Meet Killara – the well-established, community-oriented Upper North Shore suburb that prides itself on its local amenities, convenient transport connections and great educational and recreational facilities.
Killara is located in Sydney’s Upper North Shore, 14 km northwest of the CBD. Part of Ku-ring-gai Council, the almost 5 km squared area contains a rich history and a thriving property market that attracts young families looking to establish long-term homes.
North of Killara sits Gordon, with East Killara and East Lindfield to the east, Lindfield and Lane Cove National Park to the south, and West Pymble to the west. Within Killara sits the locality of West Killara, with almost 11,000 residents calling Killara home.
With a 25 minute train ride down the North Shore line to the city and the large shopping and dining districts of Chatswood even closer, Killara is recommended by its residents for both its convenience and natural beauty.
Killara, an Aboriginal word meaning ‘permanent’, ‘always there’, was the name given by James George Edwards to the suburb that developed around the railway station that opened in 1899, between Lindfield and Gordon. James George Edwards was a representative of the people who requested a station be built there.
There is a strong message in Killara’s name, with its founders’ intention to create an area that attracted permanence leading the area to inspire descriptions such as “lush haven,” “a quiet retreat” and an area of “solid respectability.” These are traits that have shaped Killara and live on for its residents to enjoy today.
The first Europeans to inhabit this area were convict timber cutters and their overseers, who set up camp around 1805, on the banks of the Lane Cove River, near the foot of the present Fiddens Wharf Road. Timber was dragged by hand along tracks known as the Government Road (now Beaumont Road) and Wharf Road, across the flats now known as the Redbank Oval, and down to the wharf. After its peak, the site was disbanded about 1819. The hardships the convict cutters endured are symbolically represented in the steps that were built in the 1930s as a depression initiative, and follow the original convict track down to the wharf.
On 5 April 1821, Governor Lachlan Macquarie issued five crown grants of land, of decreasing size, in the area that now comprises Killara, including 40 acres to Joseph Fidden. In the five years the grantees were sworn to care for the land, 20 acres of each grant was to be cultivated, however the land soon became exploited for its building timber.
After the end of the timber trade in the area, the grants were divided and resold repeatedly, before large residential properties started to dominate the area with the advent of the train line and opening of Killara station in 1899.
In the 20th century “Killara” became a ‘Gentlemen’s suburb’, meaning there would be no commercial ventures in the area. This is the reason there were very few shops as part of the original development of the area, and that legacy persists today with residents of leafy Killara heading to nearby Gordon or Lindfield for their shopping.
A piece of modern Killara history can be observed on Kalang Avenue where the house of famous modernist architects Penelope and Harry Seidler, known as the Seidler House, resides as a testament to the evolution of architectural trends in Australia.
Along with the Seidler’s, some notable residents of Killara include supermodel Elle McPherson, financial analyst and TV presenter David Koch, tennis champion and Federal Member John Alexander OAM MP and boxer Peter Jackson.
Like its neighbours in the Upper North Shore, Killara is blessed with green, leafy streets and large residential blocks with little commercial disruption. There are many pockets of community activity within Killara, with the Bruce Avenue Community Group a shining example of the strong ties within the area.
The Killara Golf Club makes for a natural meeting place of like-minded locals. Founded in 1899, Killara Golf Club was the first golf club to own its own land in Australia, and has since been enjoyed as an exclusive private golf club that also houses facilities for tennis, bowls, snooker, bridge and conferences.
The natural beauty of Killara is showcased in all its splendor at The Swain Gardens which captures the feel of an English garden in a bush land setting. Arthur Newling Swain, a Sydney bookseller, donated the gardens to the Ku-ring-gai Council in the 1920s. With gazebos, bbq facilities and picturesque settings for photos, these gardens are a popular spot for birthday parties and weddings.
When it comes to looking after the kids’ education, Killara is home to two top ranking primary schools: Killara Public School and Beaumont Road Public School. These schools are complemented by a variety of private preschools and reputable high schools, such as KU Killara Park Preschool and Killara High School.
For a little bit of local history, you can pay a visit to Killara Railway Station Group which is recognised as a local heritage site of significance. It demonstrates the significant impact of the railway in facilitating settlement in the northern suburbs of Sydney and is an important station on the first purely suburban line in NSW.
An iconic fixture in the Killara and Upper North Shore social scene is the grand Greengate Hotel, which has been serving locals delicious food and beverages in its alfresco facilities for over 70 years. And nearby Chatswood isn’t too far away to satisfy your shopping needs.
The Killara property market
The property market of Killara is as diverse as its population. In terms of property mix, Killara houses dominate the market at 59% of total properties, with semi-detached, units and other properties making up 2%, 29% and 11% respectively.
Most of these properties are owned rather than rented, with owners making up 76% of the population. Typically, residents are working professionals with families, with the median age being 41 years old and median weekly household income being $2508.
As of September 2019 the median prices for houses is $2.64 million and the median price for units is $967,165. The majority of the properties sold in the past year have been 4 and 5 bedroom houses, with median prices of $2.278 million and $2.626 million respectively, and 2 and 3 bedroom units, with median prices of $853,000 and $1.43 million respectively.
When looking further back, the property history of Killara reflects the recent dip in the market, however, shows the strength of the suburb’s property performance over the past couple of years. This can be seen when looking at house price growth, with growth dropping 4.08% in the last year, whereas when looking at the past 3 years we see a 38.9% increase in growth.
This means that currently the Killara market presents a good investment opportunity for buyers as historical trends indicate the potential for house price growth, with it being the same story for Killara units that have seen a growth of 14.40% in the past 3 years. Rental return also comes in at a healthy 3.54% for the last year.
Recently we’ve sold 16 Killara Avenue, 4 Frederick Street, 9/17-19 Powell Street, 16/67 Stanhope Road and 3 Grassmere Road, with this range of properties showcasing the variety of options for families, retirees and professionals looking to make Killara their home.
Currently we have 3 Banyula Place for sale, a uniquely stunning family and environmentally-friendly home that will suit a family looking to appreciate the natural beauty and community culture of Killara.
If you’d like to know more about how you can step into the Killara property market, talk to one of our local experts today.