Trendy Cooks Hill

Every city has a heartland for the arts, culture and good coffee, and in Newcastle that beating heart is in Cooks Hill. Just 1km south of the CBD and home to the city’s trendy eat street, Darby Street, with some of the city’s best cafes.

It’s also the place to find an eclectic mix of small bars, boutiques and unique shops. An inspiring mix of activity and creativity, says Natasha McElwaine of McElwaine Estate Agents, who loves visiting here to pick up a special gift including bespoke skin care, jewellery or ceramics.

Market days mean weekends are especially busy and in the back streets. Meanwhile, locals flock to the corner pubs such as the Commonwealth and the Cricketer’s Arms, slating their thirst after a day at the world-class surf beaches a short walk away.

With this cultural vibe, it’s no surprise to discover residents are mostly young, professional and upwardly mobile. Here the average age is just 32.

Cooks Hill was originally developed by the Australian Agricultural Company in the 1850s. A home to the working class for many years. The legendary Arnott’s biscuit factory in Union Street provided the main centre of employment.

After the Newcastle earthquake in 1989, the suburb was rapidly gentrified and is now one of Newcastle’s most desirable postcodes.

It’s kept its charming Victorian terraces and wide, tree-lined streets, says Natasha, but in recent years some medium density development has risen along major thoroughfares.

It still has a lovely, green feel, too, with some of the city’s favourite parks: Civic, Centennial and the National Park sporting precinct.

Cooks HIll properties
Charming Victorian homes of cooks hill.

Cooks Hill Property Market

Units in Cooks Hill have been enjoying even better prices than in nearby The Hill according to CoreLogic and more than half of Cooks Hill residents have chosen to rent, according to propertyvalue.

Median rents are around $550 for a house and $430 for a unit according to your investment property.

Looking at market trends for the area, it has also seen a remarkable growth, observes Natasha. While the average NSW price is fairly flat, Cooks Hill has risen 13.4 per cent this year.

The median sales price of houses is $1.155 million and for units $550,000.

Annual capital growth for houses, meanwhile, is 8.62% , for units 4.7% and homes take an average 31 days to sell.

McElwaine Estate Agents has many young couples who have given up on their dream of buying in the city but still want to live amongst their ‘tribe’. “The Cooks Hill area is their top choice,” says Natasha.