The answer to this question isn’t a once size fits all. There are those that value being in a prized school catchment area as being of paramount importance (and there is definite evidence that good local schools increase real estate prices), but there are others who desire different aspects of a suburb’s character when picking where to raise their family.
These qualities might be proximity and abundance of green spaces or a family friendly village feel, while others are drawn to a vibrant café culture. These priorities need to be weighed up against the price of real estate in an area, with value for money being a key motivator for many.
Whatever you prioritise for your family, it pays to thoroughly research an area before taking the plunge as you could be staying put in that property for many years. Take the time to visit the suburb and soak in the atmosphere.
To help you start off, we’ve broken down our picks by Sydney’s regions.
Best areas for families to live in Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs
Sydney’s east is blessed with incredible amenities such as world class beaches, abundant green spaces and some of the country’s best schools. It is also a very safe area. Unsurprisingly however, the privilege of living in close proximity to all of this comes with a hefty price tag.
Beachside suburbs such as Bondi, Clovelly and Coogee are particularly desirable, with the median house prices over $2.5 million. You’re never too far away from the beach in this pocket of the world, so consider Waverley as a more affordable alternative. The Charing Cross locality has wonderful eateries and cafes, while there are excellent schools in the area.
Randwick is also incredibly popular with families due to access to Centennial Park, the light rail to the city and employment hot spots at the university and hospital. A median house in the suburb is $2.4 million, while a median unit is priced at $970,000. Kingsford with a significantly lower median house price may be a great alternative, with similar access to many of the same amenities.
Best areas for families to live in Inner West Sydney suburbs
You don’t need to look very hard in the Inner West to find community spirit and family-friendly neighbourhoods. There’s also great multicultural eateries and kid friendly pubs in the area, as well as excellent public schools. On the downside, it does have a relatively high population density, but if you find a location within close proximity to greenery, this becomes less of an issue.
Suburbs popular with families include Leichhardt, Haberfield, Marrickville, Petersham, Rozelle, Annandale, Camperdown, Dulwich Hill, Balmain and Glebe.
A pocket of tranquillity within 4km to the city is the tightly held Glebe Point locality. Waterside Jubilee Park stretches to Pyrmont, meaning you can stroll along Blackwattle Bay all the way to the Fish Market without waiting at a single traffic light. This area is serviced by the light rail and the new Tramsheds precinct. It does come with a price tag though, with homes in this area (when they become available) selling for well above the suburbs’ median price of $1.7 million.
A more affordable option is Petersham with a median house price of $1.6 million, with great public transport connections to the city, excellent schools and abundant green spaces, including the Greenway which connects to the area’s famous Bay Run. There are also some delicious food options nearby.
Best areas for families to live in Western Sydney suburbs
Head west and you certainly start to see more bang for your buck, with many suburbs priced at a median of under $1 million on generous blocks. You don’t need to compromise on atmosphere, with many young families moving to areas such as Blacktown and surrounds to take advantage of the lower prices, access to transport, excellent facilities including sports fields and shopping centres and proximity to hospitals.
The state is investing heavily in the Greater Parramatta area, with transport projects and cultural activities coming thick and fast. There’s also a lively café and food scene in the area. These along with employment opportunities at Sydney’s second CBD, the Parramatta area is a convenient and popular location for families to put down roots.
For an idea of property prices, the median house price in Blacktown is $680,000 while in Parramatta’s neighbour, Granville, the median house price is $700,000.
Best areas for families to live in Sydney North of the bridge
Sydney’s Northern suburbs, Northern Beaches and North Shore are spoiled with access to beaches, national parks and excellent schools and much of the north is also leafier and a little slower paced than the rest of Sydney.
Here suburbs like Frenchs Forest, Neutral Bay, Davidson, Lavender Bay, Gladesville and Waverton all rank highly with low crime, proximity to beaches, amenities and good public schools. There are also plenty of top tier private schools to choose from in the area.
Prestige suburbs such as Mosman and Manly are well known, but you can get more value for money without compromising too much by looking at suburbs such as Brookvale or Willoughby.
Lane Cove is particularly popular with families looking for a vibrant village feel. It also has a new shopping and recreational facility due to open in July 2020 called “The Canopy”. It is an ideal place to raise a family.
Best areas for families to live in Southern Sydney suburbs
Sydney’s South and Southwest in particular has become something of a hotspot for families, lured by affordable property, wide open spaces and a relatively relaxed lifestyle. This has seen the demographic change, with nearly 80 per cent of all homes in the region classified as family households with children. And it is easy to see why when a four bedroom family home with a backyard is around $1 million.
For an idea of property prices in southern Sydney suburbs, the median house price in Liverpool, where houses dominate, is $717,000. Depending on the suburb you choose to live in, chances are it will be a house if you decide to make Sydney’s south your home.