About the Hills
The Hills Shire (also known as The Hills District) is a relatively narrow stretch of hills running north-south between Winston Hills and Wisemans Ferry. It is easy to identify many suburbs as belonging to the region, with names such as Box Hill, Rouse Hill, Winston Hills, Castle Hill and Baulkham Hills.
Many people associate real estate in The Hills with large blocks, picturesque scenery and peaceful surroundings. This was recently reinforced when the City of Parramatta Council took over responsibility for the area to the south of the M2 including North Rocks, Northmead, Carlingford, North Parramatta and Oatlands. There are also several reputable schools in the area. Houses in the region are therefore popular with families that are seeking a quality education for their children and value space and relative peace and quiet. It goes without saying that properties for sale in The Hills don’t stand empty for long.
In recent years, some areas in and around The Hills are being rapidly subdivided, developed and put up for sale, especially along the new Sydney Metro train line in Castle Hill, Bella Vista, Kellyville, Beaumont Hills and Rouse Hill. Surrounding amenities have exploded in the lead up to the opening of the train line (due in 2019), creating a recent boom in property prices. The largest project will be the redevelopment of Castle Towers. The owner (Queensland Investment Corporation) has proposed to expand the shopping centre by 80,000sqm to become Australia’s second largest centre. The plan may also include building a 22 story residential apartment tower on top of the complex.
The Hills Demographics
People who own and rent real estate in The Hills are predominantly of Australian background and have above average household incomes, with 36% of households earning an income of $2,500 or more per week in 2011. In fact, in that year the ‘highest’ income quartile was the largest group, comprising 45% of households with income.
The Hills Property Market
The Hills contains many Heritage listed buildings from the 19th and early 20th centuries, but population growth was relatively slow until the 1960’s and hence the majority of houses are relatively large and constructed of brick veneer. Most properties still sit on relatively large blocks of land for metropolitan Sydney, which is one of the main reasons homes in the area are so popular with families. Although most properties are relatively modern, there is a huge variation in styles and construction quality.
Houses still make up the majority of dwellings, although low rise townhouses and low rise apartment complexes are increasingly popping up for sale. Apartments are most prolific in Baulkham Hills, Bella Vista and Castle Hill. They are usually located within close proximity of shops and transport, which suits independent young and mature adults that do not require a car for normal daily duties.
To help differentiate a quality property from a lemon, it’s helpful to have a local buyers’ agent who is aware of shortcuts builders can take during the construction of houses or apartments, to help you make the best decision based on your individual needs. While the area is full of impressive looking homes, it’s equally important to factor in the investment potential and buy a house or apartment that is both a financial asset and a lovely place to live. As buyers agents, it’s our job to help you find the property that fulfils your requirements on every level.
Hills Shire price growth will moderate in 2016 in line with the broader Sydney trend, however it will likely still show strong medium term growth due to the completion of Sydney Metro Northwest train line in 2019, the Norwest Business Park (which is projected to host 32,000 jobs by 2031) and the connection of the M1 and M2 freeways, which will dramatically cut travel times from real estate in the Hills to the Central Coast.
In recent years, Rouse Hill, Cherrybrook, Pennant Hills and North Rocks have been the suburbs with the highest price growth. For buyers in search of more budget-friendly suburbs, places like Glenhaven, Kellyville, Kenthurst, Glenorie and Nelson still hold some great value-for-money deals.
Location and Transport Links
As mentioned above, The Hills will benefit from the completion of Sydney Metro Northwest in 2019 which will have stops at Cherrybrook, Castle Hill, Showground, Norwest, Bella Vista, Kellyville and Rouse Hill. This will be in addition to the existing Hillsbus transport to the city and Parramatta. Once the M1-M2 connection is completed, it will be much more attractive for those people working in Hornsby or the Central Coast to live in The Hills.
Shops and Restaurants
Major shopping centres and shopping strips are located in Castle Hill, Baulkham Hills, Bella Vista, Kellyville, Rouse Hill, North Rocks and Winston Hills. As Sydney Metro nears completion, surrounding areas to those on the new rail line will also flourish with significant new shopping areas anticipated around The Ponds, the Norwest Business Park and neighbouring suburbs such as Schofields, Quakers Hill and Marsden Park. Other nearby shopping centres include Westpoint Shopping Centre in Blacktown and Westfield Parramatta.
The Hills District has a range of common cuisines ranging from Chinese and Thai to Italian and Modern Australian.
Schools and Educational Facilities
The Hills and neighbouring North Shore Districts are known for their highly regarded schools. Schools that regularly rank in the top 100 schools in NSW include Baulkham Hills High School, Castle Hill High School, Cherrybrook Technology High School and Carlingford High School.
Macquarie University was recently ranked in the top 10 universities in Australia and is a short 20 minute drive or bus ride from Baulkham Hills. Western Sydney University also has campuses in Quakers Hill and Parramatta.
Recreation and other Amenities
The Hills is a haven for nature lovers, as much of area is covered by forest and National Park, including the Hawkesbury River, Cattai National Park, Cumberland State Forest, Maroota Nature Reserve, Bidjigal Reserve, Bella Vista Farm Park.
Most of the suburbs in the area are made up of leafy green streets and large properties with spacious gardens. Popular outdoor activities include bushwalking, mountain bike riding, road cycling, climbing, canyoning, kayaking, sailing, water skiing, bird watching and enjoying a relaxing picnic. The ferry crossing at Wiseman’s Ferry allows you easily explore the expansive National Park north of the Hawksbury River as well.
There are also several golf clubs in The Hills to enjoy, with the scenic Castle Hill Country Club being ranked in the top 100 clubs in Australia.
Towards the southern part of The Hills, there are cinemas in Rouse Hill and Castle Hill. Gyms and personal trainers can be found in every major shopping area. The main hospital is Norwest Private Hospital, but Westmead Hospital is not too much further.
Downsizers are well catered for by a range of amenities and local hospitals, including Ryde, Macquarie and Macquarie University Hospitals. Towards Parramatta, the Children’s Hospital, Westmead Hospital and Cumberland Hospital are also easily accessible.
Some additional attractions in The Hills include the Castle Hill Showground, Sydney Ice Arena, Golden Ridge Animal Farm, TAFE NSW – Western Sydney Institute (The Hills College – Baulkham Hills and Castle Hill Campuses) and Norwest Business Park.
As you can see, buying a home in The Hills offers access to great amenities, shopping and transport to the CBD. The Hills will become an even more desirable place to live in future years, once the Sydney Metro line is completed and as Parramatta expands, bringing even more jobs into the region.
Our buyers’ agents would love to help you find a property in The Hills, whether that’s your dream home or an investment property close to amenities.
Suburbs in The Hills:
If you’re looking for real estate in The Hills it’s worth taking the time to familiarise yourself with the various suburbs, as they each have different personalities.
The Hills Local Government Area comprises the following suburbs (or part of):
- Baulkham Hills
- Beaumont Hills
- Bella Vista
- Box Hill
- Castle Hill
- Leets Vale
- Lower Portland
- Middle Dural
- North Rocks
- Rouse Hill
- Sackville North
- South Maroota
- West Pennant Hills
- Winston Hills
- Wisemans Ferry
- West Pennant Hills