NSW’s top 100 growth suburbs of the last 20 years
Homeowners have made a motza from their properties across much of Sydney and coastal NSW thanks to two decades of skyrocketing housing values.
A study of the 100 suburbs with the biggest growth in house prices over the past 20 years, powered by realestate.com.au data, showed there were multiple areas where the average value of homes increased five-fold.
The surge in value delivered homeowners an average of $130,000 in capital gains every year between 2000 and 2020 in some regions.
The most notable rises were in a cluster of suburbs in Sydney's southwest and northwest, where major infrastructure projects improved accessibility and drew new buyers, according to the extensive realestate.com.au research.
Gentrification, which saw warehouses turned into chic urban homes, drove another boom in property values in much of the inner west and Sydney's inner south, including Redfern, Surry Hills and Alexandria.
The same trend drove up prices in industrial port cities Wollongong and Newcastle - the latter was home to the suburb with the country's biggest jump in prices this century: Cameron Park, 19km west of the city.
Already popular Sydney beach suburbs such as North Bondi, Manly, Bronte and Freshwater also featured prominently among the top performers.
Realestate.com.au chief economist Nerida Conisbee said there was a seismic shift in buyer priorities over the last two decades as features such as "walkability" took precedence.
"(Twenty years ago) people wanted bigger homes on big blocks," she said. "There's been a real shift towards wanting to live close to amenities and be within walking distance of everything."
My Housing Market economist Andrew Wilson said skyrocketing prices were a reflection of the business environment and Australia's strong links to the ballooning Chinese economy.
"First there was the mining boom in the 2000s, then Sydney came onto the map for Chinese investors from about 2014," Mr Wilson said, adding foreign investment into Sydney real estate was rare in the 1990s and early 2000s.
NSW real estate values also got the biggest kick from the low interest rate environment Australia has been locked in since about 2012, Mr Wilson said.
"Low rates created a wave effect," he said. "It stimulated local investor activity and at one point investors made up 60 per cent of (purchases).
"That, with record migration, was a perfect storm of demand forces and supply could never keep up."
The top performing suburb in Sydney for the 20-year period was Harrington Park in the Macarthur region on the city's southwestern fringe, while neighbouring suburb Currans Hill was close behind.
The median house price in Harrington Park was nearly $150,000 in the year 2000 but was $960,000 today, an increase of 540 per cent. In Currans Hill, the median jumped 530 per cent from $96,000 to $605,000 over the 20 years.
The increases were more than double the 233 per cent growth in house values recorded for the Greater Sydney area over the same period, which saw the city median price climb from just under $300,000 in 2000 to $970,000 in 2020.
Harrington Park and Currans Hill price rises were partly the result of many of the original houses getting replaced with more upscale properties, which raised the appeal of the area.
Values also boomed over more recent years due to the coming airport at nearby Badgerys Creek, which is becoming a major employment hub.
"There has been so much growth all across southwest Sydney," Stone Real Estate-Camden director Peter Salisbury said. "There's a realisation that the area has changed and it's more appealing."
Belle Property-Charleston agent Sam Taylor said a similar trend caused an explosion in prices on the fringes of Newcastle.
Values in the suburb of Cameron Park went up an incredible 828 per cent over the 20-year period, while in neighbouring suburb Fletcher the increase was 753 per cent.
"We're getting a lot of buyers from all across the state," Mr Taylor said. "Newcastle has stripped its status as only a coal mining town, the culture has changed, and people have taken notice.
"Cameron Park and Fletcher are popular because they are some of the only areas where you can build new housing in Newcastle and most families want to put a personal stamp on their homes."
Northwest Sydney's top performers were Rouse Hill and nearby Beaumont Hills.
Prices in these areas jumped by about 450 per cent over the 20 years, with the new Sydney Metro Northwest train link a recent growth driver.
"Northwest Sydney has had a lot of investment," Ms Conisbee said. "Roads have improved, public transport has improved … the infrastructure investment has made it more popular."
The inner west's top growth suburbs were Stanmore, Drummoyne, Dulwich Hill and Marrickville, where housing values tripled.
Adrian William Real Estate founder Adrian Tsavalas said the hipster movement was a factor in the rise of inner west property.
"A lot changed once the hipsters took over," he said. "The area filled up with cafes and microbreweries and became very trendy. There was a totally different demographic living there 20 years ago."
Newcastle residents Marika and Troy Lynch had been on the hunt for an affordable place to call home close to a decade ago but never realised they'd strike gold.
The couple purchased a block in the suburb of Cameron Park in the city's western fringe because it was a more affordable option but built their house at just the right time.
"A lot of new families have been moving in, especially younger families."
The couple paid about $200,000 for their block on Northlakes Dr almost 10 years ago and after building their dream house have listed it for sale with expectations of getting over $900,000.
Much has changed in the inner west enclave of Marrickville since Peter Warrington and Rachel Williams bought their house there 13 years ago.
The couple snapped up their three-bedroom house on Scouller St for close to $500,000 and have since listed it for sale with a guide of $1.25 million.
That march upward in value has mirrored incredible price growth in the suburb - the median price of Marrickville houses was $315,000 in 2000 and grew to $1.42 million by 2020.
"House prices have definitely gone up since we bought," Mr Warrington said.
The couple were recently hunting for a new home in the suburb and said property sales were competitive.
"You're up against a mix of types … it's a very diverse suburb. There's something for everyone," Mr Warrington said.
* This data is provided by licence from realestate.com.au Pty Ltd and is current at the time of publication. realestate.com.au Pty Ltd does not make any warranty as to the accuracy, completeness or reliability of the data nor accept any liability arising in any way from omissions or errors.
Originally published as NSW's top 100 growth suburbs of the last 20 years