Redfern is slowly shaking off its image as one of Sydney's less desirable suburbs, as significant urban regeneration continues to transform the area.
The ongoing gentrification of this strategically placed suburb with a reputation problem is likely to produce good long-term returns – especially as it offers easy access to Sydney’s CBD, the inner west and the eastern suburbs.
While the suburb is just one stop from Central Station, the CBD is also within easy walking distance – as are Darlington and, to a lesser extent, Newtown. To the immediate east lie Surry Hills, Moore Park and Centennial Park.
Redfern is popular with an eclectic mix of young professionals, students and alternative types. It's an affluent crowd, however, with an estimated average weekly income of $2.061 – more than $650pw higher than the NSW average. Population growth is also high, with SQM Research projecting 2% growth per year for the next few years.
In line with its eclectic reputation, there are a wide range of amenities in Redfern, particularly trendy bars, cafes, independent stores and boutiques. A weekend farmers market takes place at the Old Eveleigh Train Yards. The suburb is also within easy reach of the Surry Hills Shopping Centre for more conventional fare.
Also boosting Redfern is the amount of urban redevelopment money being ploughed into the suburb. Substantial urban improvement works and redevelopment is ongoing in a bid to improve its chequered reputation – particularly in the area around Redfern Station – by creating “social, affordable and private housing throughout the area as well as new facilities, parks, community and recreational spaces”.
This ongoing work should see the impressive growth of the suburb continue. Nevertheless, the east of the suburb tends to be more gentrified than the west, so risk-averse investors may wish to stay on this side of the tracks. New developments in central streets George Street, Wells Street and Pitt Street may also offer good opportunities for investors looking for low-maintenance properties with maximum depreciation.
All in all, Redfern’s a solid contender for the investor seeking an affordable unit in a city centre location.