Suburb Spotlight: Paddington

For many people, Paddington defines everything that’s good about Sydney’s eastern suburbs.

It contains some of the city’s best shops and restaurants; boasts beautiful housing stock set on tree-lined streets; and, it’s close to pretty much everything you’d ever want or need to do.

But just in case you still need convincing, we look at what makes Paddington (or Paddo as it’s known to the locals) the number one choice for so many Sydneysiders.

A suburb steeped in history

Originally, Paddington was Gadigal land and part of the Eora nation. In 1823, Governor Brisbane granted land to three European settlers here - James Underwood, Robert Cooper and Frances Ewan Forbes, each of whom is now commemorated in a street name. The men built a distillery together, and Cooper built himself a mansion - Juniper Hall. But the three friends ended up falling out and, in a court case, Underwood was awarded 97 of the 100 acres originally granted.

The name Paddington dates back to 1839 when Underwood subdivided half of his land and named it the Paddington subdivision after the London Borough. In 1841, the Victoria Barracks was built as a base for the NSW Corps. Soon afterwards, Paddington began taking shape as a suburb. Tradespeople and working-class families established themselves around South Head Road, while the gentry favoured ‘Rushcutters Valley’ which ran down Glenmore Road.

Today, Paddington is one of Sydney’s best-preserved Victorian neighbourhoods, with several individual commercial centres including Oxford Street, William Street and Five Ways.

William Street 2014 - Photo from Wikipedia
William Street 2014 - Photo from Wikipedia

Population snapshot: Who lives here?

At the time of the 2016 Census, Paddington had 12,911 residents. Of these, 47.4% were male and 52.6% were female. The median age was 36.

Sales price snapshot:

Paddington’s popularity is reflected in its property prices. As of July 2020, the median house price in the suburb was $2.45 million, according to realestate.com.au. The median unit price was $830,000. Houses in Paddington rent out for $1,100 a week with an annual rental yield of 2.3% and units rent for $500 a week with a rental yield of 3.1%. Based on five years of sales, Paddington saw a compound growth rate of 7.8% for houses and 0.9% for units.

Five reasons the locals love Paddington

1. The houses

In Paddington, history flows through almost every home from the terraces and workers’ cottages through the grand residences like Juniper Hall on those that line Moore Park Road or Jersey Road. Many have been modified to account for today’s lifestyle but the streetscape remains unchanged since Victorian times. That’s a wonderful thing when you consider that in the 1970s, much of Paddington was slated for development until Green Bans saved the suburb from the wrecking ball.

One of the most notable elements on Paddington’s streetscape is the intricate cast-iron and wrought iron balustrading that adorns many of the suburbs’ terraces. In fact, it’s so distinctive that it’s known colloquially as ‘Paddington lace’. Paddington’s terraces are also known for their ornate dormer windows (at roof level) and their impressive height, with some spanning four floors.

2. The pubs

In Paddington, one thing you’ll never find in short supply is beer on tap. There are more quality pubs per capita than just about anywhere in Sydney. What’s more, most do a pretty decent line in pub food too. From iconic watering holes such as the Four in Hand, Lord Dudley, The Royal and London Hotel through to Merivale-owned establishments including Charlie Parkers, and the Paddington, there are too many to list. You’ll always find a venue to suit your mood whatever that might be.

3. The fashion

Paddington has long been known as home to some of Sydney’s best fashion. International names like Colette Dinnigan got their start right here and boutiques still line the streets.

Plus, each Saturday, the grounds of Paddington Uniting Church become home to the Paddington Markets, with over 150 stalls dedicated to fashion designers, craftspeople, jewellery makers and artists. The markets have been here since 1973.

4. The parks

Centennial Park is one of Sydney’s most important green spaces and the Paddington gates are one of its main entry points. So even though the suburb is densely populated, there’s always room to escape.

Lily Pond Bridge in Centennial Park, Sydney
Lily Pond Bridge in Centennial Park, Sydney

What’s more, Centennial Park is only one of the suburb’s green spaces, with Paddington Reservoir Gardens, Trumper Park and Royal Hospital Women Park too. If you need some exercise, want to walk the dog, or let the kids blow off some steam, despite the very urban lifestyle you’ll find plenty of room to do it.

5. The convenience

It’s not just the parks that Paddo is close to. Bus services will take you down Oxford Street to the city in a matter of minutes, or you can take one the other way to the beach at Bondi or Bronte. Bondi Junction, one of Sydney’s best shopping destinations is right next door too. So is the Sydney Cricket Ground, Sydney Football Stadium, Moore Park Golf Club and White City Tennis Courts.

If Paddington is on your watch list, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team today.

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