Mona Vale has long been favoured by downsizers and families alike thanks to its thriving village, wide variety of housing options and transport links. Plus, who can overlook the advantage of having a gorgeous beach on one side and the glorious waters of Pittwater on the other.
In recent times, Mona Vale has undergone some important changes, most notably the widening of Mona Vale Road which improves access to the Northern Suburbs of Sydney. There is also talk of council plans to revisit the town centre to accommodate more housing and commercial property.
In this article, we chat with Ben Spackman, Principal from Raine & Horne Mona Vale, to understand the changing face of Mona Vale.
Ben Spackman, Raine & Horne Mona Vale
Ben, can you start by giving us an overview of the suburb of Mona Vale?
Mona Vale is a beautiful suburb on Sydney's Northern Beaches. It is the central hub of the northern part of the peninsular, bordered by Warriewood to the south, Newport to the north and Pittwater to the east.
Mona Vale boasts easy access to the beach and the glorious waters of Pittwater, as well as the arterial roads that lead to the city, Sydney’s northern suburbs and and other parts of the Northern Beaches.
What’s the property makeup of the area?
In terms of the property market, Mona Vale has approximately 2,000 apartments and 2,500 houses, along with a mix of commercial properties. The property prices vary greatly, with high-end properties selling for up to $13 million and smaller properties still available for around $600,000.
Who lives in Mona Vale? The data seems to suggest there are a lot of downsizers?
Mona Vale is definitely an area that attracts downsizers – people who want to move out of their large family homes and into something smaller and more manageable. The area has a good mix of properties for these types of households including luxury apartments, townhouses, and ground floor apartments.
There are a number of new developments going into the area that target downsizers and retirees. Gulf Avenue is an example of a new development that has been approved as a DA site for 14 luxury apartments, which have all sold to downsizers.
The area is also popular with families due to the good schools in the area and housing options. Mona Vale Primary School is one of the most sought-after primary schools on the Northern Beaches, with a large intake of students. Families are attracted to the area due to the proximity to the beach, shops, and amenities, as well as the good transport links.
How was Mona Vale changed over the last ten years or so and what are you expecting for the future?
Over the past decade, Mona Vale has seen some significant changes, such as the introduction of the B-Line bus service which was welcomed by the local community. The population is growing and traffic is increasing in the area. The extension of Mona Vale Road to two lanes will no doubt add to this even more.
Mona Vale village is still a drawcard for the suburb. Although it’s getting busier and there is more traffic, it still maintains its village charm and unique character.
In terms of future plans for the area, there has been talk of redeveloping the central business district of Mona Vale with higher-density buildings. However, there is a lot of opposition to this idea from the locals, who value the village feel of the suburb.
It’s a tricky situation for council, because they need to deliver on housing targets and support local industry and jobs. But at the same time, they need to preserve the characteristics that people love about beaches life. It will be interesting to see how the council strikes a balance between these competing interests.
What impact do you think the Mona Vale Road upgrade will have on the area?
There’s no doubt it will provide greater accessibility to the area and ease traffic congestion along the road. It gives people another way to access the northern end of the beaches, especially when the Wakehurst Parkway floods.
I think the widening of the road is also part of a larger plan to subdivide Ingleside and create more housing on the beaches. But that can’t happen until the right infrastructure is in place, hence the widening of the road.
Do you think we’ll see expansion of the industrial and commercial footprint of Mona Vale?
No, I don't because there's just no space for it. If council needs more commercial space, I think they’ll need to move back up towards Terry Hills and Ingleside.
Mona Vale currently has good harmony between residential and commercial. There is just enough commercial for jobs and businesses, yet not so much that it overpowers the residential character of the area.
If there is any further commercial development, I suspect it will be more along the lines of office space – higher rise buildings – in the main village area but with residential incorporated as well.