CBD and Inner City
About the Inner City
The Inner City includes the CBD (including The Rocks, Barangaroo, Millers Point and Dawes Point) and inner city suburbs within the City of Sydney local government area (LGA). Sydney’s CBD is becoming a highly desirable place to call home due to new residential developments and more shops and cafés open on the weekend to service residents. There are also a multitude of existing shops, parks such as the expansive Hyde Park and entertainment venues in the CBD such including the Sydney Opera House and City Recital Hall in Angel Place.
The Barangaroo redevelopment is expected to cost in the realm of $6 billion and be completed by 2023. It will include several new apartment and mixed use buildings as well as a hotel and casino. An increasing number of commercial premises in the South CBD area are being converted into apartments to capitalise on the high level of demand to live close to work.
Sydney’s inner CBD suburbs such as Pyrmont, Potts Point and Darlinghurst remain sought-after areas to live due to their walkability and proximity to the CBD, which is reflected in the property prices.
Inner City Property Market
The Inner City property market consists mainly of apartments, not houses. Apartments with district or harbour outlooks command premium prices. The most expensive real estate locations in the CBD are around Hyde Park or on Macquarie Street with views across the harbour or the Sydney Botanical Gardens. Many apartments and houses in Potts Point and Elizabeth Bay also have stunning harbour and Sydney Harbour Bridge views while east facing apartments in Pyrmont look towards Darling Harbour and take in the weekly fireworks spectacle. Apartments with car parking are also valuable as commercial car parks in Sydney can be extremely expensive.
The Inner Sydney real estate market (including inner suburbs) has the lowest vacancy rate in Sydney at 1.3% and has been steadily falling since mid-2015. This makes it an attractive area for investors to buy and own property, even if inner city living isn’t really to your taste. There are plans for up to 900 apartments at around Barangaroo (which will add approximately 3% to the CBD housing stock), however due to strong demand those that have been offered for sale to date were sold within a matter of hours. Some of these have already been resold for a profit prior to completion.
Existing Victorian houses at The Rocks and Millers Point will benefit from the increased amenity around Barangaroo including a new train station on the new Sydney Metro line. The perception of the area has also improved following the sell-off of public housing, which is now highly prized.
Sydney CBD apartments increased in value by 20% in the last 12 months to a median of $860,500, however prices vary dramatically between studios and luxurious 3 bedroom apartments with views. Modern apartments also command a premium, however they may not always be the best investment despite having higher depreciation allowances. Potential buyers should also be aware that many apartments such as those at Darling Island are leasehold which may affect the amount of time they take to re-sell.
Real estate investors should be wary of areas that may have an housing oversupply in future, such as Green Square and surrounds. With much of this stock targeted at investors, there may be a lot of competition when it comes time to rent or sell your property, reducing your potential price.
With so many options available for sale in the CBD and Inner City, it’s helpful to have a buyers agent who is aware of the current area property and sale trends and can help you make the best decision based on your individual needs. As buyers agents it’s our job to help you find the property which fulfils your requirements on every level, whether that’s an investment property or a place to call home. Inner City price growth is likely to moderate slightly in 2016 levels but still grow in the mid-single digits due to a lack of supply and increasing demand.
Location and Transport Links
Homes in Inner City are spoilt for transport options. There are seven inner city train stations, including central and there are soon to be three more once Sydney Metro construction is completed. Ferries service Darling Harbour and Circular Quay and busses travel from the CBD to the inner and middle ring suburbs. Light rail will run from Circular Quay to Central Station via George Street by December 2017 and connect to Kingsford, Randwick and Dulwich Hill from there.
Shops and Restaurants
As mentioned above, there are a huge array shops, restaurants and cafés in the CBD and Inner City, which will continue to grow in number as more residents buy property and move into the area.
Pitt Street Mall is the largest shopping area in the CBD and runs between Market Street and King Street. It is home to many flagship chain stores including Myer and more than 400 specialty stores. It comprises four shopping centres and arcades including the 19th century Strand Arcade and Westfield Sydney which was redeveloped in 2014 to expand the centre by 130 stores and become Australia’s third largest shopping centre by lettable area. The shopping centre now fronts three streets including Market Street, Castlereagh Street – arguably Australia’s most exclusive luxury shopping street and Pitt Street – one of the world’s most expensive shopping streets by rent.
Other shopping centres include Queen Victoria Building, World Square, the MLC Centre, Market City and Broadway Shopping Centre.
Countless restaurants are located in the CBD and inner city and range from fine dining restaurants with some of the best chefs in the world to value-focused Asian cuisines in Chinatown. For those who live in the city many of these are just a short walk from home.
Schools and Educational Facilities
A number of Sydney’s highest ranking schools are housed in the inner city or are easily accessible from there. Sydney Girls and Boys High Schools in Moore Park consistently rank highly based on academic results. Macquarie Grammar School, Sydney Grammar School, SCEGGS Darlinghurst and St Vincent’s are not far behind.
The University of Technology Sydney (UTS) is conveniently located in Ultimo near Central Station. The University of Sydney in Camperdown is easily accessible from Redfern Station and Sydney’s oldest and most highly regarded university.
Recreation and other Amenities
Sydney is blessed to be home to two major public reserves in the CBD; Hyde Park and the Royal Botanic Gardens, which celebrated its 200th birthday recently. The newly created Barangaroo Reserve is also a picturesque spot to stop with panoramic harbour views. Moore Park including Moore Park Golf Club is another popular Inner City park, which is part of the 360 hectare Centennial Parklands.
Darling Harbour is known as the entertainment precinct of the Sydney CBD and has a wide variety of waterfront restaurants and bars and has regular fireworks displays. The Barangaroo development including the new Casino and associated restaurants will extend the precinct to the north.
Event Cinemas have a theatre in George Street which shows all the latest Hollywood blockbusters in Vmax and Gold Class luxury.
Andrew ‘Boy’ Charlton Pool has a stunning waterfront location looking over Woolloomooloo Bay and Cook and Phillip Park Aquatic and Fitness Centre on College Street has multiple pools as well as a comprehensive fitness centre and a sports court. Other options include the Ian Thorpe Aquatic Centre in Harris Street and the Prince Alfred Park Public Pool in Surry Hills.
Buying a home or apartment in the inner city suits a range of buyers from students to professional couples and retirees. Investors are also attracted to the area due to the high demand for rental properties. Our buyers agents love helping people find property in the CBD and inner city as we can quickly and efficiently sort through the large number of properties available to find one that fits your requirements.
The suburbs within or partially within the City of Sydney which our buyers agent cover are:
- Centennial Park
- Dawes Point
- Elizabeth Bay
- Forest Lodge
- Millers Point
- Moore Park
- Potts Point
- Rosebery (parts are located in City of Botany Bay Council)
- Rushcutters Bay
- Surry Hills
- Sydney CBD
- The Rocks
Many of the suburbs surround the CBD have undergone a rapid transformation in recent years as the value of housing has risen dramatically. Alexandria, once considered a mostly industrial area is now a thriving community with warehouse conversions, new apartments, art-deco and renovated terrace homes for sale. Nearby Erskineville and Newtown are very popular suburbs with fabulous food and retail outlets that dominate King Street. Proximity to the city, trains, parks and pubs make the CBD and inner city a sought after region, both to live in and to own real estate.