Inner Western Sydney’s best suburbs for young families - October 2023
October 20, 2023 / Written by Rich Harvey
Sydney’s inner west offers a mind-blowing array of property types and price points, and its cache as a cool city-centric hub is unquestioned. But for those graduating beyond their single life and heading toward a family household, selecting where to buy in the Inner West can be a challenge.
Before we get started, the Inner West describes that part of Sydney bounded by the city fringe suburbs of Glebe and Erskineville, and then west to Strathfield. The area’s southern boundary is the Cooks River and includes Marrickville, along with parts of Ashbury, Canterbury and Croydon Park. The northern border is the harbor front at Abbottsford and Drummoyne.
As I said, it can be tough choosing a home across this area without some insider knowledge, so I asked Propertybuyer’s Inner West expert buyers agent, Nick Taylor-Fick, for his opinion.
Nick said the area appeals to young, upwardly mobile purchasers many of whom are professional couples about to start a family, or with one or two small children already. They are purchasers who still want to be near the urban buzz, but don’t need expansive yards or floorplans to separate themselves from the teenagers just yet.
He said the buying options can include detached homes in some suburbs, although most young families will happily buy a semi-detached home, terrace, townhouse or even an apartment.
For anyone questioning the growing popularity of the inner west among young families, you need only look at how services have sprung up in recent years. There used to be an extreme shortage of child-care options 15 years ago, but nowadays daycare is plentiful. There are also a lot of highly regarded primary schools in the area, plus some of Sydney’s best private secondary colleges within an easy commute.
Nick said it’s essential for young families to define exactly what they’re looking for in a home as this will direct them towards the suburbs that best meets their needs.
North to inner west
These are suburbs such as Five Dock, Concord and properties through to Drummoyne. Here you will secure a larger block size. There are loads of character homes of post-federation architecture, and there are plenty with renovation and extension potential. This can be useful if the plan is to have the home grow with your family.
These suburbs also have good proximity to the harbour, sporting fields and other recreational and lifestyle facilities. There are plenty of public schools throughout, and access to out-of-area private schools such as St Joseph’s is fairly easy.
You need to have a budget of $2.5 million for a reasonable home, with a $3 million spend required for most property offering four or more bedrooms.
This includes Balmain, Roselle, Lilyfield and Annandale. These are sort-after Inner-West suburbs and there some tightly held streets – some with wide open streets like Johnson St Annandale and others like congested Darling St down to the Balmain peninsula.
Here you’ll find smaller land sizes, and far more semis and terraces for purchase. Most homes are two-bedders at the entry price point for families. For those properties, expect to pay $1.8 million to $2.3 million for a semi-detached home. Townhouses and apartments can be bought for less of course.
The big thing here is whether the property comes with car accommodation, which is at a premium. A place to put your car can be worth as much as $150,000. If it suits your lifestyle, looking at a home without a carpark can help meet your budget.
Suburbs such as Dulwich Hill, Marrickville, Petersham and Stanmore have terraces and semis on offer that can fit the bill. There are some freestanding options as well, but the attraction here is that families remain close to the action. Café zones and retail outlets along Enmore Road, King Street and Marrickville Road all enhance the cache of these suburbs.
Three-bedroom accommodation in a semi here will be well north of $2 million, with a budget of $2.5 million to $3 million for a home with a decent sized block of land.
Croydon, Burwood and Strathfield all provide bigger blocks for families with semi-detached and detached homes available. The drawcard is the railway line providing direct access to the city. So, for those families wanting more space plus an easy commute, these suburbs tick the box.
There are some nice character homes here and even a few knockdown-rebuild properties. Expect to pay well above $2.5 million for a three-bedder, with prices rising by a few hundred thousand for every additional bedroom.
Nick also had a couple of insider tips for those buying in the Inner West.
Firstly, some suburbs are under Sydney Airport’s flight path so if that’s a no go for you, then be careful about where you buy.
Also, the suburbs closest to the CBD have an urban buzz that attracts a young crowd. If you’ve outgrown the hustle, bustle and activity of areas like Newtown and Marrickville, then consider looking at one of the inner-west’s fringe suburbs.
Of course, the best advice is to employ someone like Nick as your Inner West buyers’ agent to help you acquire a home in these desirable areas. With easy access to the CBD, all the delights of the harbour and parklands, and the famous Sydney-city vibe, the Inner West has plenty going for it. Just be sure to get the best possible homebuying result by having Nick and the Propertybuyer crew on your side.
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