New data suggests that the North Shore remains the most popular location for domestic students at the University of Sydney to live.
The data was collected in an internal report commissioned by the University. The report also shows a decline in the number of domestic students when compared to 2021.
Students who had the same permanent and term-time address — predominantly students who live at home — were concentrated in Sydney’s Northern and North Western suburbs, with Mosman remaining the most popular. Interestingly, Kellyville has surged to second place, when compared to 2021.
In 2023, the most popular suburbs for domestic students who have the same permanent address as during term time (or live at home) are:
- Castle Hill
- Baulkham Hills
One of the most significant shifts over the past two years is the relocation of students from inner Sydney suburbs, to suburbs further away from campus — with high numbers living outside three kilometres of USyd. Burwood, Mascot, Wolli Creek, Rhodes and Rosebery are among the most common. The paper suggests that this group is mostly made up of renters. Some 17,500 students are estimated to be part of Sydney’s private rental market. It also notes that increasing rents across the city is adding to cost of living pressures for students.
“It can be concluded that it is increasingly difficult for a student wanting to live within a 3km radius of the Camperdown campus of Sydney to find a rental property for less than around $389 per week — which is the weighted price per room. The more a student is willing to pay, the greater the number of properties available for rent,” the paper said.
This follows the closure of University run student housing, including International House, and the planned sell-off of the Darlington terraces. These changes come amid a housing crisis across the state that has disproportionately impacted students and young people.
In contrast with domestic students, nearly half (47%) of all international students who are not already in student accommodation live within three kilometres of the Camperdown campus, followed by the Inner West, Inner South, and North Shore suburbs.
The top five suburbs favoured by USyd’s international students in 2023 are Chippendale, Zetland, Ultimo, Burwood and Mascot. According to the report, this reflects strong links to public transport and higher density areas with high-rise developments in Ultimo, Zetland and Waterloo.
Another notable change since 2021 is a strong increase in students living in student housing. This has exceeded pre-COVID-19 records, as more are renting at university-owned or private purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA). The number of students living in student accommodation rose by 31% between 2021 and 2023 from 4,002 to 5,240 students. The largest increase was within the private PBSA sector with a staggering 46.7% increase in the number of USyd residents.
This is not without controversy as average rents in the private PBSA market have spiralled upwards, with the lowest median charges jumping from $416 to $519 in just two years across the entire city. Some of the city’s most expensive PBSAs now rival fees charged at USyd’s residential colleges.
|Student Housing||Rents per week|
|St Andrew’s College||$1,009|
|St Paul’s College||$900|
|Scape Darling House*||$809|
Despite the trend, USyd’s residential colleges are in decline, with numbers plummeting by 6.9% to from 1,000 to 931 residents in 2023. This might reflect internal angst within USyd’s elite colleges when St Paul’s decided to admit women despite overwhelming opposition from its alumni who cited long-term financial considerations behind the move.