Sydney’s north shore is dominated by families, and for good reason. This region offers large homes in leafy neighbourhoods with a rare commodity – large backyards. In the 2011 Census, 54% of those in the suburb were couple families with children – about 10%higher than the Sydney average. A further 30% in the north were couples without children, many of whom will undoubtedly start a family.
New property sizes are shrinking, dropping from a standard 312 square metres in 2010 to 285 square metres in 2015, according to the Housing Industry Association. But in Ku-ring-Gai Council area, there are still existing homes on the market that are substantially larger than the new norm for the city and offer the additional bedrooms and bathrooms a growing family requires. Two thirds of households in the north live in freestanding houses and about 40% are in homes with four or more bedrooms.
A perfect family home, four-bedroom Burrawang at 65 Pymble Avenue, is just a walk away from Pymble Ladies College and offers 441 square metres of internal space for $3.1 million. Many of the properties coming onto the market in recent months are carefully renovated, meaning you can move in and barely lift a finger to get the home in order. There are still some homes, which attract competition from budget-conscious families and investors, with renovation potential that allow you to build your dream home from scratch. Homes on the market often come with teenager’s retreat spaces, granny flats that can be used for this purpose or backyards large enough to build your own if it’s on your wishlist.
Many of the schools on the north shore are seen as some of the most enviable in the state. Primary schools in St Ives and Wahroonga were in the top 10 when Fairfax ranked the reading, writing, spelling, grammar and punctuation, and numeracy test scores of year five students.
And local cafes are eager to cater to the growing population of families, with play areas and easy pram access in many successful local businesses. The northern areas are also attractive to families due to the open space, low crime rate and a progressive council that caters to all different types of families. Ku-ring-gai Council features the details of a range of childcare facilities and activities for the whole family through the holidays. There’s a Bush Kids program, an arts centre, a children’s library and many parks and playgrounds on the list of entertainment attractions for those with school-aged and younger children.