The month in review: Sydney
By Herron Todd White
Given the growth in values achieved in the Sydney metropolitan area of late, the metamorphosis of older suburbs into modern living spaces that have been driven by location and buyer demand have changed the faces of many for the better. This month we have predominantly focused on suburbs within 20 to 25 kilometres of the CBD as the primary location for this shift.
Starting with the southern end of Sydney, we have seen Engadine and Kirrawee in the Sutherland Shire as two of the standout performers with significant growth and redevelopment changing these areas.
The buzz has mainly come from the affordable price point for first home buyers and upsizers. In addition, the rezoning for duplexes and new unit complexes has created an increase in current DA applications.
The Engadine shopping precinct has expanded over the past decade with the big three supermarket chains along with a number of restaurants and cafes drawing people to the suburb.
Engadine is seen as ideal for buyers wanting to live within one of the few regions in Sydney bounded by national parks, close to Sydney’s southern beaches and with direct access to the CBD which is less than 50 minutes by train. The next five to ten years in Engadine will see more development of high density units and duplex style dwellings. Engadine has seen median house prices increase from $600,000 in December 2012 to $885,000 in February 2016 with unit median prices increasing from $415,000 to $617,500 over this time period (source: realestate. com.au).
On a larger scale Kirrawee is seeing huge redevelopment with a new $8.5 million hotel development on a site on the Princes Highway which was once home to a service station and motor mechanic. The new hotel will be almost opposite the Brick Pit site which sits at the junction of the existing retail strip, industrial factories and residential development, only 200 meters from Kirrawee train station. This site, approved for approximately 750 residential apartments between six and 14 storeys with a large commercial and retail presence will be constructed at a cost of approximately $500 million.
A similar large scale development is already under construction at Woolooware Bay which neighbours the Cronulla Sharks Football Stadium. The former car park and playing fields will be transformed into approximately 600 apartments with resortlike facilities including pools, spas, massage room, rooftop theatre and BBQ area set amongst lush gardens. There will be a retail, cafe and dining precinct, with the entire development adjoining foreshore parklands.
Double Bay in Sydney’s eastern suburbs, has been revitalised over the past two to three years brought on by a much needed face lift of the commercial and retail precinct transforming into a vibrant commercial hub.
The recent redevelopment includes new retail shops, Woolworths supermarket and other grocery stores, cafes, restaurants and speciality shops. It also includes the recently completed 2,300 square metre Double Bay Library, giving residents access to stateof-the-art facilities and 442 public parking spaces.
Other major changes include the redevelopment of The Intercontinental Hotel, formerly the Ritz Carlton and the increased nightlife with various new restaurants, bars and nightclubs which is attracting the younger generation to the area. Night time venues have seen increased crowds since the lockouts in Kings Cross and the CBD which might not be seen as a great result for some, but is still creating a buzz around the area.
Double Bay’s central location with direct access to ferry services and the harbour, Edgecliff train station and new shopping and commercial precincts has brought back to life its reputation. In five to ten years Double Bay will still be a high demand suburb with potential for more medium density developments to increase its popularity.
As throughout its history, Double Bay isn’t the cheapest place to live with the medium house price being $3,185,500 as at February 2016 up from $2.405 million in December 2012. The average unit price was $1.250 million as at February 2016 up from $765,000 in December 2012 (source: realestate.com. au).
Sydney Inner West
Dulwich Hill is a suburb in the inner west of Sydney approximately 7.5 kilometres south-west of the Sydney CBD, which has gone through significant changes over the past few years.
In the 1990s many shops were vacant, but in recent years more shops are tenanted with thriving businesses helping to promote the café culture. Cafés and restaurants have become increasingly popular as the suburb becomes gentrified. Marrickville Council upgraded the shopping strip in the early 2000s, enhancing the look and character of the area. There has been increasing numbers of young professionals moving to the area over recent times due to its close proximity to the already gentrified areas of Newtown, Enmore and Erskineville. Dulwich Hill has also been boosted by the recent introduction of light rail.
The proposed Sydenham to Bankstown Urban Renewal Corridor will see the introduction of a 20 year plan to provide thousands of new dwellings along the current rail corridor and peak hour trains to the city every four minutes. Re-zoning will allow many medium-rise complexes and shop-tops within close proximity of the rail corridor including in the suburbs of Dulwich Hill, Marrickville and Hurlstone Park. Current parks and open spaces are proposed to be improved as well as enhancements to walking and cycling tracks.
Dulwich Hill’s medium house price was $1.348 million as at February 2016, up from $850,000 in December 2012. The average unit price was $650,000 as at February 2016, up from $477,750 in December 2012 (source: realestate.com.au).
Sydney Inner South
The inner south area of Sydney in a line from Botany through to Waterloo has seen the transformation of a number of old run down industrial neighbourhoods into modern high density residential neighbourhoods. Suburbs such as Botany, Mascot, Rosebery, Beaconsfield, Zetland, Alexandria, Erskineville and Waterloo have also seen a significant number of large residential unit complexes constructed over the past ten to 15 years. This is set to continue with the precincts around Mascot and particularly Green Square railway stations to undergo significant retail and residential development over the coming decade.
Green Square is approximately 3.5 kilometres from the city centre and four kilometres from the airport and the development of this precinct will take it from its industrial past to a new style of high density living linked to shops, parks, gardens, entertainment and bike and walking routes. At the heart of the Green Square development is the new town centre, a major new residential, retail and cultural hub along with improved infrastructure and community facilities including a new library and plaza, aquatic centre, parks and open spaces, public art, a child care centre and community creative hub. It will eventually have 30,500 new dwellings including about 10,000 now under construction (source: www.cityofsydney.nsw. gov.au).
As discussed the bywords for many of these inner suburbs have been lifestyle options with a café culture. As buyer profiles have changed and medium density options fit both the purse strings and location options, the appeal of an inner suburb unit close to transport with minimal maintenance appears to be a primary driver for the regentrification of many suburbs. Given this change we do not see the appeal of these suburbs lessening over time.