About the Inner West
The Inner West is a melting pot of cultures and provides some of the most interesting gems Sydney has to offer. And by gems I mean people, food, housing and that all important community feel. Sydney’s Inner West has plenty of character compared to the ubiquitous picket fence of outer suburbia. It’s higher density and higher energy, but most importantly has something for just about everyone.
The region consists of approximately 54 suburbs from Glebe across to Homebush and down to Tempe. As it covers such a large area, there is also tremendous diversity between suburbs within the Inner West as some continue to undergo gentrification and have plans for high rise apartments while others maintain their heritage listed properties and local village shops. There is certainly no shortage of variety for home buyers in the Inner West.
Inner West Property Market
The Inner West property market is often hotly contested and records the highest auction clearance rates in Sydney as real estate investors and home buyers compete against each other. Key to its appeal is its proximity to the CBD, relative affordability compared to the Eastern Suburbs, walkability and café culture and wide selection of beautiful period terraces, cottages, apartments and larger homes. Many properties have been renovated over the years, however you can still find the odd original period home if you look hard enough.
Other value adding options for houses include adding a second level, utilising attic space or changing the floorplan to create a more desirable open plan layout with a lounge room opening up to the rear yard by adding a rear extension.
The median house price in Sydney’s Inner West grew 12.3% to $1.442 million in 2015 according to APM, however real estate prices vary significantly between suburbs. Around $1.5 million will buy you an average four-bedroom house in Marrickville, while you will need more than $2.2 million for a four-bedroom house in Haberfield and closer to $3 million in Birchgrove.
Apartments range from charming boutique Art Deco blocks and converted mansions to modern complexes and high rises with amenities such as pools, gyms, theatres and convenience stores at your doorstep. Apartments are often chosen over houses as they offer a relatively affordable entry point (although they have increased in price considerably over the past few years in this region) and proximity to shops and public transport. Two bedroom apartments sell for around $700,000 in Ashfield while apartments in modern complexes and sought-after converted warehouses in Camperdown sell for upwards of $1 million.
House price growth in the Inner West in 2016 is likely to decrease to around 5% as the real estate market stabilises after a few years of very strong growth.
Location and Transport Links
The region is serviced by light rail, multiple heavy rail lines and bus routes that criss-cross the area. The light rail line extends from Dulwich Hill to Central Station and will be extended to Kingsford, Randwick and ferries at Circular Quay by 2019.
Heavy rail lines include the Bankstown and Inner West lines. The Bankstown line will be converted for Sydney Metro by 2024, which will offer fully automated trains every four minutes in peak hour.
Stage 1 of West Connex will be completed by 2019, which will begin the process of rejuvenation for Parramatta Road. As traffic is redirected into the new tunnels, cafés with outdoor dining will spring up, making the area even more vibrant.
Shops and Restaurants
The Inner West is known for its broad array of restaurants and trendy cafés with environmentally and health conscious options and alternative décor – all close to home. In particular, Italian, Greek, Vietnamese, Portuguese, Chinese, Korean, Thai and Turkish are well represented in different areas across the Inner West.
Many of the original pubs in the area still operate, however some have been substantially renovated internally and serve restaurant quality food to keep up with the times.
Another key element that draws people to making a home in the Inner West is the shopping villages in areas such as Haberfield and Annandale. Locals love the familiarity of these small shops and the fact that the shopkeepers remember your name. Summer Hill, Petersham and Newtown also have that special community vibe.
If you are looking for brand names though, larger shopping centres are represented in Burwood, Strathfield and Marrickville. Bargain hunters can visit Homebush and Drummoyne for discount outlets.
Schools and Educational Facilities
Many of Sydney’s top public and private schools are located in the Inner West. Some notable ones include Fort Street High School, PLC, Meriden School, MLC, International Grammar School, Santa Sabina College, Newington College, St Scholasticas’s College and Burwood Girls High School, however there are many more.
The wide range of quality schools means that buying property in the Inner West is a smart move for real estate investors and convenient for owners with families.
The University of Sydney in Camperdown was ranked number two in Australia by the Australian Research Council and the University of Technology Sydney in Ultimo was ranked number 1 in Australia for Universities under 50 years old.
Recreation and other Amenities
Most properties in the Inner West are positioned within walking distance of shops and transport and there are numerous sporting ovals, gyms and fitness centres across the Inner West, so whether you want to play a game of soccer or visit a dog park, you won’t have to venture far from your house.
Much of the Inner West fronts on to Sydney Harbour and there are many waterfront walking trails and parks to enjoy. In particular, the ‘Bay Run’ around Iron Cove and the extensive green space around Concord are popular with locals. Other large parks include Victoria Park (including Victoria Park Pool) in Camperdown and the 40 hectare Sydney Park in St Peters.
Water sports are popular in summer and there are several sailing clubs where you can hire a yacht or kayak for the afternoon. Meanwhile, the Palace Theatre in Norton Street is popular on more dreary days.
Buying a home in the Inner West offers a varied experience depending on where you are positioned, but generally appeals to those seeking property within walking distance from shops and cafes. There is a nice variety of property for sale and the area caters for everyone from families to investors. Our buyers agents love helping people find property in the Inner West as there are some truly wonderful properties to be found, some of which are sold for surprisingly realistic prices.
Suburbs and Areas within the Inner West:
If you’re looking for real estate in the Inner West region it’s worth taking the time to familiarise yourself with the various suburbs before you settle on a particular property, as the areas each have a different personality.
The Inner West contains six major council areas: Canada Bay, Ashfield, Burwood, Strathfield, Leichhardt and Marrickville.
City of Canada Bay area includes the suburbs of:
- Breakfast Point
- Canada Bay
- Concord West
- Five Dock
- Liberty Grove
- North Strathfield
- Rodd Point
- Russell Lea
- Strathfield (Most of the suburb lies within the Municipality of Strathfield)
With many suburbs adjacent to the Parramatta River, there are host of excellent real estate options for home buyers and investors which our buyers agents can source for you. Birkenhead Point has some excellent factory outlet shops and there are numerous parks, bike tracks and walking paths that line the river.
Municipality of Leichhardt includes the suburbs of:
These suburbs contain charming historic homes, semis, bungalows, houses, and wonderful array of apartments to suit every taste. There is a distinct “village” feel to many of these suburbs which creates a sense of community and attractive lifestyle for those that want a house close to both the city and the water.
Marrickville Council includes the suburbs of:
- Camperdown (parts located within the City of Sydney)
- Dulwich Hill
- Newtown (parts located within the City of Sydney)
- St Peters
This area contains a wonderful mix of different ethnic groups creating the multi-cultural hub of the inner west. Families, professionals and single households all commune in these suburbs and are spoilt for choice with food outlets. There are also a variety of property options available for sale and to rent.
The Municipality of Ashfield includes the suburbs of:
- Dobroyd Point
- Summer Hill
- Ashbury (part)
- Croydon (part)
- Hurlstone Park (part)
- Croydon Park (part)
The Ashfield area contains a wide mix of housing styles from the Victorian era through to contemporary apartments.
The Municipality of Burwood includes the suburbs of:
- Burwood Heights
- Enfield South
- Croydon (part)
- Croydon Park (part)
- Strathfield (part)
The Burwood area provides a fabulous mix of cafes and restaurants, bustling commercial street businesses, historical houses and contemporary apartments or homes.
The Municipality of Strathfield includes the suburbs of:
- Belfield (parts within the City of Canterbury)
- Greenacre (parts within the City of Bankstown)
- Homebush West
- Strathfield (parts within the Burwood Council and the City of Canada Bay)
- Strathfield South
Strathfield contains some stately mansions for sale in amongst older or renovated Californian bungalows, while closer to the station there are more modern homes and apartments springing up.