No. 36A Bangalla St in Warrawee recently sold for $3.3 million.
SYDNEY’S cooling housing market has presented buyers with the chance to get quality homes in prestigious suburbs at temporarily lower prices.
Research showed some of the best deals were being offered on detached houses, rather than units.
The median price of a detached house fell 7.6 per cent over the year to September, well above the 2.6 per cent decline in the median unit price.
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A typical Sydney house now costs about $976,000 while the average unit is $734,000.
The median house price had been well over $1 million at this time last year, according to CoreLogic’s Hedonic Home Value Index.
The biggest drop in median house price across an individual suburb was in Warrawee on the upper north shore, where the median dropped 24.2 per cent over the year, according to CoreLogic data.
This was followed by Birchgrove in the inner west with an 18.5 per cent fall, Wilberforce in the Hawkesbury region with 14.4 per cent and inner city suburb Alexandria with a 12.8 per cent fall.
Buyers in other popular suburbs like Longueville, Concord West,Petersham and North Bondi were also being served up bargains, with the medians in each area falling by more than 10 per cent for the period.
The biggest fall in the unit market was in Milsons Point, where the median price dropped by 30 per cent.
It’s easy to see why people want to live in Birchgrove.
Waverley in the east was next with a decline of 25 per cent followed by Lewisham in the inner west, Ultimo in the CBD and Centennial Park.
Realestate.com.au chief economist Nerida Conisbee said the lower prices were attracting renewed interest from buyers, suggesting the chance to strike a bargain would be temporary.
“Suburbs like Birchgrove are very nice places to live and will remain popular in the long-term thanks to the good amenities and its proximity to the city,” she said. “They may have had a shock with prices but are now coming back to a more reasonable level and as a result have grown in popularity.”
Ms Conisbee added that there was a split in performance among suburbs at varying price points. The top and bottom ends of the market were performing the best, while the biggest price drops were in the middle of the market.
Di Jones-North Shore’s Tim Fraser said recent weakness in the $2 million to $4 million price range in Warrawee had provided fantastic buying conditions, especially for those looking to snag a bigger home.
Now is the time to buy in Milsons Point. Picture by Damian Shaw
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“There are some really good opportunities being presented in that price range,” he said.
“People who are looking to upgrade in the area have the chance to get into top locations close to schools and rail without having to pay the same amount as 12 or 18 months ago.”
With the suburb one of the most tightly held, Mr Fraser said homes over $4 million were taking around 22 days to sell, while those under $4 million were taking around 42 days to find a buyer.
The key to successfully buying in this market was looking at transactions as long-term, Mr Fraser added.
“If you look at it with a five-to-10 year plan you have a great chance to get into a market that a lot people would have been priced out of 12 months ago,” he said.
Buyers agent Peter Kelaher from PK Property said the most important thing buyers could do in this market is to be patient and wait for the right property to come along.
Going to auction is good news for buyers at the moment. Picture: Luke Drew
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“Don’t jump unless you really have to. Going to auction at the moment is more of a benefit than a hindrance,” he said. “From here until the end of the year there could be bargains to be had, but I don’t think it will continue for too long.”
Ms Conisbee added that buyers could also get lower prices in areas with higher supplies of housing. “Anywhere that has high levels of development seems to be pulling back, like places with house and land complexes or suburbs with unit development,” she said.
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