A very good value option of a suburb for those who like things with a little more space but retaining a touch of grit, Mortdale offers a balanced lifestyle at a pretty good price. Its distance from Sydney city is very manageable, it’s got a decent mix of amenities for daily life, and there’s a good mix of both large and small-sized housing options to cater to all income levels. It’s not particularly exciting or beautiful and it’s lacking in larger-scale shopping options, but as a choice for middle-class people on a non-ridiculous income it’s got everything one could need with a fairly nice community vibe to boot.
In terms of the balance between housing purchase and rental price, blend of amenities, and connectivity to the Sydney CBD, Mortdale is a suburb that walks the line very well.
While its location almost always invites immediate comparisons to neighbouring Oatley, that’s somewhat unfair given the large price gap between the two. Simply put: Mortdale is the cheaper option, and with that comes sacrificing some of the associated appealing elements such as greenery, housing sizes, and a little less noise.
Otherwise, many of the same benefits that Oatley brings also apply here. Mortdale’s more of a high-density apartment and smaller-scale housing focused suburb in general, although it gradually becomes more house-heavy – especially towards the east.
Its range of dense apartment blocks feature many older but solid and well-built constructions that offer exceptionally good value given Mortdale’s train station is just a brief walk away.
Its train connectivity helps put Mortdale in something of a sweet spot between commute time and price. A 30-ish minute train trip into Sydney city for the price you’re getting here can be very appealing, with the added benefit that Mortdale sits on the T4 train line – which is quite separate from the rest of the network and can often avoid delays that plague other Sydney trains when everything else comes to a standstill.
The services run every 10-ish minutes during peak periods, then scale back a fair bit outside peak. It’s still very well-serviced for what’s largely a nondescript residential suburb, while Mortdale also sees a good number of bus services as well.
Mortdale’s streetscape is a bit of a mixed bag. It’s not particularly exciting although it is leafy enough; the footpaths are largely grassed, there’s enough trees dotted throughout to keep things pleasant, houses are generally charming if unspectacular, and its roads are quite wide.
There’s not much greenery or parkland (outside of its golf course), with only a few micro-reserves dotted throughout – as a result it’s not the most pet-friendly suburb in the world.
The suburb’s main shopping strip along Morts Road branching out from the station is quaint, and offers a decent mix of everyday services (finance, medical, groceries, including an IGA and bank branches) that’s more than enough for daily life. There’s not much in the way of larger retail, and there’s often a mix of characters – some friendly, some shady – around the station and its adjacent pub.
There’s also some cute cafes, and Mortdale in general has a pretty good communal vibe with a solid blend of ethnicities and cultures. This more mixed demographic balances things out quite nicely and keeps things a little more interesting than some of the blander surrounding suburbs.
“Its train connectivity helps put Mortdale in something of a sweet spot between commute time and price.” It’s got a tiny bit of a rougher feel about it, but it’s generally quite safe. The western side of the suburb is largely warehouses and light industry, and sees a bit of aircraft and traffic noise that break up the peace somewhat.Its price range has also brought a little more of a younger demographic, with less-established families adding some more life and vibrance to the community as opposed to some of the retiree-heavy wealthier suburbs nearby.
There’s no doubt that price is going to be one of the most appealing factors for those considering Mortdale as a place to live. While it’s not truly “cheap”, it’s very reasonable; the chance at a sub-$1 million freestanding house with around a half hour commute to Sydney city still exists here, although it will likely be an old or small build that needs some love.
Likewise, apartment renters will be spoiled for choice given the suburb’s high quantity of units on offer. This supply makes prices well within most income ranges – paying less than $400 per week for a decent 2 bedroom apartment this close to Sydney in a suburb that’s not dodgy is almost unheard of in the current day, yet Mortdale offers this in spades.
In all, this is still one of the best value suburbs in the region and should be considered by many – particularly families – wanting to save some coin on their living space. There’s also a range of very solid schools on offer, although a lack of play areas outside of its Community Centre hamper things for those with kids a little bit.
Entertainment-wise, Mortdale doesn’t offer much. Outside of its golf course for enthusiasts and the likes of gyms and other standard amenities, there’s not much to see or do. Its lack of natural features means you’ll have to venture elsewhere for proper outdoor entertainment, and its absence of full-scale shopping options means a trip to Roselands or Hurstville Westfield will often be in the cards.
The Mortdale Hotel is about as good as it gets in terms of focal hangout points; it’s pretty big for a local pub, although it’s more simply a place to have a drink and perhaps watch some sport rather than any kind of amazing entertainment. As a result, despite its train connectivity Mortdale is a suburb in which you’ll almost certainly want to own a car. Getting to to the beach, bigger parklands or shops by bus is doable but travel times can blow out. Traffic can also be an issue here due to its proximity to Kings Georges Road, although it’s more “average” than “bad” by Sydney standards.
We keep coming back to the word “value” here, and it’s probably the best way to sum up Mortdale in the present day. This is a solid, pretty well-equipped and well-located suburb that still benefits from rail connectivity with prices that have still not quite yet caught up.
Given you’re looking at an extra several hundred thousand dollars to buy in some of the neighbouring suburbs that only really offer slight improvements to what Mortdale offers, it’s up to you whether you feel that extra investment is worth it. Particularly for those looking for an apartment, there’s some very solid value vs. size potential here.
Otherwise, for families looking for at least a temporary base for a few years, or newly-relocated movers to Sydney who don’t want to live in the more hectic inner suburbs, Mortdale should definitely make the “potentials” list.