This week, we are extremely excited to start our new chapter series on the Sydney Property Insider Podcast. Our deep dive in to specific suburbs via our Suburb Spotlight. Today, being our first, we’ve decided to focus on Marrickville.
We discuss the history of the suburb, the demographics, upcoming development work, as well as the day-to-day specifics like local cafes, schools, transport, and flight paths.
Michelle May – Buyers Agent
Marcus Roberts – Mortgage Broker
Marcus: Hi, and welcome to the Sydney Property Insider Podcast. A weekly podcast series dedicated to property in the city of Sydney. Michelle, how are you doing this week?
Michelle: Good morning. How are you?
Marcus: Good. Last week, we spoke a bit about some recent news items and what have we found this week?
Michelle: Well interestingly I read an article in the Sydney Morning Herald about leaked documents with more development proposal around Rozelle and Birchgrove and further north, where they’re proposing to use White Bay as a further dumping ground for more tunnels, more WestConnex issues. Keep an eye on that because it’s obviously not official but someone was helpful.
Marcus: Someone’s found a treasure trove of documents.
Michelle: Yeah, so interesting I read up on the Sydney Morning Herald. We’ll put the link in the show notes (SMH article) so you can have a look at that article further down the line but the focus for today is we thought we’d inform you guys a little bit more about suburbs in the area of Sydney. Today, we thought we’d start with Marrickville being one of the largest suburbs in Sydney, huge area that it covers.
Marcus: It really is.
Michelle: It’s massive.
Marcus: Yeah so this is a subsection of our podcast series being Suburb Spotlight. Today, talking about Marrickville and some of the things that you could find, some of the things around what you could expect if you’re looking at purchasing or living in Marrickville and some of the things that might be different from other suburbs around that area.
Michelle, tell us about the history of Marrickville. How has it come about?
Michelle: The original residents of Marrickville were the Gadigal people who lived in the area for more than 40,000 years. They were a clan of the Darug people and spoke the Eora language. Other clans in the area included the Wangal, the Kameygal and the Bediagal. Apologies if I’m not pronouncing that correctly. Aboriginal artifacts were found around the Cooks River and Alexandra Canal area indicate at least 7,000 years of occupation. They’ve obviously got the longstanding rights of being there.
Marrickville from the earliest days of earliest settlement has been distinguished by its multicultural nature and really the first land grown was there from 1789 so staying back to real early days. By, the 1830s, Marrickville had been consolidated into five great estates, one of them being Annandale, another Enmore. It’s a huge area it covers.
Marcus: It really is a large land mass. Even when you drive through Marrickville, it’s surprising how far Marrickville actually stands-
Michelle: Yeah, absolutely.
Really from the earliest and they’re mainly occupied with grain growing, market gardens, timber cutting, dairy farms, pig poultry farms and migration has always been paramount in the history of Marrickville. Each wave of migration has added its own character and they still seem very much evidence of that now.
With the peak of migration occurred from the 1950s to the late 70s where large migrant numbers came from Southern Europe, Italian, Portuguese, and the Middle East and Asia. Still the Marrickville today, you can see very much evidence of these different cultures there now. With 30.7% of Marrickville residents with evidence in the 2006 census, they spoke a language other than English at home so Greek, Vietnamese, Arabic, and Portuguese being the most common. I live in Enmore myself so I see that very much in my street, the evidence of all different kinds of neighbours from all different kinds of backgrounds.
Now, with regards to families living in that area, it’s interesting to see that couples with and without children make up 80% of family composition in Marrickville. It’s a real family friendly area. When you look at Marrickville divided into houses and apartments, you see that 55% own their home either with a mortgage or without and 45% are renting. If you’re looking at house price segmentation, looking at what’s the average price or where do most houses get sold in terms of dollars, you see that most houses get sold within the 1.2 to 2.5M bracket. It’s really, I say this but it’s really one of the affordable pockets of the Inner West in Sydney because if you’re looking at other suburbs around that say Newtown, Stanmore, Annandale, Balmain, Birchgrove in particular their greatest catchment of prices lies much higher than that. The entry level is higher than the 1.2 to 1.5M
Marcus: Certainly we’re still saying that 1.2 to 1.5 is nothing small by any stretch of the imagination but against some of its competitors or against some of its local neighbours such as your Newtowns, your Annandales, your Stanmore and so forth, it is a more affordable bracket for people that are looking at potentially their first home or maybe their next home after that first apartment.
Michelle: Yeah and so when you’re looking at units for example, the biggest selling brackets are 700,000 to 800,000 up to a million and then it really tapers off which means that it reflects that there’s not that many apartments for sale or above that. However, that this is obviously going back up to January of last year with the whole new release of developments coming up, I see that a lot of them are selling well above that. That’ll change things significantly.
Now in terms of capital growth and growth of medium house prices and apartment prices, I did some research on that and there has not been negative growth since 2006. That’s a huge number. That’s coming up to 12 years now where a year on year there’s been compound prices going up and up. If I just added the percentages, it was more than a hundred percent price increase. The actual number’s higher than that but definitely the people who own in Marrickville already have done exceedingly well.
Marcus: Over the last 10 to 12 years. Sure!
Michelle: Absolutely. Yeah, absolutely and obviously that’s the same with apartment grown a little bit less but also no negative growth since 2006. With the median price in 2017 of 761,000 for all apartments, I imagine that with the new stock coming on there will be more sales but also there’ll be a different set again for next year.
Marcus: On that, you talk about the new stock coming through. What is currently in development?
Michelle: There’s a huge number of developments going on in the Inner West but in Marrickville in particular and again because there is so much land there, let’s highlight a couple. There is currently it’s been all over the news in the last year and so continues to be so now that the Inner West is the Council is fighting a mammoth 1.3 billion dollar apartment project, which could see a string of 20 buildings including towers of more than a hundred metres tall and comprising 2600 units along a section of Carrington Road in Marrickville that’s currently used. There’s older low-rise warehouses that creatives use in that area right now but unfortunately, Mirvac has decided that really the council should rezone that to … It used to be mixed use but they’re even going beyond the state government’s recommendation of use. They actually want to put in more units, higher towers so it’s not been finalized yet but there’s a lot of protest. Only a couple of weeks ago, people were protesting down Marrickville Road because they think it’s just an overdevelopment.
Marcus: For sure and certainly you can see where residents currently living in the area are coming from. We’re talking about 2600 units for one development.
Michelle: That’s right and it’s not just the number of units, it’s also the lack of infrastructure around it. Once people move in, they need to use the roads, they need to use the train, they need to use the schools and there’s just not enough capacity at the moment and there’s not enough planning happening around that to facilitate that so quite concerning. There’s other developments happening around Victoria Road as well and Addison Road where zoning has changed from general industrial to median and high density residential zones and mixed use zones and business zones so happening there too with Justin Hemmes just buying Vic on the Park. He’s obviously getting in early but we will put this on the website as well with the links, with the maps that you can see where they’re planning on doing this (https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/28storey-towers-proposed-for-marrickville-in-1-billion-apartment-project-20171013-gz0b6f.html).
Smaller developments have been on the site of the old Marrickville Hospital, which is bordering Marrickville Road and Livingstone Road there on that corner. It’s close to a tunnel, very central location. That’s getting 220 apartments and terraced homes, again Mirvac is behind that.
Marrick & Co is also another development where two-bedroom apartments are going for a million upwards. There’s aperture apartments, kindred apartments. Just be aware that there’s a lot of new stuff happening there. There obviously is a demand for new developments. We need to have more new homes because there is a lack of homes for people to buy.
Marcus: Especially in that 20 minute radius from the CBD.
Michelle: Absolutely but when you are buying something, just make sure that you know what’s happening around either the older home that you’re buying or the new one that you’re buying that you’re not going to be hindered by that in the future because obviously these towers and apartments, they take time to build. You don’t want to be living in a building site for two years or more. That’s what’s happening in the area. Like I said, we’ll put all these links on because there’s a lot going on and it’s good to have a look at that.
Marcus: Absolutely and Michelle you mentioned yourself, you live fairly close to Marrickville. I live in Annandale so just a couple of suburbs over. One of the things that you mentioned previous episodes to today’s is the value that you can get in Marrickville as opposed to Newtown because again you’re looking at somewhat similar demographics being the people that are looking at purchasing and the people that are currently living there. Marrickville as a very trendy art scene. It’s very culturally diverse. You’ve got vegan restaurants. You’ve got a broad mix of ethnicities in the area.
Michelle: Don’t forget the microbreweries.
Marcus: The microbreweries. When I did some research I saw that Marrickville had some of the largest number of liquor license applications put through and approved over the last two years so that’s-
Michelle: Is that right?
Marcus: That was obviously the first thing that I looked up.
Michelle: We’re living in the right spot, then.
Marcus: Michelle, that’s really interesting and one of the things that you’ve mentioned on prior episode to today’s is about going with your clients to see other parts of Sydney and where they might have had their heart set on somewhere like Newtown, but going down the road and going to Marrickville gives you that value that you might not otherwise see. Having that extra 150 grand in savings, 200 grand in savings for a similar type place, similar type residence, what is it you’re getting with that savings? Being in Marrickville, what difference is there to Newtown?
Michelle: Well the land blocks, the land parcels tend to be slightly larger in Marrickville. If you’re as a family looking for a family home, you’ll find that for the same value that you would be spending in Newtown you just get a bigger backyard or you’d be able to park your car off the street. You might get a garage as a bonus. Definitely, a little bit more generously spread out.
In terms of the suburbs, they’re very similar in terms of culture and community. There’s very strong community in both Marrickville and Newtown and surrounding areas but I guess to be fair Marrickville is a little bit more rough around the edges still. It’s very much going through gentrification as has Newtown gone through the same process as have other suburbs prior like Balmain was very different 20 years ago.
Marcus: Absolutely, I mean I remember growing up in Balmain being very different to what it is today.
Michelle: That’s happening all throughout the Inner West. Dulwich Hill, Summer Hill they have transformed beyond recognition really and that’s all due to people recognizing its proximity to the city, its transport links, so that’s all great news for the people living there.
Marcus: Now, if you were … I had a bit of a scout around Marrickville yesterday and we drove around. We went to the markets on Sunday. One of the things that’s nice in the area is the Addison Road Markets, which are on every Sunday, unless I’m mistaken.
Michelle: Every Sunday, yes, organic markets.
Marcus: There’s a huge amount of stalls, a huge amount of people but really interesting being it’s not just a food market, you can also get plants to take home. You can get a good sausage or a lamb and gravy roll. You can also pick up records, books, anything and everything. It’s a really nice atmosphere being in that area.
One of the things I was looking at was the liveability of the area. If you’re looking at purchasing in Marrickville you may not have every gone to the area or you might have gone for a comedy show, you may have gone for music, you may have gone for an event at some point but you might not have gone on your Saturday mornings or through the week to Marrickville itself. But liveability, it seems like it has many of the things that many purchasers might be looking for.
If we’re looking at infrastructure and certainly it’s going to change based on the demographic changes and based on units and development over the coming years. If we look at how you get into the city from Marrickville so you’ve got buses, you’ve got trains, you have the Metro coming through in the years ahead. If we look very simply the bus systems, you get the M30, which takes you from Sydenham, Marrickville all the way to Taronga Zoo but goes through the city and it’s a very fast way of getting into town.
You also then through rush hour have the L23 from Kingsgrove to the city and then you’ve got a few other bus lines as well that take you into the city. Trains, you’ve got Marrickville Station, you’ve got Petersham, you’ve got Sydenham, but Marrickville Station being on the Bankstown T3 line it’s really only 14 minutes to Central.
Michelle: Yeah, it’s perfect.
Marcus: During rush hour, if you do that little bit of a walk over to Sydenham Station you’re getting up to 11 trains an hour during rush hour. Every five minutes or so, there’s another one coming through. You’ve got ample time to hit the snooze button a couple of times.
Michelle: Also, they’re upgrading the actual stations themselves.
Marcus: Yes, they are.
Michelle: To make them more friendly for everyone to use especially if you need extra help, it’s great that they’re now actually making sure that everyone can access public transports. It’s an added bonus.
Marcus: With the Metro coming online in the years ahead, I’ll put some up with the link in the show notes as well (Inner West Bus map Marrickville Metro) that the Metro’s expecting that it would be a 12-minute ride to Pitt Street or 16 minutes to Barangaroo, which is … Especially when they’re talking about up to 15 metros per hour during rush hour that is a really easy way to get into the city.
Michelle: Yeah, you don’t need your car. Really, for me I need my car because of my job but where we are, there’s such great connectivity to getting wherever you need to be either to the beaches on the weekend or to the city during the week. Definitely an added bonus for being in the Inner West for sure.
Marcus: Yep, so go on.
Michelle: I wanted to mention the one thing that is pretty evident when you are living in Marrickville are the flight paths. There are two main flight paths and they cover most of the Inner West. Now when I look with my clients that is the one thing I don’t actually give advice on because everything else I can give you my opinion on and my expertise, will give you positives and negatives but with flight paths, it’s such a subjective thing that you can either live with it or you can’t. Depending on how close you are to the international one or the prop one, the smaller planes, it’s a very different experience too.
I mean you and I both live below the flight path on a daily basis.
Marcus: When we started looking at places and my wife and I had prior lived just over the bridge in North Sydney and we moved over to Annandale, one of the concerns we’d originally had was around the, I guess the noise from the flight paths. I would say that within three days I didn’t notice it and if anything I almost enjoy it more. I’d be sad to leave it so not leaving the noise necessarily but you don’t really notice it. I don’t know what your experience is like Michelle but certainly for myself, yes, you might hear a 380 if it goes over a 747 if it’s coming in or if it’s taking off once every few minutes or once every 20 minutes or so but, largely speaking we just don’t notice it.
The reason I say it’s almost turned into a positive is because I actually love looking at the planes overhead and I downloaded the flight path over the flight radar app. If there’s an interesting plane coming through like Qantas just had its new 787 come into Sydney after arrival in Ayers Rock and you can actually plan to be there so you can see it go overhead.
To me, it’s almost turned into a positive. Now, for some people absolutely the noise might drive you nuts. My personal thoughts are spend a couple of mornings in the area, see if you notice it as much as you do from that first plane that goes overhead.
Michelle: Absolutely, I would always recommend that yes, most of my clients will have no flight noise on their brief but when it actually comes to practicality in terms of okay, does it really bother you that much or is it just the idea of it that bothers you? I always recommend they sit out at a café outside and just watch them go by and see whether you have to hold your conversation or whether it really bothers you at all because ultimately it covers a huge amount of Sydney and if you make flight paths a no-go zone it becomes quite restrictive on where you can buy and where you can look.
Marcus: I would also say in that same vein, when you’re sitting outside a café that is as bad as it’s going to be.
Michelle: That’s right.
Marcus: Because, for us we have a double-brick terrace. We don’t hear them nearly as much as you would if you were outside a café.
Michelle: No, and there’s also things like special sound insulation. I have that in my roof.
Marcus: Yeah, we do as well.
Michelle: Which makes a big difference to when you are in your bed and they do start at, what is it? Six? 6:30? You see I don’t even know because I’m not bothered by it but there’s things you can do to improve it when you are inside your home but something to be aware of absolutely.
Marcus: Again, it is subjective. Make your own mind up after being there but I wouldn’t necessarily rule out all of an entire area of Sydney simply because of the thought of planes going over which 18 months in we don’t notice at all.
Michelle: No, exactly.
What else did you dig up in your research?
Marcus: Yes, so one of the things that I know that many people that would be looking at places to move to or looking at their next purchase might be school zone. New South Wales schools, which catchment zone are you in, which catchment area are you in and if you’ve never done this exercise before, if you’re just planning a family, you have young kids but you haven’t thought about maybe high schools for example, we’ll put a link in the show notes for New South Wales Education School Finder (School Finder) , which is really the easiest way of seeing, which school you would have your kids go into, where you put your address in and it will say based on this address currently, you would be going to this high school or this high school.
For Marrickville, for example, Marrickville as we’ve said covers a huge stretch of land so Marrickville is actually covered by two or three schools but Marrickville North of Marrickville Station and west of Sydenham Station is largely covered at present, here we are in March 2018 so yes it could change as time goes on but currently covered by Marrickville High School. Then if you go south of the Marrickville Station that takes you to Tempe Selective and that goes all the way down to Cooks River.
What you should think about is if school zones are important to you and if the catchment zone is important to you, one of the things that you can do from that school finder after the school that you would be eligible for or that you would fall in that catchment zone, you can then go to separate website under myschool.edu.au, which will take you to the demographics of the student, the student size, the genders of the school students as well as the scoring over the last seven years. Seeing how that school performs against the average across the state. Really, it could be really important for you if kids aren’t on the agenda, if kids have moved out, if you’re listening to it and kids have never crossed your mind before then it certainly won’t make any difference but if this is you who’s listening to it where school catchment zones are important, absolutely, before you buy something, make sure that you’re happy with the school that you’ll fall under.
Michelle: Yeah absolutely and I would put a note to that especially in an area like Marrickville and surrounding that five years can make a huge difference in terms of a school performance. You get a different principal, you get different teachers. I’ve seen schools in Inner Sydney go from strength to strength really because also demographics are changing and people are getting more involved with their P&C and fundraising for smart boards and iPads and all kinds of technology, which will help the school to educate and help the kids reach their full potential. Do bear that in mind that if you are looking now but your child’s only six months old that by the time they get to school that school might be completely transformed. I’ve been really surprised and amazed to see how well schools have been doing of late so definitely keep that in mind.
Marcus: Yeah, of course so if your child is six months old and you’re looking at high schools then you should be aware that might not reflect or the current state might not reflect what it will be in 10-12 years’ time.
Michelle: Absolutely, yeah.
Marcus: Other really simple things that I know a lot of people are interested in when they look at properties are simple things like the staples of daily life. Is there a Woolworths? Is there a Coles? Are there grocery stores in the vicinity? Marrickville does have both through Marrickville Metro. In terms of cafes and restaurants, we’ve spoken earlier about the large number of either vegan or vegetarian restaurants. It’s got that Vietnamese pork roll place that’s just on Illawarra Road.
Michelle: I’ve queued many times.
Marcus: I don’t think you can go past that place and not see a queue around the corner.
Michelle: That’s right.
Marcus: We mentioned Addison Road Sunday Markets, if you’re looking for something even fresher than going to your local Coles or Woolies. Then even things like cafes so where you go for your Sunday morning fix, your Saturday morning breakfast might be places like Wicks Park Café, the Post Café, Cornersmith is just there as well. There really is a strong mix of establishments from cafes to restaurants to small bars trendy places to Coles to Woolworths. It really does have a bit of everything within the suburb.
Michelle: It’s got a really great sense of community. The We Love Marrickville page on Facebook is excellent. I love it. I always see what they’ve got to say and any news updates or anything like that. People are really happy to help each other out which is what I love about Marrickville and that area.
If you are in the market for a new property and looking for different areas to have a look at I would highly recommend you go and explore Marrickville on a Saturday or Sunday and walk around and just get to know the area.
Marcus: One final point that I’ll be hit over the head with if I don’t mention is because we’ve just recently taken on a dog in our house, Marrickville, is so dog friendly. You’ve got loads of different areas that you can walk your dog off leash, on leash and we’ll provide a link in the show notes with various parks but you’ve got Marrickville Park, you’ve got McNeilly Park, and Wicks Park as well. https://www.innerwest.nsw.gov.au/community/for-residents/pets-and-companion-animals/dogs/dog-exercise-areas
Michelle: Enmore Park on the edge.
Marcus: Enmore Park as well so it really is a dog friendly neighbourhood as well.
Michelle: The pubs. The pubs love the dogs too so you can take your little pooch along with you when you go and have a nice drink with your friends on a Sunday afternoon too, which is lovely.
Marcus: Yeah, again this is the first of our Suburb Spotlight Series so Marrickville certainly one to look out for and if you’ve never gone really have a Saturday morning, have a Sunday morning get to know the area. Get to see both the good and the bad and get to see how you feel about the flight path or being under the flight path. Get a feel for the community and whether it’s the right community for you.
Michelle: Yep, that’s it. That’s it from us. I hope you’ve enjoyed our spotlight on Marrickville. We hope you will join us again next week.
Marcus: Excellent. Have a great week everyone and we’ll see you same time, same place. If you do have any questions please send them to [email protected] that’s [email protected] and have a great week.