NEWCASTLE’s outer suburb and growing residential retreat of Fletcher has been christened the number one place to live for families, according to a recent publication.
A report released by Aussie Home Loans titled Most Popular Suburbs for Families identified the Top 20 suburbs in Newcastle and Lake Macquarie.
Commissioned by Aussie but compiled by CoreLogic, the report used data from the 2016 Census, as well as information about typical suburb house values.
Despite 14 of the top 20 suburbs for from the analysis being in the Lake Macquarie region, including 11 on the eastern side of the lake, Fletcher came out on top.
The report suggested the “most popular family locations tend to be located across the middle ring and outer ring suburbs” of major cities. It suggested suburbs in those areas “show more affordable housing prices” and “the houses are often perched on larger blocks of land and there is a clear bias towards houses rather than units.”
While it’s perhaps an obvious observation of regional urban sprawl, Topics decided to follow up with the fine folk of Fletcher to see what makes the suburb so appealing.
Lydnsey McKenzie, 35, and her husband Craig, 36, moved to Australia in 2012 after serving in the Royal Air Force in England.
They moved to Fletcher in July, 2017, after five years of renting around Newcastle.
“We decided that if we were ever going to buy a house in Australia, it would have to be a bit further out,” said Mrs McKenzie.
“At the time we were living in Adamstown. My husband just said: ‘Have you ever thought of Fletcher?’ and I told him I’d never heard of Fletcher...”
After making a drive through the suburb, they quickly decided they would build a family home on Minmi Road.
“It was just the most beautiful bit of land, it has beautiful outlooks,” Mrs McKenzie said. “I just kind of fell in love a little bit.”
With three kids all in primary school, Mrs McKenzie say the family revels in the like-minded neighborhood.
“It’s just such a wonderful community and because it’s a new development, everyone’s moved in with the same sort of situation,” she said. “We’re all young families trying to get on the property ladder. When you all move in at the same sort of time, you naturally kind of get that community.”
The McKenzies are fresh to Fletcher, but the Wilson family have seen the suburb blossom for the past 16 years. They came from Lake Macquarie, but after 18 months in their new digs, decided to stay for good.
“We built our first house here when we first got married, and then we built our second house out here a year and a half later,” Mr Wilson said. “Our street is all owner-occupied, so everyone looks after their property and looks out for each other.”
Mr Wilson said the appealing qualities from 15 years ago still remain the same.
“What attracted us was the quietness, the security, affordability, and access to the freeway and town,” he said.
“We say it’s 20 minutes from everywhere. It’s close to the expressway up to the [Hunter] Valley, close to the M1 to Sydney and not far to the coast.”
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