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The Neighbourhoods Within Sydney’s CBD

With a neighbourhood to suit everyone, Sydney’s CBD has more to offer its residents than ever.

The evolution of Sydney city living

Sydney city is a great place to live now, but it wasn’t always the case, and the transformation of the CBD into a residential destination didn’t happen overnight.

The first landmark residential building in the CBD was The Astor on Macquarie Street. Built in 1923, it was the tallest building in Sydney and Australia’s first high-rise apartment building.

When strata title laws were introduced in 1961, it prompted a surge in apartment construction, including the Park Regis on Park Street, completed in 1968. At 50-storeys high, it was the tallest residential block in the southern hemisphere but living in the heart of the city was still largely considered the domain of the rich and famous. Buildings like The Connaught followed in 1984 and became home to the likes of Michael Hutchence, Kylie Minogue, Jana Wendt and Barry Crocker.

Over time, non-famous folk cottoned on to the benefits of CBD living, and more residential apartment buildings were constructed, including Century Tower on Pitt Street, which held the title of Australia’s tallest residential building upon its completion in 1997. The 2000s saw the addition of such iconic residential buildings as the Bennelong Apartments at east Circular Quay (known colloquially as The Toaster), the Harry Seidler-designed Meriton Tower, North Apartments and Cove Apartments, and Lumiere Residences on Regent Street, designed by Norman Foster. One of Sydney CBD’s most recent, distinctive (and sought-after) residential buildings is One Barangaroo, also known as Crown Sydney, the city’s tallest building since it was completed in 2020.

Today, the days of the CBD as a purely commercial district are long gone, and it offers residents a great quality of life. Together with high-quality apartments, you’ll find supermarkets, medical centres, childcare and green spaces alongside the offices, restaurants, bars, cafes and retail shops, making it a first-class place to live for people from all walks of life.

Darling Harbour, Wharfside and Barangaroo

Gathered around the sparkling harbour waters you’ll find Darling Harbour, Cockle Bay, King Street Wharf and Barangaroo. These neighbourhoods enjoy proximity to the priceless Sydney Harbour waterfront, the fun of Tumbalong Park and the six hectares of open green space of Barangaroo Reserve, so it’s no surprise to find they are popular with Sydney CBD’s families.

Well-respected Fort Street Public School, within walking distance of the wharfside area and Barangaroo, is set to be transformed by a major upgrade due for completion at the end of this year. Families with younger children will find plenty of quality childcare locally, too, such as the Montessori Academy at Barangaroo.

When it comes to property, the real estate in this area is amongst the nation’s most valuable. Three of Australia’s top four sales in 2021 were Barangaroo apartments, while the suburb had the highest total value of unit sales in the country. Barangaroo also has the second-highest median unit value in Australia, with a median of $2,751,002, according to CoreLogic’s Best of the Best 2021 report. Unit rents rose by 15.1% in Barangaroo in 2021, putting it at number eight in the top ten Sydney suburbs with the highest annual change in rents – great news for investors.


You’ll find most of Sydney city’s residential real estate north of Liverpool Street in the mid part of the city, including buildings on Castlereagh Street, Pitt Street, George Street, Kent Street, Sussex Street and Bathurst Street. You’re right in the heart of town here, with plenty of pedestrians and a ‘city that never sleeps’ vibe. Pitt Street between Liverpool Street and Bathurst Street is home to Koreatown, complete with Korean restaurants, grocery stores, karaoke bars and hair and beauty salons.

Midcity, popular with professionals and hospitality workers alike, is home to some of the best real estate in the city. The Greenland Centre at 115 Bathurst Street, completed in 2021, is Sydney’s tallest residential building. Conceived by renowned architects BVN and Woods Bagot, the craftsmanship and interior design is of the highest quality.


South of Goulburn Street, you’ll find Haymarket. The area has undergone a revitalisation in recent years thanks to the Darling Square development, which includes more than 40 restaurants, speciality retailers, a childcare facility, a medical centre, a village green and an innovative new library known by locals as the Bird’s Nest thanks to its ribbon-like timber cladding. Haymarket is also home to Chinatown, the famous hub of Chinese eateries, specialist stores, grocers, vibrant markets and karaoke bars.

As well as professionals, Haymarket also attracts students thanks to its proximity to UTS and TAFE. The Darling Square development features several stunning residential buildings, including the 41-storey Darling North, designed by Tzannes Associates and completed in 2019, which takes in sweeping views across the city and beyond and features an outdoor pool and communal gardens.

No matter your lifestyle, there’s a Sydney city neighbourhood to suit you. If you’re thinking of buying, selling, investing or renting in the Sydney CBD, get in touch with our friendly team today.

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