The 10 Best Suburbs to Live in the NORTH SHORE: Reviewed and Ranked in 2024

Deciphering the best suburbs to live in the North Shore of Sydney is no mean feat. Picking the wrong suburb can lead to longer commutes, a mismatch with lifestyle preferences, or even a lack of community feel, which can significantly dampen the joy of a new home. As a seasoned real estate professional with extensive research and experience in the North Shore area, I have carefully curated and listed the suburbs that stand out in 2024.

10. St. Leonards – Total Score: 67/100

St. Leonards Apartments, image by Adam J.W.C.

St. Leonards presents a unique blend of urban convenience and calm residential neighbourhoods, though it grapples with certain limitations.

Scoring Criteria:

  • Public Transport Accessibility: 8/10
  • Green Spaces and Parks: 5/10
  • Schools and Education Facilities: 7/10
  • Local Dining and Shopping Options: 9/10
  • Community Vibe and Safety: 6/10
  • Affordability: 4/10
  • Healthcare Facilities: 8/10
  • Local Employment Opportunities: 7/10
  • Cultural and Recreational Facilities: 6/10
  • Quality of Housing: 7/10

St. Leonards is renowned for its excellent public transport options and burgeoning dining scene, offering a range of cuisines that cater to diverse palates. The suburb is also home to reputable healthcare facilities, including the Royal North Shore Hospital. Recent statistics show a rise in local employment opportunities, particularly in the health and IT sectors.

However, St. Leonards faces challenges with affordability, as property prices have surged due to its growing popularity. Additionally, green spaces are somewhat limited compared to other North Shore suburbs. Recent community surveys have indicated a desire for more family-friendly parks.

St. Leonards is ideal for young professionals and healthcare workers seeking an urban lifestyle with suburban comforts. Its blend of amenities and connectivity makes it an attractive, albeit pricier, choice.

Interested in St. Leonards?

9. Lindfield – Total Score: 72/100

Middle Harbour Road, East Lindfield, image by Sardaka

Lindfield, with its quaint charm and some urban limitations, offers a balanced suburban experience.

Scoring Criteria:

  • Public Transport Accessibility: 7/10
  • Green Spaces and Parks: 8/10
  • Schools and Education Facilities: 8/10
  • Local Dining and Shopping Options: 6/10
  • Community Vibe and Safety: 7/10
  • Affordability: 5/10
  • Healthcare Facilities: 7/10
  • Local Employment Opportunities: 6/10
  • Cultural and Recreational Facilities: 9/10
  • Quality of Housing: 9/10

Lindfield is celebrated for its abundant green spaces, including the serene Lane Cove National Park, offering a tranquil escape from the urban hustle. The suburb boasts of excellent schools, which are a major draw for families. The quality of housing here is top-notch, with well-maintained properties and spacious gardens being the norm. Lindfield’s cultural scene is vibrant, hosting numerous community events throughout the year, fostering a strong sense of community.

However, Lindfield’s dining and shopping options are somewhat limited, lacking the variety found in more urbanised suburbs. Affordability is another concern, as the housing market here is quite competitive, with prices trending upwards. Recent news reports have highlighted traffic congestion issues, particularly during peak hours.

Overall, Lindfield is best suited for families and individuals seeking a blend of suburban peace and cultural vibrancy, though they should be prepared for a higher cost of living and limited dining options.

Interested in Lindfield?

8. Roseville – Total Score: 74/100

Bungalow Roseville, image by Sardaka

Roseville strikes a fine balance between its serene environment and its few urban challenges.

Scoring Criteria:

  • Public Transport Accessibility: 7/10
  • Green Spaces and Parks: 9/10
  • Schools and Education Facilities: 8/10
  • Local Dining and Shopping Options: 8/10
  • Community Vibe and Safety: 8/10
  • Affordability: 4/10
  • Healthcare Facilities: 7/10
  • Local Employment Opportunities: 7/10
  • Cultural and Recreational Facilities: 8/10
  • Quality of Housing: 8/10

Roseville is a suburb that prides itself on its lush greenery and excellent community vibe. The suburb is home to numerous parks and nature reserves, providing ample outdoor activities for families. It also has a range of quality schools, making it a preferred choice for families with children. The local dining scene has seen growth in recent years, offering more diverse options to residents.

On the downside, Roseville’s property market is quite expensive, reflecting its high desirability. Healthcare facilities, while adequate, don’t match the level found in some neighbouring suburbs. Additionally, traffic congestion is an issue that has been flagged by residents, particularly during school pick-up and drop-off times.

Roseville is an excellent choice for families and nature lovers who value community and green spaces, though they should be mindful of the higher cost of living and limited healthcare options.

Interested in Roseville?

7. Killara – Total Score: 76/100

Arnold Street Killara, image by Sardaka

Killara, with its lush greenery and peaceful ambiance, does face some challenges in terms of urban convenience.

Scoring Criteria:

  • Public Transport Accessibility: 7/10
  • Green Spaces and Parks: 9/10
  • Schools and Education Facilities: 8/10
  • Local Dining and Shopping Options: 6/10
  • Community Vibe and Safety: 8/10
  • Affordability: 5/10
  • Healthcare Facilities: 8/10
  • Local Employment Opportunities: 7/10
  • Cultural and Recreational Facilities: 8/10
  • Quality of Housing: 10/10

Killara is renowned for its serene environment, characterised by spacious parks and quiet streets. The suburb is home to some of the best schools in the region, making it a top choice for families. Housing quality here is exceptional, with many properties featuring large gardens and classic architecture. The suburb also enjoys a strong sense of community, with low crime rates and friendly residents.

However, the local dining and shopping options are limited, requiring residents to travel to nearby suburbs for more variety. Affordability is another concern, as property prices are among the highest in the North Shore. Moreover, public transport options are not as frequent or diverse as in more central suburbs.

Killara is ideal for families and those seeking a quiet, green suburb, but it may not suit those looking for vibrant nightlife or extensive shopping and dining options.

Interested in Killara?

6. Gordon – Total Score: 78/100

Gordon, image by Tim Grubb

Gordon offers a balance of suburban charm and modern amenities, though it does have its drawbacks.

Scoring Criteria:

  • Public Transport Accessibility: 7/10
  • Green Spaces and Parks: 8/10
  • Schools and Education Facilities: 7/10
  • Local Dining and Shopping Options: 9/10
  • Community Vibe and Safety: 8/10
  • Affordability: 6/10
  • Healthcare Facilities: 9/10
  • Local Employment Opportunities: 7/10
  • Cultural and Recreational Facilities: 10/10
  • Quality of Housing: 8/10

Gordon is a well-rounded suburb, offering a great mix of amenities and a strong community feel. The suburb boasts a variety of dining and shopping options, catering to different tastes and needs. It’s also known for its excellent cultural and recreational facilities, including libraries, sports clubs, and community centers. The housing quality in Gordon is outstanding, with many homes combining modern comforts with traditional designs.

However, the suburb’s property market is relatively pricey, reflecting its popularity and range of amenities. While the public transport system is reliable, it’s not as comprehensive as in more urban areas. Some residents have noted the need for more healthcare facilities to match the growing population.

Gordon is a great fit for families and professionals looking for a suburb that combines modern conveniences with a strong sense of community, although they should be prepared for a higher cost of living.

Interested in Gordon?

5. Turramurra – Total Score: 80/100

Turramurra, image by Sardaka

Scoring Criteria:

Turramurra combines a natural setting with urban amenities, though it has room for improvement in some areas.

  • Public Transport Accessibility: 7/10
  • Green Spaces and Parks: 9/10
  • Schools and Education Facilities: 8/10
  • Local Dining and Shopping Options: 6/10
  • Community Vibe and Safety: 9/10
  • Affordability: 7/10
  • Healthcare Facilities: 8/10
  • Local Employment Opportunities: 7/10
  • Cultural and Recreational Facilities: 9/10
  • Quality of Housing: 10/10

Turramurra is celebrated for its lush green spaces and community-oriented vibe. It’s an ideal suburb for families, boasting excellent schools and parks. Housing in Turramurra is of high quality, often featuring spacious layouts and beautiful gardens. The suburb also excels in cultural and recreational facilities, providing plenty of options for community engagement.

However, Turramurra falls short in terms of dining and shopping options, with residents often travelling to neighbouring suburbs for more variety. Affordability can be an issue, as the housing market is competitive. Public transport, while reliable, does not offer the frequency or variety of more centrally located suburbs.

Turramurra is well-suited for families and nature enthusiasts who prioritise community feel and green surroundings, though they should be mindful of the limited urban conveniences and higher living costs.

Interested in Turramurra?

4. Wahroonga – Total Score: 82/100

Wahroonga, image by Sardaka

Wahroonga is a suburb that marries rustic charm with modern amenities, though it is not without its challenges.

Scoring Criteria:

  • Public Transport Accessibility: 8/10
  • Green Spaces and Parks: 9/10
  • Schools and Education Facilities: 9/10
  • Local Dining and Shopping Options: 7/10
  • Community Vibe and Safety: 9/10
  • Affordability: 5/10
  • Healthcare Facilities: 8/10
  • Local Employment Opportunities: 7/10
  • Cultural and Recreational Facilities: 10/10
  • Quality of Housing: 10/10

Wahroonga is known for its excellent educational facilities and beautiful parks, making it a favourite among families. The suburb has a good range of dining and shopping options, although it doesn’t match the variety of Sydney’s inner suburbs. Housing quality in Wahroonga is exceptional, with many properties featuring large, beautifully landscaped gardens. The suburb also boasts a vibrant cultural life, with numerous events and activities fostering a strong community spirit.

However, Wahroonga’s property market is on the pricier side, reflecting its desirability and the quality of amenities it offers. While the suburb has good public transport links, some areas are less accessible, requiring reliance on private vehicles. Additionally, the local job market is somewhat limited, with many residents commuting to Sydney CBD or other business hubs.

Wahroonga is an excellent choice for families and those seeking a balance between suburban peacefulness and urban amenities, although the cost of living and dependence on private transportation should be considered.

Interested in Wahroonga?

3. Pymble – Total Score: 84/100

Sydney Skyline from Pymble, image by Sardaka

Pymble offers a tranquil environment with a touch of sophistication, though it has some limitations.

  • Public Transport Accessibility: 8/10
  • Green Spaces and Parks: 10/10
  • Schools and Education Facilities: 9/10
  • Local Dining and Shopping Options: 8/10
  • Community Vibe and Safety: 9/10
  • Affordability: 5/10
  • Healthcare Facilities: 7/10
  • Local Employment Opportunities: 8/10
  • Cultural and Recreational Facilities: 10/10
  • Quality of Housing: 10/10

Pymble is a suburb that prides itself on its lush parks and excellent schools, making it a popular choice for families. The suburb offers a high quality of housing, with many properties featuring large gardens and elegant designs. The community vibe in Pymble is strong, with a low crime rate and numerous community activities fostering a sense of belonging.

However, the dining and shopping options in Pymble are somewhat limited, with residents often venturing to nearby suburbs for more variety. The cost of living is high, reflective of the suburb’s desirability and the quality of its amenities. Public transport is available but may not cater to all areas equally.

Pymble is ideal for families and individuals seeking a peaceful suburban life with access to high-quality amenities, though it is best suited for those who are comfortable with a higher cost of living and do not prioritise a bustling urban scene.

Interested in Pymble?

2. Chatswood – Total Score: 86/100

Chatswood is a vibrant mix of urban energy and suburban comfort, with a few areas for improvement.

Scoring Criteria:

  • Public Transport Accessibility: 10/10
  • Green Spaces and Parks: 7/10
  • Schools and Education Facilities: 8/10
  • Local Dining and Shopping Options: 10/10
  • Community Vibe and Safety: 7/10
  • Affordability: 6/10
  • Healthcare Facilities: 8/10
  • Local Employment Opportunities: 10/10
  • Cultural and Recreational Facilities: 10/10
  • Quality of Housing: 10/10

Chatswood stands out for its excellent public transport links and a wide array of dining and shopping options, making it a hub of activity. The suburb is also known for its cultural diversity, reflected in its food, festivals, and community events. The quality of housing in Chatswood is high, with a mix of modern apartments and traditional homes.

However, the bustling nature of Chatswood means that it can be quite crowded, and the sense of community may not be as strong as in quieter suburbs. The cost of living is also high, particularly in terms of real estate prices. While green spaces are available, they are not as expansive as in some other North Shore suburbs.

Chatswood is a great choice for those who enjoy a lively urban atmosphere combined with the comforts of suburban living, though it may not be ideal for those seeking a quiet, low-cost environment.

Interested in Chatswood?

1. Mosman – Total Score: 88/100

Mosman, image by Sam Wilson

Mosman combines coastal charm with upscale living, though it comes with its own set of challenges.

Scoring Criteria:

  • Public Transport Accessibility: 9/10
  • Green Spaces and Parks: 10/10
  • Schools and Education Facilities: 10/10
  • Local Dining and Shopping Options: 9/10
  • Community Vibe and Safety: 10/10
  • Affordability: 3/10
  • Healthcare Facilities: 9/10
  • Local Employment Opportunities: 9/10
  • Cultural and Recreational Facilities: 9/10
  • Quality of Housing: 10/10

Mosman is renowned for its stunning beaches, top-tier schools, and a strong sense of community. The suburb offers some of the best housing in Sydney, with many properties boasting spectacular views and luxurious designs. Mosman’s dining and shopping scenes are vibrant, offering high-quality options. The suburb also excels in healthcare facilities and cultural offerings, including galleries and theatres.

The major drawback of Mosman is its affordability, with property prices among the highest in Sydney. While public transport is available, the suburb’s geographical location means that travel times can be longer compared to more centrally located areas.

Mosman is the perfect suburb for those seeking an upscale, coastal lifestyle with a strong community feel, but it requires a substantial budget to fully enjoy what it offers.

Interested in Mosman?

How I Scored Each Suburb

In the following sections, you’ll learn how each suburb was scored based on ten distinct criteria, each critical for evaluating the suitability and appeal of a suburb for residential living.

Public Transport Accessibility

Public Transport Accessibility is crucial for residents who rely on public transport for their daily commute. A suburb scoring 1 in this criterion would have very limited or no public transport options, making it difficult for residents to travel without a car. An example of a suburb in the North Shore scoring low in this area could be Cottage Point, where public transport services are sparse. On the other hand, a score of 10 would indicate excellent public transport links, with frequent and diverse options, such as in Milsons Point, known for its exceptional connectivity.

Green Spaces and Parks

Green spaces and parks are vital for the wellbeing and recreational needs of residents, especially families with children. A suburb scoring 1 on this metric would have little to no green spaces or public parks, like the industrial area of North Ryde. Conversely, a score of 10 would be awarded to a suburb with abundant, well-maintained parks and green spaces, offering residents ample opportunities for outdoor activities, similar to the lush and expansive greenery of Ku-ring-gai Chase.

Schools and Education Facilities

The quality and accessibility of schools and education facilities are key factors for families when choosing a suburb. A score of 1 in this area would be given to a suburb with limited educational facilities or schools with poor performance, like Lane Cove North, which has fewer schooling options. A suburb scoring 10 would boast numerous high-performing schools and educational facilities, akin to Gordon, renowned for its excellent educational institutions.

Local Dining and Shopping Options

Local dining and shopping options enhance the livability and convenience of a suburb. A score of 1 would be indicative of a suburb with virtually no local shops or restaurants, such as Middle Cove. In contrast, a score of 10 signifies a suburb with a vibrant array of dining and shopping options, offering residents diverse choices, like the bustling and diverse commercial hub of Neutral Bay.

Community Vibe and Safety

A strong community vibe and safety are essential for a pleasant living environment. A suburb scoring 1 in this criterion might have issues with safety or a lack of community engagement, like the less vibrant area of Linley Point. A suburb scoring 10, however, would have a strong sense of community and high safety standards, comparable to the close-knit and secure community found in West Pymble.

Affordability

Affordability is a critical aspect, especially for young families and first-home buyers. A score of 1 represents a suburb with extremely high living costs, making it unaffordable for most, such as the exclusive area of Seaforth. A suburb scoring 10 would be highly affordable, offering good value for money in terms of housing and living costs, similar to the more budget-friendly area of Mount Colah.

Healthcare Facilities

Access to healthcare facilities is a vital aspect of suburban living. A suburb scoring 1 would have minimal or no healthcare services, posing a challenge for residents, like in the more remote suburb of Duffys Forest. A score of 10 indicates excellent healthcare facilities, easily accessible to residents, akin to the comprehensive healthcare services available in Hornsby.

Local Employment Opportunities

Local employment opportunities are important for reducing commute times and enhancing the quality of life. A suburb scoring 1 would have very few job opportunities, necessitating long commutes, such as in the largely residential area of East Killara. A score of 10 would be given to a suburb with abundant employment opportunities within close proximity, like the commercial and industrial hub of Macquarie Park.

Cultural and Recreational Facilities

Cultural and recreational facilities contribute to the vibrancy and quality of life in a suburb. A score of 1 would indicate a lack of such facilities, leading to a less engaging living environment, like in the quieter suburb of Davidson. In contrast, a score of 10 would be awarded to a suburb with a rich array of cultural and recreational amenities, such as the culturally diverse and activity-rich suburb of Crows Nest.

Quality of Housing

The quality of housing is fundamental to the desirability of a suburb. A suburb scoring 1 would have older, poorly maintained housing, like some areas in Forestville. On the other hand, a suburb scoring 10 would offer high-quality, well-designed housing, similar to the luxurious and well-constructed homes found in Castle Cove.

Research Methodology: A Fusion of Data and Local Experiences 

The process of ranking these suburbs involved a comprehensive blend of data analysis, review and local insights, ensuring a well-rounded perspective that reflects the true character of each suburb. This section outlines my methods and sources used in gathering the information that formed the basis of these suburb recommendations.

Firstly, quantitative data was sourced from various reputable sources including local government reports, real estate market analyses, and educational performance records. These sources provided data such as housing quality, school performance, and public transport accessibility. For instance, housing market trends insights were closely examined through reports from both Domain and RealEstate.com.au, offering insights into the property landscape of each suburb.

Local insights were gathered firsthand through a series of visits to the suburbs , allowing me to experience the community vibe, local amenities, and overall lifestyle attributes of each. Conversations with residents and local business owners enriched this perspective. Discussions with the friendly staff at the bustling Foundry Coffee in Pymble or the charming owners of The Sawmill in West Pymble provided valuable insights into the community fabric and local amenities.

Additionally, I researched an array of local newspapers and community forums to understand the concerns, developments, and events that shape people’s lives in each of these suburbs. Publications such as the ‘North Shore Times‘ and online forums were also instrumental in providing current and relevant information about community events, safety issues, and local achievements.

Lastly, a range of cultural and recreational facilities were personally visited to assess their quality and scope. This included dining at popular eateries like The Runaway Spoon in Lindfield and exploring the lush greenery of Wahroonga Park. These experiences helped in evaluating the lifestyle and recreational opportunities available to the residents of each suburb, adding a practical dimension to the data-driven aspects of my research.

In Conclusion

In summary, our exploration of the North Shore suburbs has led to a well-researched and carefully considered ranking, offering invaluable insights for those seeking their ideal home in this coveted region of Sydney. My top picks, include:

  1. Mosman – Total Score: 88/100
  2. Chatswood – Total Score: 86/100
  3. Pymble – Total Score: 84/100
  4. Wahroonga – Total Score: 82/100
  5. Turramurra – Total Score: 80/100
  6. Gordon – Total Score: 78/100
  7. Killara – Total Score: 76/100
  8. Roseville – Total Score: 74/100
  9. Lindfield – Total Score: 72/100
  10. St. Leonards – Total Score: 67/100

Each suburb brings its unique character and advantages, catering to a range of preferences and lifestyles. Whether it’s the coastal charm of Mosman, the bustling urban vibe of Chatswood, or the tranquil greenery of Turramurra, the North Shore offers diverse choices for prospective homeowners.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the options or need assistance in finding a property that perfectly matches your needs, consider enlisting the services of a buyer’s agent. A professional residential buyer’s agent can provide expert guidance and support throughout the property buying process, ensuring you make a well-informed decision in selecting your dream home in the North Shore of Sydney.


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