A collection of suburbs known as 'The Hills' have been given the spotlight after a 30 year transformation that saw the area go from a rural setting to a contributing part of suburban Sydney.
Defined by the suburbs of Baulkham Hills, Beaumont Hills, Bella Vista, Castle Hill, Glenwood, Kellyville, Kellyville Ridge, Kings Langley, Parklea, Rouse Hill, Stanhope Gardens and The Ponds, The Hills have been characterised by new residential development, access to amenities and plenty of green space.
According to Savills Spotlight Research Report, Residential Property in The Hills, the area is set to benefit from improved transport links and parts of the area overlap with priority growth area of North West Sydney, one of the locations the government have identified to provide new homes and jobs for Sydney’s growing population.
Savills Head of Residential Research Sophie Chick said across the area, just 17 per cent of the dwellings are medium or high density compared to 40 per cent across Greater Sydney.
"This varies by suburb, in Baulkham Hills and Castle Hill, neighbouring the Norwest Business Park, a quarter of the residential stock is units compared to Beaumont Hills and The Ponds where there are next to none.
“However, the forecast improvement in transport infrastructure, particularly the Sydney Metro Northwest, has led to an increasing number of apartment and townhouse developments, particularly around existing and forecast railway stations.
“Across the area just 38 per cent of the development approvals from the start of financial year 2015 to December 2016 were for houses while the rest are ‘other’, which are primarily apartments or semi-detached dwellings,” she said.
The Hills is also home to a number of growing employment hubs including the Norwest Business Park, Castle Hill Town Centre and Rouse Hill Town Centre. Norwest Business Park has already grown to accommodate over 20,000 employees with expansion expected to increase to over 35,000 employees.
Ms Chick said house prices across The Hills have experienced strong growth over the past 10 years, increasing by 119 per cent, outperforming the average growth seen across Sydney as a whole.
“More recently, the double-digit growth has continued with values rising 11 per cent over the year to April 2017," she said.
“The median value across The Hills in April 2017 was $1.21 million, slightly higher than the Sydney average of $1.15 million but offering a substantial discount when compared to central Sydney, the inner west and the north western suburbs."
From 2011 to 2016, estimates show the population across The Hills local government area has increased 12 per cent. This has significantly added to the demand for real estate in the area, equating to 3,520 new residents per year.
Savills' report said The Hills was a family dominated location, driving demand for high quality, large houses in the area. Across the suburbs, nearly two thirds of the residents were families with children compared to an average of 45 per cent across Sydney.
“Over the next 20 years, the Hills local government area population is forecast to increase by 76 per cent to 291,000 people compared to a 37 per cent increase across Greater Sydney," Ms Chick said.
"This equates to an additional 6,300 people per year and is likely to contribute to the already high demand for residential property in the area.
“The population growth is being driven by a combination of residential development activity, infrastructure improvements and new employment opportunities.
"These factors are anticipated to improve the quality of life for existing residents and make the area accessible to a wider demographic of people,” she said.