Surry Hills is sometimes eclipsed by the buzz of Sydney’s CBD, but that’s just the way the locals want to keep it.
Even if they’re not shouting it from the rooftops, the fact is Surry Hills is quickly changing to offer everything a city-dweller could need – and that’s definitely having an impact on property prices.
1. Both unit and house prices rose last year
According to CoreLogic data, the price of a house in Surry Hills went up by almost 10% in the 12 months to June 2017, while unit prices also rose just over 8%. At the moment a Surry Hills house will set you back $1.67 million on average. Median unit prices are lower at $777,000, but this is still higher than nearby rival Potts Point.
2. Houses and units stay on the market for the same amount of time
Selling a house or unit in Surry Hills isn’t a quiet affair, with an average of around 1200 visits to an online listing compared to the Sydney-wide average of 829 per property, according to realestate.com.au. Whether you’re selling a house or a unit, your property will stay on the market for an average of 49 days, although that figure can vary dramatically depending on the type of property and the marketing campaign behind it.
3. The lower west side offers a buzzing foodie scene
While parts of Surry Hills are made up of leafy streets and unique Sydney architecture, Surry Hills has one of the highest concentrations of restaurants in Sydney (and its fair share of pubs and cafes too).
Head towards Hunt Street and you’ll quickly find its funkier side. Check out Golden Age for a new cinema full of old-world charm (and cocktails) or treat yourself to an evening at Nomad, a former warehouse that’s now all about Middle Eastern flavour. That’s not to forget some of the classics that have their roots in Surry Hills – like Longrain and Bills. The Dolphin has been revamped (again) and Crown Street is also home to old favourites as diverse as Yulli’s and the Mahjong Room.
It’s not just the restaurant and bar scene that has people intrigued by Surry Hills. Star baristas are making their mark here too, with places like Paramount Coffee Project and Single O Surry Hills tempting caffeine addicts away from their regular haunts elsewhere.
4. It has many secret parks and playgrounds
For a high-density urban area home to so many terraces and units, Surry Hills has an amazing number of parks and playgrounds. From tiny little ones hidden between houses to Prince Alfred Park which borders Central Station and boasts a pool and other sporting facilities.
You’ll never be short of somewhere to read a book or newspaper in the sun, and the kids and pets have plenty of places to run off steam. Try:
- Harmony Park
- Pocket playgrounds like Albert Sloss or James Hilder ReservesIn 2019 Wimbo Park will reopen bigger than before to coincide with the light rail – the kids will love the built in trampolines and balancing wall.
- In 2019 Wimbo Park will reopen bigger than before to coincide with the light rail – the kids will love the built in trampolines and balancing wall.
5. Surry Hills hasn’t always been desirable
While its terrace houses are now highly sought after, many were once earmarked for demolition in a time when Surry Hills was seen as the last place a respectable family would want to build a home. Ruth Park set her famous novel A Harp in the South in the slums of Surry Hills, and according to the Dictionary of Sydney, the suburb’s population fell to its lowest point in 1974 – just 12,000 people. Today, Surry Hills is home to over 16,000 residents, 19% of which are families.
Surry Hills may not have the harbour views of its more glamorous neighbours, but those who know it well couldn’t care less. They’re laughing as they catch the train from Central Station one stop to the city, or walk to work with their coffee in hand. And they love their suburb for its colourful past and the ever-evolving identity it has today.