Space, glorious space – with the city just 40 minutes’ drive away.
Why trek all the way to the Southern Highlands when you can snap up an acreage estate in Dural, a semi-rural suburb in the Hills District.
Here, impressively large homes are a magnet for out-of-area buyers looking for space and privacy within reach of urban amenity.
And if hip newcomers to the wining and dining scene are any indication of a suburb’s growing popularity, Dural is worth watching.
Lumby Hampson agent Will Hampson reports the high-profile Boathouse Group has bought the Hargraves Nursery site on Old Northern Road and has lodged a development application with council to open an upmarket cafe-restaurant with nursery and homewares.
If approved, the venue will join the new restaurant and wine bar Amaro, the refurbished Vicar Hotel, long-standing favourites Biviano’s and Wildpear Cafe and a host of unique nursery eateries scattered throughout the district.
House prices are also worth watching. In 2019 the median house price in Dural was $1.28 million. Today it is $1.565 million.
Top-end sales are increasingly common. There have been more than 20 sales of $5 million-plus over the last three years, topped by the 2018 sale of a French-provincial-inspired mansion on Carters Road which fetched a record $10.85 million, smashing the previous record by more than $2 million.
Our feature property, a 10-year-old, neo-Georgian style residence set on 2.13 hectares in a quiet cul-de-sac, attracted 40 inquiries in its first 48 hours on the market.
Hampson says there’s a changing of the guard underway in Dural, with older owners selling to downsize or make a seachange, and younger families scouting the area.
“Once families move here they tend to stay here,” he says. “They love having the beautiful gardens and being so close to great schools.”
Pacific Hills Christian School is in the next street, independent boys’ school Redfield College is a five-minute drive away and The Hills Grammar School is about nine minutes’ drive.
Keeping the kids entertained outside school hours shouldn’t be too difficult. Set among the property’s rolling lawns, neat-as-a-pin hedging and mature magnolias is a 12-metre by 4.5-metre saltwater pool with a poolside pavilion and bathroom.
There’s plenty of open space for backyard cricket and soccer, room for a tennis court if desired, plus about a hectare of bushland sloping gently to the creek that forms the rear boundary.
Hampson says it may be possible to build a secondary dwelling here, with a side access road already in place. There’s also a 110-square-metre shed with power and parking.
The design of the house makes light work of both casual and more formal entertaining. A wrap-around verandah with a north-east aspect overlooking the pool includes a built-in barbecue with marine-quality cupboard storage, granite benchtops and a sink.
Those benchtops are echoed inside in the French-provincial-style kitchen where a huge island bench has breakfast bar seating lit by three elegant chandeliers.
There’s a freestanding 900mm Ilve oven with gas burners, marble-tiled splashback and Astra Walker tapware. The walk-in pantry has an additional sink.
The kitchen sits within a large living space with dining and sitting zones and a slow-combustion fireplace. Polished, spotted-gum floorboards feature here and in the adjoining rumpus room, which could easily house a billiard table or home theatre.
The formal living and dining rooms are placed at the front of the home with calming, latte-coloured walls, three-metre-high ceilings, big picture windows and carpet underfoot. On this level there’s also a study or fifth bedroom with walk-in wardrobe and access to a two-way bathroom.
The remaining four bedrooms are upstairs, accessed via a staircase in the double-height entry foyer where a cascading chandelier catches the eye.
The master bedroom comes with a generous walk-in wardrobe and a spa en suite bathroom with twin vanities and heated marble floors.
The family bathroom is split up to allow multiple users at once. A sitting room could double as a teen retreat and has access to a balcony.
Additional features include ducted air-conditioning with five zones, multiple gas points, a four-car garage, and storage under the stairs and in the laundry.
Lumby Hampson’s Will Hampson takes the home to auction on March 20 with a guide of $4.5 million.