

Crime rate: 55 per 1,000 people or 11/100

  • Median house price: AU$668,750
  • Median rent price: AU$515 per week

Fennel Bay, located in the western part of Lake Macquarie, has faced its share of challenges over the years. While the suburb boasts a picturesque lakeside setting, it has been noted for certain issues that have affected its reputation.

One of the primary concerns has been the crime rate, which has been higher than some other suburbs in the Newcastle region. Residents have reported instances of break-ins, theft, and vandalism.

However, it’s essential to note that many locals are working together with law enforcement to address these issues and improve the safety and well-being of the community.

8. Windale

Crime rate:202 per 1,000 people or 57/100

  • Median house price: AU$558,000
  • Median rent price: AU$480 per week

Windale is another suburb that has been under the spotlight for its challenges. Located southeast of Newcastle, Windale has often been cited for its higher-than-average crime rates, particularly related to property crimes and anti-social behavior.

The suburb has faced socio-economic challenges, which have contributed to some of these issues. However, it’s worth mentioning that community initiatives and local government efforts are in place to uplift the area and provide better opportunities for its residents.

Factors to Consider:

  • Crime Rate: The suburbs highlighted have crime rates that surpass the Newcastle average, making safety a significant concern for potential residents.
  • Affordability vs. Challenges: While some suburbs might seem affordable at first glance, the associated challenges, such as high crime rates or proximity to industrial areas, might offset the benefits of low property prices.
  • Environmental Concerns: Proximity to industrial and commercial zones can lead to increased noise and pollution levels, factors that potential residents should consider, especially if they value a peaceful environment.

In Conclusion:

Choosing a suburb in Newcastle isn’t just about property prices or proximity to the city centre. It’s about understanding the challenges each suburb presents and determining whether it aligns with one’s priorities.

Before making a decision, it’s crucial to visit the suburb, engage with the local community, and stay updated with the Newcastle Herald for the latest insights. Making an informed choice ensures that your new home aligns with your lifestyle and safety preferences.

FAQs on Worst Suburbs in Newcastle, NSW

What are the safe suburbs in Newcastle NSW?

The safest suburbs in Newcastle NSW are generally considered to be those located in the inner city and on the hills. These include:

  • Merewether
  • The Junction
  • Bar Beach
  • Cooks Hill
  • New Lambton
  • Adamstown Heights
  • The Hill
  • Stockton

What is the best area to live in Newcastle NSW?

The best area to live in Newcastle NSW depends on your individual needs and preferences. However, some of the most popular and desirable suburbs include:

  • Merewether
  • Cooks Hill
  • New Lambton
  • Adamstown Heights
  • The Junction
  • Bar Beach

These suburbs offer a variety of amenities and attractions, including good schools, parks, restaurants, and shops. They are also all relatively close to the city center.

Where should I live in Newcastle NSW?

The best place to live in Newcastle NSW depends on your individual needs and budget. If you are looking for a safe and family-friendly suburb, you may want to consider one of the inner city or hilltop suburbs. If you are looking for a more affordable suburb, you may want to consider one of the outer suburbs.

Here are some specific recommendations for different types of people:

  • Families: New Lambton, Adamstown Heights, Kotara, Warners Bay, Eleebana, and Valentine
  • Young professionals: Cooks Hill, The Junction, and Bar Beach
  • Retirees: Stockton, Mayfield, and Jesmond

What are the best family suburbs in Newcastle NSW?

The best family suburbs in Newcastle NSW are those that offer a variety of amenities and attractions for families, such as good schools, parks, and playgrounds. Some of the most popular family suburbs include:

  • New Lambton
  • Adamstown Heights
  • Kotara
  • Warners Bay
  • Eleebana
  • Valentine

What is the most expensive area to live in Newcastle?

The most expensive area to live in Newcastle NSW is the inner city, particularly the suburbs of Merewether, Cooks Hill, and The Junction. These suburbs offer a variety of amenities and attractions, including good schools, parks, restaurants, and shops. They are also all relatively close to the city center.

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