Data from the latest 2021 Census reveals a lot about our area, including who your likely neighbours are, how they live, and what they earn or spend on their mortgages.

We take a look behind the recently released statistics for Potts Point and Woolloomooloo, which also takes in Elizabeth Bay and Rushcutters Bay, to see how we compare to the state and national averages and what has changed in our local area over the past five years.

People: who lives in Potts Point and Woolloomooloo?

On 10 August 2021, or Census night, there were a total of 18,187 of us residing in Potts Point, Elizabeth Bay, Rushcutters Bay and Woolloomooloo. We were one of the few parts of inner-city Sydney where there were actually more men than women (53.7% men vs 46.3%).

More than half of us (53.8%) were born in Australia, and 1.4% of our population has Indigenous heritage. Those born elsewhere come from countries as diverse as England (5.9%), New Zealand (3.9%), the USA (1.9%), China (1.3%) and Brazil (1.3%).

One in five people (21.8%) in Potts Point and Woolloomooloo speak a language other than English at home. That’s actually fewer people than the state or national average. Of those who do speak another language at home, it’s likely to be Spanish, French, Mandarin, Italian or Portuguese.

There were 3,385 families with an average of 1.4 children each. However, couples without children (74.8%) far outnumber either couples with children (14.3%) or single-parent families with children (9.3%). 64.6% of people have never married – far more than the state (35.7%) or national (36.4%) averages.

We’re also more likely to live alone, with single-person households making up 60.6% of all households, or more than twice the state or national average.

The average age for someone living in our area was 39 years old – identical to the NSW state average and just one year older than the national average.

Overall, there are an average of 1.5 people and 0.7 motor vehicles per household. This reflects our inner city location, walkability and the access we enjoy to great public transport.

Putting this all together, the profile of an ‘average’ Potts Point or Woolloomooloo resident would be an unmarried, 39-year-old man who was born in Australia and lives alone.

Property: what do we live in?

Most homes (89.1%) in Potts Point and Woolloomooloo are apartments – this is more than four times the state average of 21.7% and almost six times the national average of 14.2%.

Just 0.3% of properties in our area are free-standing houses (nationally, it’s 72.3%). Townhouses, terraces or attached dwellings comprise 9.4% of all local dwellings.

Our properties are also a lot smaller than the Aussie average. The median home in our area has an average of 1.4 bedrooms, compared with 3.1 bedrooms nationally. This reflects the fact that 15% of local properties are studios or bedsits, compared to less than 1% nationally. Just 1.9% of properties have four or more bedrooms.

18% of properties are owned outright, which is well below the state (31.5%) and national (31%) averages. 15.7% of people currently own their property with a mortgage, which is roughly half the state and national figures.

That means around two-thirds of all dwellings (64.1%) are rented: more than twice both the state average of 32.6% and the national average of 30.6%.

What’s changed in the past five years?

Comparing 2021 statistics to the 2016 Census data revealed other changes that impact our area and the property market too.

Firstly, we’re getting richer. Our already above-average weekly incomes increased by 9.7% over those five years. Meanwhile, household incomes in our area rose from $1,861 per week in 2016 to $2,041 per week in 2021, so they now sit $400 above the state and national averages.

But we’re not spending much more of that money on rent. Average weekly rents only rose fractionally, from $480 per week in 2016 to $490 per week in 2021.

Mortgage holders aren’t so fortunate. Despite falling interest rates, median mortgage repayments increased by 15.4% in the same five years. In 2016, the median monthly mortgage repayment in Potts Point and Woolloomooloo was $2,167. Five years later it had risen to $2,500.

As of 2021, 21.1% of households with a home loan are deviating more than 30% of household income towards it (the definition of mortgage stress). Meanwhile, 33.7% of rented properties face rental payments greater than 30% of household income.

Further data from the 2021 Census will be released in October.

Want more?

If you’d like to know more about our local property market in Potts Point and Woolloomooloo, or if you need help buying or selling a home, get in touch.

Article by Jason Boon

In a real estate market that is the focus of Australian, and indeed worldwide attention, Jason Boon's results in the Sydney scene make him a highly significant figure within the industry. A long-term specialist in the Potts Point and inner eastern suburbs area, he is uniquely placed to leverage his skills and local knowledge as the area undergoes significant change and diversification. Jason ha…