When it comes to the property value of certain suburbs, there are more things to consider than simply location and infrastructure. Of course these are incredibly important, but other considerations such as local schools, facilities and community can all play a significant part in making certain areas desirable. One of the best examples of this is culture, which might not seem to directly correlate with housing prices or quality of life, but can actually play a huge part.
Culture is a broad and overarching term, and it encompasses a variety of different disciplines and establishments. Even so, taking one small facet – visual art, for example – can go a long way in determining the so-called 'cultural capital' of an area. When it comes to Western Australia, Bunbury is an iconic artistic hub, playing host to one of the state's best and most important galleries.
So, how does this affect buying, selling or renting in Bunbury?
Bunbury may not have the size of WA's larger cities Perth and Mandurah, but more than punches above its size in terms of culture. This is a big factor in the growing desire to live in the region, providing Bunbury with a reputation for vibrancy and beauty – tying in with the area's reputation as a great getaway destination.
There are more practical benefits too, with a recent study from Economic Development Quarterly concluding that growth "may favour those metropolitan areas that attract the 'knowledge class'". The data from this research showed that the presence of even one artistic establishment (including dance, opera and orchestral groups) correlated with a 1.1 per cent increase in employment amongst this group. The run-on effects of this are a greater level of investment in the surrounding area, which can have positive impacts on everything from job opportunities to transport infrastructure.
While Bunbury is blessed with a wealth of cultural organisations, the jewel in the crown is undoubtedly the Bunbury Regional Art Galleries, or BRAG. An icon in the city, BRAG is the premier art gallery in the state's south west, and boasts 540metres of exhibition space across two floors. It's also housed in a historic building that has long been a part of Bunbury's property landscape.
Aside from the top tier exhibits and shows, BRAG also houses a music room and community showcase where local artists and performers can display their prowess. With this distinctly Australian focus, the gallery is a key part of promoting the country's unique culture, and is a place that every resident should visit at least once – whether they're new to Bunbury or have lived here their entire life.