Despite their proximity, the Upper North Shore suburbs of Turramurra, North Turramurra, South Turramurra and Warrawee have relatively disparate types of residential stock.
In South Turramurra, away from the railway and main roads, there has been very little housing development in the past few years and separate houses still make up 99% of the dwellings.
In Turramurra, medium and high density dwellings make up around 10% of the stock each with the development concentrated around the train station.
Warrawee and North Turramurra have the lowest proportion of separate houses, accounting for 70% of dwellings. Although the majority of the remaining stock in North Turramurra is medium density townhouses and retirement apartments compared to the higher density apartment blocks in Warrawee.
According to Savills latest Spotlight research report, Turramurra is forecast to see significant change over the next few years, with the development of the Turramurra Community Hub Masterplan.
Construction is expected to begin in 2020 and the plan aims to transform the area into a vibrant and dynamic location while maintaining the village atmosphere. Plans include new shopping, dining, learning and parking facilities as well as open spaces and new residential development.
Savills National Head of residential research Sophie Chick said house prices across all four suburbs have increased significantly over the past decade with prices rising by 115% across the area on average.
The strong growth continued over the past year with values rising 18% over the year to April 2017, while other areas in Sydney have seen price growth slow. This has predominately been driven by a lack of houses on the market.
“Growth in apartment values has been slightly lower than houses with an increase of 78% over the past decade," Chick said.
"However, similarly to house price growth, price rises over the past year have outperformed the Sydney average with an increase of 13%,” she said.
Warrawee was the most expensive suburb in the area with a median house price of $2.6 million in April 2017, nearly two and a half times the average across Sydney. Turramurra was the next most expensive, closely followed by North Turramurra with median house prices of $2.0 million and $1.9 million respectively. South Turramurra was the cheapest suburb in the area with a median house price of $1.6 million; 50% more than the Sydney average.
Demand from downsizers in the area has dictated larger apartment sizes compared with Turramurra and Warrawee, and the increase in size has most likely driven the spike in prices.
Downsizers, in particular, play a key role in the housing market in Turramurra and Warrawee as the majority of these buyers have paid off their mortgage on larger family homes, giving them significant buying power on their next, smaller property.
The factors that attract buyers to Turramurra and Warrawee, including the quiet leafy community, good schools and high quality housing stock, are expected to continue to attract people, particularly growing families, to the area regardless of market conditions.
The revitalisation of Turramurra and the ongoing development of apartments and townhouses along the Pacific Highway will provide a wider range of housing options, which is likely to attract a broader demographic of buyers including first home buyers, downsizers and investors.