Ten years ago smartphones were just becoming a thing.
There was no Netflix, WeChat or Instagram and no 4G or NBN. We couldn’t even search for a new home on our phones. Now, in 2020 it’s hard to imagine living without any of these things.
In the next 10 years, the world is likely to change just as much. And, while it’s impossible to predict exactly what will be different, here are three key things we expect to change on Sydney’s Upper North Shore based on current trends.
1. The population will grow and change
In 2018, the Ku-ring-gai Council area had a population of 126,046. Around 40% of these people were born overseas, with the United Kingdom accounting for 17% of residents and China 18%. Interestingly, around a third of Ku-ring-gai’s population speaks a language other than English at home.
Fast forward to 2030, and Sydney is forecast to be home to an additional 1.3 million people. Ku-ring-gai Council’s Draft Housing Strategy says the Ku-ring-gai Council area should be home to 20,000 of these people, taking the population to 146,242 people – the same as a city the size of Cairns and bigger than Darwin.
In keeping with the area’s existing family appeal, the strategy forecasts a rise in the number of kids aged under 18 years, but also in adults over 50 years and especially those over 80 years. This means there should be increased demand for our excellent schools, as well as more pressure on our already good supply of aged care and retirement living options.
2. More housing but not necessarily high rises
There will be more development but not necessarily the kind we’ve been seeing to date. Another trend we forecast is that the ‘missing middle’ in our housing market will begin to fill.
In 2018, the Greater Sydney Commission released its 40-year plan. It shows Sydney divided into three cities: an Eastern harbour city encompassing the existing CBD and North Shore, a central river city built around Parramatta and a new western metropolis that stretches from Campbelltown to Penrith and takes in the new airport.
The idea is that with some investment and planning, more residents get to live within 30 minutes of their jobs, education, health facilities and other services.
By the end of 2030, Sydney’s population is forecast to hit 5,878,238 and estimates are that city-wide we’ll need another half a million dwellings to accommodate this growing population. While new high rises will appear in hubs such as Parramatta and whole new suburbs will appear, the reality is that most suburbs will need to change at least a little to accommodate more housing.
The Upper North Shore will have to adapt and grow too. We’ve already seen this in the way Chatswood and Hornsby have become bigger ‘destination’ centres, built around their rail connections and retail spaces. We expect the importance of these two areas to grow.
That said, Ku-ring-gai Council’s Draft Housing Strategy promises to “protect and conserve the prevailing Ku-ring-gai character across all housing types with landscaped garden settings and tall canopy trees”.
We expect to see another 4,800 dwellings in our area between 2021 and 2031 but this will be built around our great transport links. The strategy proposes that medium and high-density housing should be located within a 10-minute walk or 800-metre radius of several ‘Primary Local Centres’ at Gordon, Lindfield, Turramurra and St Ives.
The strategy also proposes exploring medium density housing – villas, townhouses, terrace homes, instead of building tower apartment blocks. Right now, medium-density housing is known as Sydney’s ‘missing middle’ due to its scarce supply.
We’re already seeing demand for this type of housing in suburbs like St Ives and Pymble, where compact, low maintenance properties are popular with downsizers and first home buyers alike.
3. New infrastructure
Our local council is already working to change the face of Ku-ring-gai’s community infrastructure under the ‘Activate Ku-ring-gai’ scheme. Parks, town squares and libraries are planned alongside new shopping, dining and leisure facilities. Lindfield, Turramurra, St Ives, Gordon and Roseville will all benefit.
Other projects underway include the Marian Street Theatre renovation, new village and showground facilities at St Ives and streetscape and sporting upgrades.
Our two major hospitals will also be upgraded and new jobs have been announced at CSIRO’s Lindfield campus. We’ve also acquired a whole new school – the Lindfield Learning Village.
If that’s not enough, this year will see the opening of NorthConnex, which should make a difference to traffic up the Pacific Highway by eliminating traffic lights between Melbourne and Newcastle. And, while only in the ‘vision’ stage, fast rail on the Northern Corridor could reduce a train commute from Sydney to Gosford to just 30 minutes, and from Sydney to Newcastle to just 45 minutes. This is good news for the Upper North Shore as we’d be likely to see a reduction in road traffic due to such a great rail service. We’d love to see this come to fruition.
In short, over the next 10 years the Upper North Shore – which is already known for its great transport links – should become a whole lot more connected still.
If you’re looking to buy or sell on Sydney’s Upper North Shore contact our team today.