It might seem a little hard to believe but about a decade ago you could purchase a house in the Inner West of Sydney for less a million dollars.
Plus, if you were in the market for a unit, well, about half a million dollars would probably do it.
Do you want to understand the reasons why? Well, Sydney’s Inner West is one of the classic examples of gentrification in action over the years, which actually started a few decades before this example.
Suburbs within the Inner West were once predominantly working-class enclaves that your parents and grandparents would never touch but now carry multimillion-dollar median property prices.
That said, the region is still considered affordable compared to another desirable part of the Harbour City – the Eastern Suburbs.
Let’s take a look at the current asking prices in each location to understand this factor a little better.
According to SQM Research, the asking price for a house in the Inner West is currently about $1.8 million and for a unit it is about $700,000.
However, not far away in the Eastern Suburbs, the asking price for a house is $2.5 million and the asking price for units is nearly $950,000.
These price point differences are one of the main reasons why we are seeing a trend amongst young families who are upgrading their unit in the east to a house in the inner west – importantly, while still retaining all the bells and whistles that younger homebuyers want in their locations of choice.
How the west was won over
Over recent decades, the Inner West started to transform from an ugly duckling to a location where there was a steadily increasing number of buyers keen to set to down roots.
As that buyer demand strengthened, so did property prices, but for those who may have already been in the market for a while, it still remains an achievable area to own a house or a superior unit in comparison to the east as well as the lower north shore.
The metamorphosis of the Inner West is partly due to its multicultural population, which began to take shape as thousands of Italians, Greeks, Portuguese, and Vietnamese started to migrate to Sydney decades ago.
Today, the region is a bona fide melting pot of humanity, all set within an urban and multicultural society that is more edgy-cool than some neighbouring regions who often seem to take themselves a little bit too seriously.
The Inner West’s potpourri of ethnicities means that it has the best of Sydney villages in such well-known and hip locales as Balmain, Rozelle, Newtown, Annandale, Enmore, Erskineville Summer Hill, Dulwich Hill and Marrickville (to name just a few)
And it’s not just Sydneysiders who seek out these eclectic neighbourhoods, with Annandale and Balmain recently announced (Domain.com.au) as the second and third most searched suburbs in the entire nation!
Even one of the world’s most well-regarded bastions of “cool”, Time Out, has labelled Marrickville as one of the grooviest neighbourhoods on the planet – coming in as the 10th coolest place in the world, courtesy of its multicultural community, its wealth of great eateries and bars, and its excellent liveability.
In reality, the Inner West almost has an embarrassment of cafes, restaurants, pubs, small bars and micro-breweries for its lucky residents to choose from on any given day. A good thing this, as the average Inner Westie is highly social creature!
What really makes the region sing when it comes to superior property ownership opportunities is the fact that all this bohemian vibe is backed by the attributes that always underpin the most successful of property markets.
Sure, you can find an awesome café or bar on its myriad high streets, but the Inner West also has all of the things that residents will always want and need.
As an Inner West Buyers Agent, my clients LOVE to share reasons why they LOVE the Inner West
What I’m talking about is its very close proximity to the CBD as well as a plethora of transports nodes to get there, including heavy and light rail, buses, and ferries.
Then there is the type of architecture that is always in demand from aspirational homebuyers and renters with the streets festooned with character and period homes and apartments, renovated and extended cottages, Art Deco units, and stylish warehouse conversions.
Residents also have access to some of the city’s most glorious features via its beautiful waterways, including Sydney Harbour enclaves and the Balmain peninsula through to Canada Bay.
The Inner West also has more than its fair share of parks and recreational facilities such as Blackwattle Bay, Sydney Park, Marrickville Park, as well as the ever popular Bay Run.
Of course, one of the main reasons why the region is so popular with young professionals and families is the fact that it is home to some of the city’s very best private and public schools, including PLC Croydon, Fort Street, Trinity College, Newington College as well as having easy access to Sydney University and the University of New South Wales.