Home to some of Sydney’s most beautiful stately houses, stunning gardens and lush, tree-lined streets, Warrawee represents the best of peaceful Upper North Shore living.

Known as an exclusive residential enclave, families seek it out for its spacious, quality homes and notable schools, while its wide range of apartments draws in downsizers, investors and first home buyers. Warrawee locals love its tranquil leafy streets, easy access to green space and handy road and rail links to the city, beaches, commercial hubs and beyond.

History

The Darramuragal or Darug people are the first inhabitants of Ku-ring-gai, and the name Warrawee is understood to come from an Aboriginal word meaning ‘stop here’.

European settlers began timber-getting in Warrawee in 1815, and by the 1860s, they were planting orchards on the cleared land. In 1882, when planning for the rail line began, the landholders of Warrawee began preparing to transform the area’s orchards and market gardens into a residential suburb.

Unlike other Upper North Shore suburbs along the rail line, Warrawee was without shops, a post office, a public school, a church or a railway station until 1899. In fact, the station itself almost wasn’t built. Railway authorities were initially reluctant to build a station at Warrawee, given that the distance between it and the next station at Wahroonga was the shortest between any two stations on the line, but Warrawee station eventually opened on 1 August 1900. Warrawee Public School followed in 1906, but to this day, the suburb still has few businesses or shops. Warrawee is one of the few stations in the Sydney train network without any commercial activity.

Warrawee’s future as an exclusive residential enclave was sealed when, after the opening of the railway, locals foiled the intentions of commercial developers by buying up every block at risk of commercial use and erecting a house on it.

It was in the 1920s and 1930s that Warrawee’s distinctive style of residential development emerged, with homes ranging from original orchardist’s weatherboard cottages built in the late 1800s (some of which still stand on Young and Raymond Streets) to more modern, architecturally designed homes.

What the locals love about Warrawee

1. Stunning stately homes

Warrawee is an architecture admirer’s dream, home to many important heritage-listed residences built in the late 19th and early 20th centuries by notable Australian architects. Properties such as Pibrac, Wirepe, Cheddington, Roseburn, Kooyong (formerly known as Upton Grey), Rathven, Springwood, Cobbins and Audley are amongst Warrawee’s significant architectural gems.

The early homes of Warrawee were built in a range of styles, from grand and imposing to unique and individualistic. Most were two-storeys, built from brick and stone with tiled or slate roofs, often on spacious grounds featuring large trees and formal gardens.

2. Exceptional schools

Although a small suburb by Upper North Shore standards, family-friendly Warrawee offers its inhabitants a choice of two excellent schools.

While Knox Grammar’s street address is Wahroonga, much of its campus spreads into Warrawee. The prestigious boys’ school, founded in 1924, offers students from kindergarten to year 12 a wealth of amenities, including an aquatic centre, performing arts centre and extensive sporting fields and facilities. For families seeking a co-ed environment, Knox’s Wahroonga Prep caters for both girls and boys from pre-kindergarten to year 6.

Warrawee Public School, located on the Pacific Highway, is considered one of the top primary schools on the Upper North Shore. As well as its excellent academic reputation, the school prides itself on its warm family atmosphere.

3. Gorgeous gardens and lush leafy streets

Warrawee exemplifies the often-referenced ‘leafy Upper North Shore’. Both public and private spaces are resplendent with greenery.

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There was a concerted planting effort in Warrawee right before the suburb was widely settled in the 1920s and 1930s, introducing maples, jacarandas, liquidambars, camphor laurels and conifers to the area. Today, almost every garden contains a fine mature tree, and specimens along the roadsides form shady canopies over many of Warrawee’s peaceful streets. Native wattles and pittosporums grow along the railway embankment, and stands of eucalypts, some of which pre-date European settlement, can be found in Oswald Close, Warrawee, Chilton and Pibrac Avenues.

Magnificent private gardens, many boasting courtyards, summerhouses, formal herbaceous borders and sunken gardens feature original shrubs such as roses, camellias and privet.

Warrawee sales market update

Warrawee offers would-be residents a good mix of freestanding homes (70.2%) and apartments (29.8%) from which to find their new abode. Homes are generously proportioned, with the average Warrawee property possessing 3.6 bedrooms and 53.9% of residences boasting four bedrooms or more.

The median house price in Warrawee as of September 2021 is $3,575,000. It has increased by a remarkable 25.3% since September 2020, when the median was $2,852,500. Unit prices, meanwhile, have declined by 10.5% over the past twelve months, presenting canny buyers with a great opportunity. The median price in September 2021 was $900,000; twelve months earlier, it was $1,006,000. Over the past five years, Warrawee has experienced a compound growth rate of 9.9% for houses and -2.1% for units.

Warrawee top sales

The Chadwick team have completed some of Warrawee’s top property sales, including:

Warrawee rental market update

Houses in Warrawee rent for $1288 per week, while units let for $530 per week. Property investors take note – 19.5% of Warrawee’s homes are rented. Houses return a median annual rental yield of 1.9%, while units deliver 3.1%. And rental homes in Warrawee are in demand – as of October 2021, the vacancy rate was a low 1.62%.

Are you looking to buy, sell, rent or invest in Warrawee? We can help. Contact our team today.

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