Inner-city living suits migrant couple

The global financial crisis and all its economic misery was bearing down on Ireland in 2011 when James Phelan made the decision to leave Dublin and move to Perth to start a new job.

The young property economics graduate was already working for CBRE when he was offered a job as an analyst in its Perth office.

"I rang Orla (Doyle, his partner), who was still in college doing her final exams, and said, I'm thinking of moving to Western Australia, do you want to come with me? And, she said yeah no problem, so off we went," Mr Phelan said.

With the three-year anniversary of their arrival just past, Mr Phelan and Ms Doyle are still comfortably residing in the Milligan Street apartment building they moved into when they arrived.

"In Dublin I lived a 10-minute walk from work and the city so I had experienced the benefits of city living," Mr Phelan said.

"As part of my role at CBRE I was required to understand the different dynamics of the city so initially my view was that I would live in the city and then eventually move to a suburban location but the way things have worked out we have enjoyed it so much that we stayed on."

The couple live in a 10-storey building developed by Finbar in 2009.

Their home is a 95sqm, two-bedroom apartment with a balcony overlooking the residents' pool and a skyline view.

With a CBD home and a CBD office, there's no freeway commute or gridlocked streets to navigate at either end of the working day.

Both Mr Phelan and Ms Doyle, who works as an HR adviser at Fircroft, a recruitment and service provider to the oil and gas sector, have offices at the western end of St Georges Terrace, and can walk to work in 10 minutes.

As well as a saving on travelling time, their calculations also show a CBD address offers financial savings, despite the higher city rents.

"When we were analysing our rent, comparing it to different locations, we deducted travel to and from work but also took into account things like taxi fares at the weekend and petrol," Mr Phelan said.

"We found there wasn't much disparity between rents in the city and rents in Leederville and Subiaco and if you are both working in the CBD and walking to work, there are significant savings."

A small home is not without its challenges.

"There's definitely a compromise with the amount of space that you have and the unit is smaller than you would get if you lived outside the city but it's serviced by fantastic amenity," Mr Phelan said. "Our building has gym, a pool and a common area that we use if we are entertaining.

"It was a real eye-opener to see the amenity in these buildings because you don't get that at inner-city apartments in Dublin or London."

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