St Ives is a suburban idyll, with quiet, tree-lined streets, big backyards, a vibrant shopping village and excellent schools.

With the national park on your doorstep, good access to beaches and the city and spacious modern homes, it’s the perfect place to bring up a family. These days, attracted by the lifestyle it offers, people are increasingly choosing to downsize to an apartment or townhouse in St Ives too.

History

The Darramuragal or Darug people were the original inhabitants of the Ku-ring-gai area, and they fished and hunted in its waters and harvested food from its bushland.

The suburb of St Ives was named in 1900, either for St Ives in Cornwall or Isaac Ellis Ives, who as a Member of the Legislative Assembly for St Leonards in 1885 – 1889 was instrumental in securing a post office and school for the district.

Timber was St Ives’s first industry, with a sawmill established in 1824, followed shortly after by fruit orchards and market gardens.

Electricity didn’t arrive until 1914 and for a long time the only telephone was at the Post Office. St Ives remained a predominantly rural area right up until the 1950s. It was only in 1959 that St Ives was rezoned from rural to residential. The roads were improved, car ownership increased, and Sydney underwent tremendous post war growth.

Between 1961 and 1976 many family homes were built in St Ives and its population trebled. The family-friendly suburban oasis we know and love today was beginning to take shape. St Ives Shopping Village was established in the 1960s across the road from the Village Green. Today it is home to Woolworths, Coles and Harris Farm, as well as a large range of food, fashion and specialty stores. And, it’s a short bus ride or drive to neighbouring Pymble or Gordon for more amenities and the train line.

What the locals love about St Ives

1. Pockets of Café & Culinary Style

Aside from the convenience of St Ives Shopping Village there are many smaller pockets of restaurants and cafes scattered through St Ives & St Ives Chase neighbourhoods. Whether you are seeking an old school hearty meal or something on the fresh fusion side there is plenty on offer. Karoo & Co is located in the heritage-listed old St Ives Public School with a charming new renovation and wine list to pair. For a taste of something spicier walk across the road to Bangkok Bites for a lively evening that couples vibrant interiors with an expansive street food menu.

2. Gold Standard schools

St Ives is home to several very well-regarded public and independent schools, and families are spoilt for choice for both primary and high schools. There are three sought-after public primary schools – St Ives North Public School, St Ives Public School and St Ives Park Public School – as well as Corpus Christi Catholic Primary School and Sydney Grammar St Ives Preparatory. All three of St Ives’s high schools performed well in 2020’s HSC. St Ives High School was ranked 13th amongst NSW’s comprehensive high schools, and girls’ school Brigidine College was one of the top performing Catholic schools in the state. Masada College, a Jewish school catering for preschool through to year 12, saw 8% of their HSC cohort achieve an ATAR over 98.

3. Bushland oasis

St Ives locals love living amongst nature. Driving or strolling the tree-lined streets, it’s not hard to imagine that this was still a mostly rural area only seventy years ago.

Lying along the eastern border of St Ives is the Garigal National Park. Entry points at Douglas Street and Hunter Avenue allow access to the cycling, bushwalking and horse riding trails that wind amongst the park’s stunning sandstone rock formations, waterfalls and Aboriginal sites.

The Ku-ring-gai Wildflower Garden on Mona Vale Road is one of St Ives’s best kept secrets. The 123 hectares of pristine bushland are open to the public all year round, for free. There are bush trails to walk or cycle and a wildflower nursery specialising in locally occurring plants – perfect for sourcing plants for your St Ives garden.

Located in the south-western corner of St Ives is the Dalrymple-Hay Nature Reserve, 10.7 hectares of protected nature reserve featuring awe-inspiring 40-metre tall blackbutt trees. The reserve is the most significant remaining tract of the eucalyptus blue gum high forest that once dominated this area, and it’s a popular recreation spot with locals.

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4. St Ives Showground

Established in 1926, St Ives Showground is a nod to the suburb’s rural past. Every May the Northern Suburbs Agricultural and Horticultural Society hosts the annual St Ives Show there, bringing the country to the city with attractions including woodchopping, equestrian events and an animal petting zoo. The Show will be celebrating 100 years in 2021.

The Showground is also home to Ku-ring-gai’s largest playground, newly opened in December 2020. It has been designed to be as inclusive as possible for children of all abilities and features a range of play equipment and nature play experiences. With play areas tailored for ages ranging from toddlers to tweens, it’s the perfect place for a family day out.

Sales market update

Housing stock in St Ives includes a great variety of modern family homes, with an increasing number of units, villas, and retirement options near the popular St Ives Shopping Village. St Ives property prices have increased steadily over the last 12 months. The March 2021 median house price is $2,150,000, 11.4% higher than April 2020’s median of $1,930,000. Units have also seen a strong increase in median price over the same period, with today’s $1,055,000 median up 15.9% on April 2020’s median of $910,000. Over the past five years, St Ives houses have seen a compound growth rate of 4.2%, while units have gone up 6.%.

St Ives top sales

Some of St Ives’s top real estate sales have been completed by the team at Chadwick, including:

Rental market update

Home ownership is high in St Ives with just 14% of St Ives residents renting their home. Houses leasing for $1000 per week, townhouses $900 and units $600. Strong demand for rental properties in St Ives is reflected in the March 2021 vacancy rate, sitting at a low 1.07%. The median rental yield for houses in St Ives is 2.66%, townhouses 3.09% and units 3.48%.

If you’re thinking of buying, selling or renting in St Ives, our friendly and professional team can help. Contact us today.

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