The inevitable change of an historical inner-city urban centre
A suburb rich in culture and notable in Sydney’s complex history now comes with a premium property price to match. Named after surgeon William Redfern and characterised by Aboriginal culture and migrant influence, the suburb has grown and now finds itself changing again. We take a look at Redfern’s gentrification in to a popular and hip urban centre, full with cute cafes and designer property
1. 1950s Redfern train station with Redfern’s notorious Mail Exchange dubbed Redfern Mangler. The exchange was the first of it’s kind with an automatic mail sorting machine which inevitably destroyed much of the mail at the time (picture: City of Sydney Archives). 2. Much of Redfern is painted in Aboriginal artwork, somewhat representative of the strained history of the area (picture: powerproductions).
Let us take a look at gentrification. It’s thrown around a lot in property however, just like the changing face of Kings Cross, Redfern continues to go through a gentrification process. Created by buyer interest in property development and fixer-uppers, the process of socio-economically selective migration to the suburb sees higher consuming households moving in to the undervalued area. The process inevitably brings about changes to local services such as businesses and street appeal.
The Domain Group sets the current property median value at $1.4 million. Compared to 2007, where the median price was $594,000, the growth jumps to a median of $950,000 in 2013 and then continues rapid growth up to the current median.
Unlike the cause for gentrification in Sydney’s Kings Cross, the inevitable change for Redfern is a knock-on effect from Australia’s population boom. Australia’s population growth over the last 15 to 20 years has expanded at increased rates with a surge occurring in 2000. The growth places demand on property with extra demand for homes in inner city areas for lifestyle reasons.
3. Popular Redfern cafe Scout’s Honour busy with customers (picture: broadsheet.com). 4. Some of the renovated terraces that line the streets of Redfern (picture: supplied).
Redfern is close to the city, easily accessible by train and bus, is full of mid-19th Century buildings and falls in to this demand for well placed land. The influx of extra income continues to increase property prices and push out long-term residents.
As our principal agent Trisiana Muljono will tell you, Redfern is becoming popular among young families and young professionals. The reshaping of the land and the community continues to push prices up to the likes of comparable wealthier inner city suburbs such as Surry Hills, Potts Point and Elizabeth Bay.
The SydneyLinks team
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