The Upper North Shore suburbs of Turramurra, North Turramurra, South Turramurra and Warrawee are famed for their quiet leafy nature, prestigious schools, community feel and good transport links.
The Pacific Highway and the railway line divide the suburbs. Areas to the south west are defined by slopes and gum trees compared to the flatter streets to the north east of the line, which tend to have larger residential lots and are traditionally lined by box hedges.
The type of residential property stock varies across the suburbs. In South Turramurra, away from the railway and main roads, there has been very little housing development in the past few years and separate houses still make up 99 percent of the dwellings. In Turramurra, medium and high density dwellings make up around ten percent of the stock each with the development concentrated around the train station.
Warrawee and North Turramurra have the lowest proportion of separate houses, accounting for 70 percent of dwellings. However, the majority of the remaining stock in North Turramurra is medium density townhouses and large apartments compared to the higher density apartment blocks in Warrawee.
Turramurra is forecast to see significant change over the next few years, with the development of the Turramurra Community Hub Masterplan. Construction is expected to begin in 2020 and the plan aims to transform the area into a vibrant and dynamic location while maintaining the village atmosphere. Plans include new shopping, dining, learning and parking facilities as well as open spaces and new residential development.
House prices across all four suburbs have increased significantly over the past decade with prices rising by 115 percent across the area on average. The strong growth has continued over the past year with values rising 18 percent over the year to April 2017, while other areas in Sydney have seen price growth slow. This has predominantly been driven by a lack of houses on the market.
Growth in apartment values has been slightly lower than houses with an increase of 78 percent over the past decade. However, similarly to house price growth, price rises over the past year have outperformed the Sydney average with an increase of 13 percent.
Warrawee is the most expensive suburb in the area with a median house price of $2.6 million in April 2017, nearly two and a half times the average across Sydney. Turramurra is the next most expensive, closely followed by North Turramurra with median house prices of $2.0 million and $1.9 million respectively. South Turramurra is the cheapest suburb in the area with a median house price of $1.6 million, which is still nearly 50 percent more than the Sydney average.
Apartment prices do not follow the same pattern as houses in the area. The most expensive suburb for apartments is North Turramurra with a median price of $1.2 million.
Demand from downsizers in the area has dictated larger apartment sizes compared with Turramurra and Warrawee, and the increase in size has most likely driven the spike in prices. By comparison, there are more one and two bed units in the suburbs with train stations which are more suitable for first home buyers and investors.
Across all three suburbs of Turramurra, the private rented sector is much smaller than other areas across Sydney, accounting for just 11 percent of the population. In Warrawee, where there is a larger concentration of high density apartments, 20 percent of the residents are private renters. This is above the average for Ku-ring-gai of 14 percent but still below the Sydney average of 25 percent.
Across the suburbs, the median weekly rental value in April 2017 was $1,200 for a house and $700 for a unit, equating to average yields of 3.1 percent and 3.8 percent respectively.
Much of the demand for the large houses in the area comes from growing families given the wide range of notable public and private schools, good transport links and proximity to green space. Unsurprisingly, across the suburbs over 50 percent of the residents are families with children compared to an average of 45 percent across Sydney.
Demand for apartments and townhouses comes from a wide range of sources including first home buyers, investors and downsizers. Downsizers, in particular, play a key role in the housing market in Turramurra and Warrawee as the majority of these buyers have paid off their mortgage on larger, family homes, giving them significant buying power on their next, smaller property.
Across the area, just over a quarter of the population are aged over 60 compared to 18 percent across Greater Sydney. This is particularly prevalent in North Turramurra where the proportion of the population aged over 60 increases to 44 percent. Availability of appropriate properties for downsizers has been scarce and therefore is in high demand.
Turramurra and Warrawee have railway stations on the Northern & Western line and are intersected by the Pacific Highway, providing quick access to the CBD by both rail and road. This drives demand from white-collar workers. The largest employment industry for people living in area is the Professional, Scientific and Tech sector accounting for 18 percent of employees compared to an average of 10% across Sydney.
International buyers are an important source of demand for the housing market across Sydney as both owner occupiers and investors. In the area, 31 percent of residents were born overseas, in line with the Sydney average.
The largest employment industry for people living in the five suburbs is the Professional, Scientific and Technology sector accounting for 18 percent of employees compared to an average of 10 percent across Sydney. This industry is the fastest growing in Sydney meaning the area is well placed to draw on the newly created wealth in these industries.
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