What’s happening with the Sydney property market?

Hart_011So what is happening with the market? That’s what everyone is asking but no one seems to be sure about. There’s been chatter along the lines that the market may have peaked early this year and is sitting somewhere just under this point. However, due to low winter sale volumes, no one really knows if this is right.

Let’s start with some numbers. First, what can be said about data comparing growth suburb by suburb? If you’re lucky enough to be reading these numbers on paper, you can at least console yourself that you can add it to your compost. Suburb by suburb statistics showing increases in one suburb and sharp decreases in neighbouring suburbs are less than useless, they are misleading.

Let’s look at something a little more useful. According to the latest RP Data Housing Market Update Sydney has had the highest overall price growth over the 12 months to July of all capital cities. Price growth was 15.3% for houses and 12.5% for apartments. These figures are based on a large enough sample size to make some sense and are useful in gauging the overall market. However, how useful are they for ascertaining what has happened to any one property in our little corner of the world? I would say limited.

To make judgments about individual properties, you need to split the data first into price category, then property type, and then possibly suburb. For statistics to be reliable, they have to be based on a large sample size, which is why we tend to turn to anecdotal evidence, which is where real estate agents come in.

Here are my anecdotes. Last week, we sold a one bedroom apartment in Old South Head Road, Rose Bay for $583,000. A superior apartment in the same building sold in March 2013 for $460,000. This represents a 26% price increase. In contrast, I noticed the recent sale of a house in Vaucluse for $3,230,000. Several hundred thousand dollars had been spent on the house since we last sold it in 2010 for $2,835,000 – at best, a very modest increase or possibly even a loss.

These are just two examples. In themselves, they are not very useful. However, they illustrate what we have been seeing constantly. That is, in general! , apartments, semis and small houses up to $2,000,000 enjoying substantial gains, while properties above $2-2.5 million, despite talk of Chinese buyers splashing cash around (and possibly a few notable exceptions), typically experiencing only modest gains.

What can be said of the mid-to-upper price ranges is that there has been more solid demand over the last year or so, putting a firm base under prices.

Over the last couple of months, with stock levels low, we’ve seen a very large demand for properties in the mid-to-upper ranges, but very little available. While nothing is certain, it looks like we could be in for a buoyant spring. I can’t wait to find out. Naturally, if you’re thinking of selling, call me now and we can find out together.


Hart Estate Agents is a dynamic, results driven real estate agency specialising in Sydney’s eastern suburbs. Principal Alex Hart leads an experienced and tenacious sales team. If you’re considering selling, contact Alex on 0418 245 018 to find out how we can help you to achieve the best possible result.

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