Sydney homebuyers can score their biggest ever bargain this Christmas, with some of the best deals in a decade on offer in the housing market.
Purchasers have recently nabbed properties for up to half a million dollars below their listed prices — and the deals are expected to get even better over the holidays.
With the housing market cooling, experts said the December-January period would offer some of the best opportunities for buyers to get a deal in nearly 10 years.
The biggest price discounts were expected to come from frustrated sellers who listed their homes months ago but have yet to sell.
Many of these homeowners needed to sell and would be looking to “get rid” of their homes before the start of the new school year, slashing hundreds of thousands of dollars off their prices, buyer’s agents said.
Discounts have already become common across Sydney amid the current housing downturn.
Roughly four in five homes sold over the year to November changed hands at below their listed price, with the average discount at 7.3 per cent, CoreLogic figures showed.
Such frequent discounting was last recorded in 2008 and was a far cry from 2015 when more than three quarters of properties sold for above the original listed price.
The largest discounts were offered on homes in the north shore, inner west and southeast.
The average detached house in north shore suburbs Neutral Bay and Normanhurst sold for more than 30 per cent below the listed price, while in St Ives the difference was 21.9 per cent.
Recent sales included 300 Falcon St, Neutral Bay which was listed for $1.65 million but sold for only $1.146 million — $504,000 less.
A four-bedroom house at 6 Elegans Ave, St Ives also sold at $504,000 below the original price. It was first listed at $2 million but after languishing on the market for six months sold for $1.46 million.
Other suburbs where average house discounts were above 15 per cent included Matraville, Kingsford and Pagewood in the southeast and Croydon in the inner west.
PK Property Buyers Agents director Peter Kelaher said agents would be more open to accepting low ball offers over Christmas.
“Agents will be dying to get rid of their properties and will help push through sales very hard,” Mr Kelaher said.
“There will also be vendors with larger blocks who want to sell before the New Year for tax reasons or just to get the property off their hands so they can enjoy their Christmas … the market is down and vendors know it.”
CoreLogic head of research Tim Lawless said strict bank restrictions on loans meant buyers who could get financing were in a strong position.
“Buyers can negotiate hard,” he said. “There is more choice and properties are taking longer to sell … competition is down because there are less investors who can get financing.”
SQM Research records revealed some sellers have already adjusted their prices substantially to meet the market.
A two-storey penthouse in Elizabeth Bay has had $905,000 slashed off its price and is now advertised at $2.395 million.
In Haberfield, a four-bedroom house at 144 Bland St is advertised at $2.2 million, $650,000 below the original price.
In nearby Forest Lodge, 15 Alfred Rd is for sale at $2.35 million. The original price was $2.995 million — $645,000 higher.
No. 34 Sturdee Lane in Pittwater enclave Lovett Bay was $1.85 million but is now listed at $1.3 million.
First homebuyer Joey Vasile recently consulted finance advisory group Patrick Leo and said he soon realised the changing market conditions offered the chance to get into the market without shelling out a fortune.
He has since bought a new unit in Rosebery. “There’s a lot of homes out there now, so you have lots of choice,” he said. “We’re just relieved we got something. It’s been amazing just being able to start shopping for new furniture for the place.”