What are the Types of Apartments/Houses You can Find in Inner Sydney? - Spacer Blog

What are the Types of Apartments/Houses You can Find in Inner Sydney?

As one of the most populated cities in Australia, there are people constantly moving in, around, and out of this metropolis. Whether you’re thinking of moving to Sydney for the first time, or you’re toying with the idea of relocating to another suburb, this thought has probably crossed your mind: where in the world am I going to start looking?


In this article, we’re going to give you the details of all the inner Sydney suburbs so that you don’t have to feel overwhelmed. By the end, you’ll have a pretty good idea of what Sydney has to offer.

First, what are you looking for?

Most likely, you have an idea of what you want and need from your new destination. If you work in the CBD, you might need proximity to work. If you have a large family, maybe it’s more important that you find a neighborhood where more sizable houses are available, rather than apartments. And the obvious truth is that we all need to be thinking about how much we can afford.


Yet, even when we know what we want and need from our home, actually finding the right properties for sale in Sydney is really tricky. Part of it has to do with the sheer size of Sydney. According to the 2016 census, there are 53,316 private dwellings in inner Sydney, alone. With the recent apartment boom that has swept the city, there are now many more apartments available than any time before.


There’s a lot to sift through, in other words. Even a simple search into the available rental or sale options can be overwhelming if you don’t know quite where to start.


So, how is this guide going to help narrow your search? Well, first, we’re going to give a brief description of all of the suburbs in Sydney, focusing on average income and general housing style. Then, we’re going to group the suburbs into the sections that will be most helpful for your search – suburbs that are great for families, suburbs for the young single professional, etc. Finally, we’re going to talk about how to make the most of your new space.

A note on the data

All median housing costs come from realestate.com.au, using data for renting a 2 bedroom apartment, or buying a 2 bedroom house. All population data comes from the 2016 Census, and all housing availability information comes from domain.com. Homely is a great resource which will allow you to read reviews from current and past residents for all of the suburbs in Sydney.

Alright, let’s get down to it: the suburbs of Sydney

The suburbs on this list are all part of Sydney’s inner city. This is an area that has a lot to offer: proximity to the CBD, access to some of the city’s best museums and attractions, and even quick driving times to Sydney’s best beaches.


As you go through this list, you’ll see that there are suburbs that are best suited for those who want the lively city lifestyles, and there are others that are perfect for families looking for some peace and quiet.


Of course, we want this guide to be as helpful as possible, but remember: you won’t get a real feel for a neighborhood until you visit it! Once you’ve read about the facts and figures, make sure that you take the time to explore these wonderful suburbs to make your final decision.

Let’s start exploring!


Quick Facts:

  • Population of 11,532

  • 2,392 families

  • Average weekly income of $986 or $51,272 per year

  • Median weekly rent is $750

  • Median cost of buying a house is $1,295,000

  • Annual growth of 5.5%

This is a popular suburb with young professionals, often unmarried. It’s long been known as an eclectic cultural hub with a bohemian feel, popular with intellectuals, activists, and people just looking for some amazing ethnic food.


If you’re looking to relocate to Glebe, you’ll likely end up in a rented apartment or, less likely, a house. Most of the options available are apartments on the smaller side – one to two bedrooms. That said, there are a few houses of 3 and 4 bedrooms available at any time. About half of the apartments for rent do not offer onsite parking, and the vast majority are considered established properties instead of new constructions.


As far as options for buying, there are a few very nice houses, townhouses, terraces and apartments opening up frequently in Glebe.


Let’s consider a few other things about living in Glebe. On the one hand, people don’t live in Glebe because they want wide open spaces. The architects in the area have done a fantastic job of creating the feeling of space with what they have – and many houses and apartments feel airy and spacious – but don’t expect a huge yard and lots of closet space.


Parking may also be something of an issue if you’re looking for an apartment. Many don’t offer parking, at all. Parkhound is, of course, a great option, and monthly parking prices range from $160 and $460.


This is a very busy and bustling part of Sydney. Be prepared to be right in the middle of the action – and the noise. It’s an amazing place to live, if you’re prepared for the constant stream of traffic and crowds.


Whether you’re looking to rent or buy a house or unit, you can find some really gorgeous homes in Glebe. Because you’ll be on a peninsula, there’s a good chance you’ll be able to land something with incredible views.


Quick Facts:

  • Population of 11,320

  • 2,156 families

  • Average weekly income of $1230 or $63,960 per year

  • Median weekly rent is $750

  • Median cost of buying a house is $1,450,000

  • Annual growth of 7.6%

The main selling point of Darlinghurst is its central location. It is so close to everything, you’ll never feel like you’re missing out. So perhaps it’s not surprising that in terms of who is most likely to live in Darlinghurst, you get a population of mostly young singles interested in making the most of the city lifestyle.


The housing market in Darlinghurst consists almost exclusively of apartments. If you’re looking to rent, the most widely-available options are studios, and one or two bedroom units. Three bedrooms or higher are very rare. If you want to live in this neighborhood, in other words, you’ll have to be ready to give up some space. But what you’ll get in exchange is access to great restaurants, museums, parks, and nightlife.


Parking can be a bit of a struggle in this neighborhood, and finding an apartment that will include a parking space is actually kind of rare. Instead, you’re likely going to have to find parking on your own. Parkhound offers monthly rates of between $400 and $600.

Elizabeth Bay

Quick Facts:

  • Population of 5,215

  • 1,044 families

  • Average weekly income of $1334, or $69,368 per year

  • Median weekly rent is $493 (according to the 2016 census)

  • Median monthly mortgage repayments is $2,324 (according to the 2016 census)

  • Data on annual growth not available

Elizabeth Bay is located right on the harbor, which makes it a rather expensive, and gorgeous, place to live. For a long time, this area was most popular with young singles, but in recent years, it has seen more and more families moving in. It’s close enough to the city centre that you can get around easily without it being so loud and crowded as some of the other inner suburbs.


This is another suburb dominated by apartment-living. There are always apartments for rent or for sale, and many of them have incredible views, not to mention great access to the harbour. There are some pretty spacious apartments in this area, although they’ll be on the higher price end.


Because of the amount of apartment buildings in the area, parking is competitive. Luckily, there are plenty of parking spaces available on Parkhound, which range from around $250 to $400.


Quick Facts:

  • Population of 12,813

  • 3,102 families

  • Average weekly income of $1258, or $65,416

  • Median weekly rent is $800

  • Median cost of buying a 2 bedroom unit is $1,135,000

  • Annual growth of 7.9%

Pyrmont is a trendy neighborhood that takes up a peninsula on the harbour. It’s close to the city, and people who live there say it has a smaller village feel. There are plenty of cafes and pubs, and it doesn’t have the vibrant nightlight of some of the other suburbs, which is great for people who want a quieter lifestyle.


At the moment, there’s quite a lot of construction going on in Pyrmont, which means that the landscape will be changing in the near future. There will be more retail shopping, hotel accommodations and high-end apartments and terraces. So, if you can deal with the inconvenience of the construction now, the chances of the property value rising in the future is very high.


In terms of the types of houses available, the market is mostly full of apartments for rent. The most common rental listing is for one bedroom apartments, although you may be able to find a few listings for 2 and 3 bedrooms. There are also apartments to buy. Within the next few years, the number of available apartments for sale will likely rise.


Because of the popularity of the area, and the ongoing construction, parking is a frequent complaint of residents living in Pyrmont. A quick look at Pyrmont, though, will show that it’s very easy to find a parking space here. The prices range from $250 to $650 for the month.


Quick Facts:

  • Population of 10,453

  • 2,637 families

  • Average weekly income of $1280, or $66,560

  • Median weekly rent is $730

  • Median cost of buying a house is $1,282,500

  • Annual growth of 6.4%

Balmain is an upscale suburb located just a 10 minute drive away from the CBD. It’s most popular with families, professionals, young single, and even retirees. And it makes sense. There’s so much to see and do in this historic suburb, that everyone wants to live in the middle of it all. Plus, it’s just gorgeous. The narrow streets and heritage-listed Victorian buildings add to this neighborhood’s charm.


Living here is, understandably, pretty expensive. In fact, it’s the part of the city most popular with celebrities and the families of successful business people. There’s a mix of houses and apartments for rent and sale. And, unlike some of the neighborhoods we’ve discussed thus far, the options on the market here tend to be larger – 2 and 3 bedrooms are more common than in many of the other inner suburbs. Of course, the price tags are much higher – a 3 bedroom house of 144 square meters can cost around $1,600,000.


Homes here tend to have parking garages for one car, so families with multiple cars must rely on street parking. Because Balmain is home to many families, the street parking on residential streets is regulated to ensure that there is enough parking for residents of the suburb.


  • Population of 84,026

  • 16,382 families

  • Average weekly income is $1062, or $55,224 per year

  • Median weekly rent is $650

  • Median cost of buying a house is $1,150,000

  • Annual growth of 2.1%

Newtown is another one of the hip, trendy suburbs located less than a 15 minute drive away from the CBD. It’s full of great bars and restaurants, and the street art is a major draw. It’s a popular suburb for young people, mainly students and artists. There’s also a large LGBT+ community.


As far as a suburb for families, though, this may not be the place to be. Many of the residents house together to tackle the somewhat high rental costs that you would expect in a suburb so close to the city centre.


The majority of units for sale are one or two bedroom apartments, although there are quite a few two and three bedroom houses as well. Because this is a place mostly filled with young people, there are more rental options available than homes for sale. The easiest housing option to find here is a one bedroom apartment, and there are constantly new apartments opening up.


Having parking included in a rented apartment is hit or miss, and regardless of the size of the apartment, you’re not likely to have access to more than one parking space per unit. Many residents rely on Parkhound, which offers monthly rates of $170 to $270.


Quick Facts:

  • Population of 4,011

  • 776 families

  • Average income of $1097, or $57,044 per year

  • Median weekly rent of $830

  • Median cost of buying a house is $1,375,000

  • Annual growth of 11.4%

Young professionals are flocking to Woolloomooloo because of its proximity to the CBD and the draw of the Finger Wharf. Woolloomooloo sits right on the edge of the Royal Botanic Gardens, which gives residents a chance to get some fresh air and enjoy the harbour.  


This is a suburb full of low-rise apartment buildings, so you won’t find much by way of houses for sale. Most of the apartments available for sale are two bedrooms, but it’s much more common to find rentals. 1 and 2 bedrooms are most commonly put up for rent, as the young professionals decide to upsize and start families.


Parking is a bit nightmarish in this suburb, but the good news is that there is such great access to the city that most residents don’t need cars. The CBD is just a 15 minute walk away, and there are plenty of buses and taxis for residents who want a ride. If you do have a car, Parkhound monthly rates in this suburb range between $200 and $400.

Potts Point

  • Population of 9,423

  • 1,305 families

  • Average weekly income of $1219, or $63,388 per year

  • Median weekly rent is $850

  • Median cost of buying a house is $1,725,000

  • Annual growth 6%

Just to the north or Woolloomooloo is Potts Point, which is a bit more lively and vibrant. There is a bustling nightlife here and there are plenty of events happening on the weekend. Housing competition in this suburb is pretty fierce. But if you can land a place in this neighborhood, you’ll be right in the middle of all the action. The majority of the people living here are young first-time homeowners. Many of the buildings are established, and the streets are lined with mature trees, which gives the neighborhood a homey feel.


There are plenty of apartments for sale in Potts Point, and many are one and two bedroom units. But don’t let the lower number of rooms scare you. These apartments tend to be spacious. It’s one of the reasons this suburb is so popular with young singles and families.

Surry Hills

Quick Facts:

  • Population of 16,412

  • 3,173 families

  • Average weekly income of $1135, or $59,020 per year

  • Median weekly rent is $800

  • Median cost of buying a house is $1,305,000

  • Annual growth of 7.7%

Surry Hills is known for feeling like a village settled on the edge of a major city instead of part of the city, itself. You’ll notice that there’s an atmosphere of community here that you just don’t get in other parts of the city. There are plenty of coffee shops, restaurants, bars, art galleries, and trendy shops.


The average age of residents in Surry Hills is early- to mid-thirties, and the majority of housing is apartments for rent or sale. One and two bedroom apartments are the most common, and the apartment sizes tend to be fairly large – enough room for young singles looking to share an apartment or young families.


Parking, as is the trend, is not easy to find. Most apartment complexes will only offer one spot, if they offer parking at all. Many residents rely on Parkhound, which will cost between $300 and $500 for the month.


Quick Facts:

  • Population of 9,451

  • 2,244 families

  • Average weekly income of $1186, or $61,672 per year

  • Median weekly rent is $650

  • Median cost of buying a house is $1,340,000

  • Annual growth of 7.2%

Annandale is sandwiched between Glebe and Leichhardt and enjoys a short, but quaint little strip of the harbour. It is a very high-rated place to live according to housing websites. Fans of the area love the historical houses and outdoor green spaces where families can spend their free time. This neighborhood has a really small-community feel, and it’s popular with everyone from families, to young students, to professionals working in the CBD.


This is one of the few neighborhoods where the for sale market is actually more lively than the rental market. There also tend to be more houses on the market than apartments. If you’re looking to buy and raise a family, this is a great place to be. 2, 3, 4, and even 5 bedroom houses are often sold in Annandale.


In terms of space, some residents say it’s difficult to find a house with ample yard space. That said, there are so many nearby parks, that families can easily get some fresh air. Because the majority of living options here include houses, street parking is less of an issue than in apartment-filled suburbs. Most of the listings on Parkhound are located in Forest Lodge, with monthly rates of around $200.


Quick Facts:

  • Population of 56,066

  • 14,164 families

  • Average weekly income of $1095, or $56,940 per year

  • Median weekly rent is $640

  • Median cost of buying a house is $1,190,000

  • Annual growth of 6.5%

Like Annandale, Leichhardt is a well-loved neighborhood, with a rating of 8.8 out of 10 on Homely. It’s a suburb popular with families and singles, alike, because there’s a little something for everyone in Leichhardt. It’s close enough to the city that the commute is a breeze and far enough away that the housing options offer up a little bit more space.


Right now, there’s plenty for sale in Leichhardt. While there are more apartments up for sale – mostly 1 and 2 bedrooms – there are quite a few houses as well – mostly 3 bedrooms but also some 2 or 4 bedrooms.


There are also quite a few places for rent in Leichhardt. You’ll find it’s easiest to find an apartment of 2 bedrooms, but there are also a lot of 3 bedroom houses for rent, too. Because of the mix of houses and apartments, parking in Leichhardt is similar to that of Annandale. You won’t be tearing your hair out trying to find a good spot, in other words. That said, if you have multiple cars and are going to be living in an apartment that doesn’t offer parking, you can find some pretty reasonable prices on Parkhound – somewhere around $200 to $300 for the month.


Quick Facts:

  • Population of 13,213

  • 2,560 families

  • Average weekly income of $992, or $51,584 per year

  • Median weekly rent is $730

  • Median cost of buying a house is $1,195,000

  • Annual growth of 7.0%

Redfern has changed a lot in recent years, which has been great for anyone interested in investing in property or just looking to move to a new neighborhood. There’s still a feel of the former lifestyle but a lot of new amenities and events. New apartments have been built over the last decade, but there is still a good amount of the original heritage buildings as well.


Redfern is close to the city, the traffic isn’t as congested as some of the other suburbs, and many of the residents report feeling safe. The housing market is fairly diverse. If you want to buy, there are options for houses or apartments with a variety of styles. It’s also a great place to rent. You can most easily find 1 and 2 bedroom apartments for rent all over the suburb. This suburb has quite a few listings on Parkhound, which range from $200 to $400.


Quick Facts:

  • Population of 12,911

  • 2,946 families

  • Average weekly income of $1307, or $67,964 per year

  • Median weekly rent is $740

  • Median cost of buying a house is $1,600,000

  • Annual growth of 8.6%

This inner city suburb is actually quite large compared to some of the other neighborhoods on this list. It reaches all the way from Darlinghurst to Woollahra and is home to almost 13,000 residents. And it’s a beautiful area. Victorian buildings line the streets. There’s plenty of upscale gallery shopping and the influence of contemporary art is apparent all over the place. And, it’s less than 20 minutes from the beach. All around, a great place to live.


Unlike the other suburbs on this list, the houses here tend to be on the larger side. There are more 4 bedrooms houses on the market than smaller houses or even apartments. Of course, 4 bedroom houses in this suburb come with a high price – the median cost of buying a house this size in Paddington is $3,000,000.


If you’re looking for a rental, there’s a good mix of apartments and houses for you to choose from. When it comes to apartments, you can mostly find 1 and 2 bedrooms. If you want to rent a house, there are plenty of 2 and 3 bedroom houses for rent in the area.


Quick Facts:

  • Population of 8,845

  • 1,171 families

  • Average weekly income of $845, or $43, 940 per year

  • Median weekly rent is $750

  • Median cost of buying a house is $1,590,000

  • Data on annual growth not available

Ultimo is an exciting neighborhood. It houses many historical landmarks as well as the University of Technology Sydney, so this area is full of young students.


When it comes to properties for sale in Ultimo, the majority is made up of 1 or 2 bedroom apartments. There are very few houses or larger apartments for sale. The same goes for renting – you’ll be able to find plenty of smaller apartments, but not likely anything that could support a larger family.


Street parking is in high demand in Ultimo, although many residents rely on public transportation. Parkhound offers monthly rates of $200 or $300.


Quick Facts:

  • Population of 8,725

  • 2,341 families

  • Average weekly income of $1324, or $69,848 per year

  • Median weekly rent is $790

  • Median cost of buying a house is $1,225,000

  • Annual growth of 8.6%

There are lots of houses in Rozelle, which is what has made it such a family-friendly suburb. There are more 3 bedroom houses for sale at any time than there are 2 or 3 bedroom apartments, which is definitely unique in the inner suburbs.


If you’re looking to rent, there are also plenty of houses available. You can find mostly 3 bedroom houses, although there are smaller and larger options, as well. There are far fewer apartments, but the majority of the ones available are 2 bedrooms.


Because this neighborhood is full of family homes with garages, parking is not quite as cutthroat as in other areas of the city. That said, if you need a space for your car, Parkhound rates go for around $250.

Which suburbs are the most popular right now?

Now that you have a good idea of each suburb in terms of property styles and average incomes, you might be asking yourself which ones are picking up the most traffic when it comes to property sales. This is important information, because if you’re in the market to buy, a suburb with rising popularity is going to increase in property value in the coming years.


If you are on the fence about a couple of different suburbs and one suburb has become more popular for buyers, for instance, you might lean towards the more popular option. This kind of investment in the future can be really helpful if you ever decide to move.


So, which ones were the most popular? Domain.com found that the suburbs most popular for buyers included Paddington, Balmain, and Surry Hills. For renters, the list included Surry Hills, Paddington, Newtown, Darlinghurst, Glebe, and Redfern.


And, what does that mean for you? Well, if you had Paddington or Surry Hills on your list of potential options, you’re in a good position. You can purchase a property that is likely to increase in value in the coming years. Also, if you ever thought about renting out your property or even a room in your home, renters will be looking for rental options in your suburb. That’s an ideal situation.


Now, let’s break this master list of suburbs down into a few other helpful categories:

The best suburbs for families

Families have quite a few suburbs to choose from when looking for a great place to live in Sydney. A few of the highlights from this list include Elizabeth Bay, Balmain, Potts Point, Surry Hills, Annandale, Leichhardt, Paddington, and Rozelle. These are the suburbs that offer the largest apartments for sale and rent, and many offer great outdoor parks.


You’ll notice that these suburbs have the feel of a small community, even though they are located so close to CBD. Because these suburbs are so close to everything in Sydney, there is something to offer everyone in the family.

The best suburbs for young singles

If you’re looking for suburbs that are lively, hip, and close to the best party spots, take a look at Potts Point, Newtown, Darlinghurst, Surry Hills, Pyrmont, Woolloomooloo, Ultimo. These suburbs all feature smaller apartment living – perfect for the young single who wants to be close to the action without breaking the bank.

The best suburbs for professionals

What a professional might look for in a suburb is proximity to the CBD and also great things to enjoy on the weekends. Glebe, Darlinghurst, Elizabeth Bay, Redfern, Paddington, and Ultimo all offer the perfect blend of convenience and high quality of living. These suburbs are also great areas in which to invest. As a young professional, these are a great place to start out and expand later on.

How to furnish those smaller homes and apartments

Now, once you’ve found the perfect suburb and apartment or house, you might be thinking about how you might make the most of your new space. Well if you find yourself in a studio, 1 or 2 bedroom apartment, or a 1 or 2 bedroom house, there are a few tricks that you can utilise to maximize your small space.

Here are a couple easy ones:

  • Downsize. Alright, this isn’t really a trick, but more like common sense. When you have fewer items, you’ll have more space and less of a headache trying to fit everything neatly into your new apartment. If you absolutely can’t part with your things, or you need to move quickly and don’t have the time to go though your items systematically, there are plenty of storage options that can make your life a little easier.

  • Take it one step further and commit to minimalism. Minimalism is the idea that simple is beautiful, and while the theory can be put to use in any space, it’s especially useful for small spaces. By being mindful about the items that you keep in your space, you can have a room that is more meaningful to you, and, because there are less items, your space will look larger.

  • Make sure you rely on white or a very light color scheme. No matter what the state of the paint is in your new place, if it’s a small area, you can make it look bigger by painting the walls white. This is going to draw the eye to the items in the room instead of on the dimensions of the room itself.

  • Bring in the sunlight. As much as you can, keep the windows clear. Heavy drapes are going to give the space a closed-in look. Windows are a great way to make a room look bigger and more spacious, so make sure that you highlight instead of obstructing them.

  • Think vertically. There are plenty of ways to make your space look vertical instead of horizontal, and that’s going to maximize your space. A couple of ideas may be hanging plants instead of placing them on surfaces, investing in shelving, and mounting your television instead placing it on a television stand.

  • Showcase a few key furniture pieces instead of a lot of little ones. Although it may seem more logical to utilize smaller tables and chairs in a small space, those pieces can actually make a room look smaller. Instead, it’s better to place a few normal-sized furniture pieces strategically so that they are the stars of the room.

  • Find multi-purpose furniture. Because you’re going to have fewer pieces of furniture in the room, it’s a good idea to make sure those pieces can perform more than one function. A few ideas of this might be a foot rest that doubles as a storage box, or an expandable table that can move from the corner of your kitchen for everyday use to the center of your living room for when you’re hosting guests.

  • Finally, try your best to be tidy. A small space can get messy very quickly, and all that clutter can make a room look tiny. As much as you can, keep things organized.

How to upsize if you were formerly in a smaller space

If you’re going in the other direction – upsizing instead of downsizing – there are a few design tips that you should keep in mind, as well. It can be a bit overwhelming to move into a place that you suddenly have to furnish and add more to. But think of it instead as a fun new challenge. Here are some suggestions to get you started:

  • Just like when you’re moving into a smaller space, consider downsizing. Surprising, right? Well, when you move into your new place, it can be liberating to bring only the things that are truly meaningful to you. Remember, minimalism is a great look for both small and large spaces, and downsizing is a great first step.

  • Take your time and search for great items. You don’t have to run to the nearest furniture boutique place to furnish your new home right away. Instead, browse some second hand stores and see if you can find good quality, even antique pieces. They will add character to your home for a cheaper price.

  • Consider bringing in a professional. An interior designer can help you to explore themes and color schemes so that you can have the home of your dreams. This person will help you to place furniture to make your room look larger or cozier, based on your personal preferences.

Are you ready to find the right Sydney suburb for your next move?

In this article, we talked about some of the most exciting inner city suburbs that Sydney has to offer. Whether you’re looking for an apartment or a house, buy or rent, there’s something waiting for you in one of these great neighborhoods!

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