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May 8, 2023

The 3 Things You Need to Know About Darling Heights

While Darling Heights is best known as the home of Toowoomba’s only university, it’s also a great place to live.

Who lives in Darling Heights?

In some ways, Darling Heights is a classic Toowoomba suburb. According to the 2021 Census, the typical Darling Heights local is 30 years old and lives with 1.6 other people in a home with 3.3 bedrooms and 1.9 motor vehicles. The same Census tells us that an average household in the Toowoomba local government area is made up of 2.5 people living in a home with 3.3 bedrooms and 1.9 motor vehicles. Darling Heights families with children have an average of 2.1 kids, slightly more than the Toowoomba LGA average of 1.9.

When it comes to Darling Heights homes, most (78.9%) are freestanding, separate houses, but there are also townhouses and semi-detached homes (8.1%) and flats and apartments (12.0%) in the mix.

As the home of the University of Southern Queensland’s main campus, Darling Heights has a high proportion (31.5%) of university students. This is one of the reasons why almost half (43.3%) of Darling Heights’ residents are renters, making it a suburb worth checking out for property investors.

Three things locals love about Darling Heights

1. The University of Southern Queensland

The main focal point of Darling Heights is the expansive University of Southern Queensland (USQ) campus. Back in the 60s, when Darling Heights was still largely undeveloped, it was selected as the site for the new Darling Downs Institute of Advanced Education. That’s why Darling Heights was originally called College Heights. In 1966, the suburb had a name change, and the Institute opened the following year. It became the University of Southern Queensland in 1992.

Today the USQ Toowoomba campus is home to more than 4000 students pursuing degrees in business, education, the sciences, law, engineering, information technology, the arts, and more. As well as educational facilities, the campus is home to a post office, recreation centre, several cafes, a bank, a childcare centre, and an art gallery.

2. Convenience and lifestyle

After Darling Heights’ development began with the university in the late 60s, it continued with the opening of the local state primary school, Darling Heights State School, in 1980. Residential development first sprang up around the school and then spread westwards throughout the 90s. The southern part of Darling Heights remains quite rural, giving the suburb that wonderful mix of country and city.

Today Darling Heights is a sought-after suburb for students, university staff, and families alike. It’s well serviced by public buses, amenities like doctors, chemists and major shopping centres are all within easy reach, and the CBD is just a short 7-minute drive away. The primary school, Darling Heights State School, is beloved by local families. And with a 2021 report from the Department of Education noting that ‘all students are ‘given love’ at this school’, it’s easy to understand why.

3. Gorgeous gardens

Toowoomba is internationally renowned for its gardens, and two of its finest can be found in Darling Heights.

The Japanese Garden Ju Raku En (‘to enjoy peace and longevity in a public place’) on Regent Street is Australia’s largest and most traditional Japanese garden. Opened in 1989, the three-hectare Garden features a mountain stream and waterfall, a lake, a dry garden, 3km of walking paths, Azalea Hill and 230 species of Japanese and Australian plants. More than 100,000 people visit the Garden every year, and it’s a popular spot for weddings.

The Gumbi Gumbi Gardens, found on the northern side of USQ’s main entrance, were designed in partnership with respected historical Elders from Toowoomba and Elders of the Jarowair people. The Garden’s namesake, the gumbi gumbi plant, represents knowledge, growth and healing. The 2.2-hectare Gardens feature more than 100 plant species, including an extensive range of Indigenous flora used by local Aboriginal communities for food and medicine.

If you’re after somewhere to run the dog (and the kids), try Thiess Park on Luck Street. There you’ll find play equipment, a bike track, an off-leash dog area and a picnic gazebo.

The latest on the Darling Heights property market

Recent figures show just how popular Darling Heights is with buyers, renters and property investors alike. The Darling Heights median house price jumped 21.5% over the year to March 2023 to reach $502,000, while the median unit price is now $351,000 after increasing by 5.8%. Houses are snapped up in just 12 days, while units spend only 13 days on the market before selling. Buyer demand for Darling Heights homes continues to run high, with realestate.com.au reporting that 1139 genuine buyers searched for houses and 200 for units in the last month.

Darling Heights rental prices are also increasing, with houses now renting at $430 per week after rising by 13.2% over the last year, while units now let for $340 after a 3.8% annual increase. Properties rent out fast, too, with houses spending only 19 days and units just 17 days on the rental market before finding new tenants. Interest in Darling Heights rental properties continues, with 389 serious would-be Darling Heights renters browsing for houses and 330 for units on realestate.com.au in the last 30 days.

As a university suburb, Darling Heights attracts residents from out of town on the hunt for rental accommodation, and 43.3% of its residents live in rented homes. Savvy investors who own property in Darling Heights are seeing house yields of 4.8%, while units are returning yields of 5.3%.

If you’re looking to buy, sell, rent or invest in Darling Heights, contact our friendly team today.

Article by Gary Klein

For over 35 years, Gary has been involved in the profession of selling. He held a senior position in a large local business in town and was in fact the company trainer, inductor and troubleshooter. From his experiences, he understands people very … View profile

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