Sydney bargains? We’re all shopping
Buyers are circling Sydney property looking for entry-level purchases or priced-to-sell homes in the wake of Sydney’s market correction. Among them are plenty of greener homebuyers who didn’t dare shop during the heated years just gone.
The more Sydney makes daily headlines for being a cooler place to navigate, the more intriguing the fresh faces and the buyer/seller behaviour becomes.
Take this terrace in 4 Clara Street, Erskineville. If you’ve been following current open home attendance you’ll know people are turning out in lacklustre numbers. Yet more than 180 separate groups crammed through the doors of this one.
Plenty of those people are next-wave buyers, with the overwhelming majority of them not ready-to-purchase, and not even starting to lock in finance. This unusually high percentage of new buyers on a single property is unheard of.
Just launched this week, you’d expect the same to unfold at 98 Swanson Street.
With the Sydney median hovering around $1.1 million, and these being among a handful of inner-city homes being marketed around that price right now, new buyers want to see what that money will buy them in the 2018 climate.
At one open, an agent put this down to a reemergence of people who tapped out during the last surge. “People potentially didn’t commit because it was just too hot and now they’re thinking that it’s time to start looking, checking what things at the lower end are selling for.
“Before they were assuming they didn’t have a chance. And now they’re seeing whether they do.”
Over in the heart of Newtown, the next price bracket up shows more new patterns. The buyers shopping this $1.5 million terrace in Denison Street were more experienced. Another popular listing, anyone circling this one had finance approved, or easily accessible.
Some were serious to buy. Others, again, were bargain hunting, having been through these cycles before, they were testing whether they’ll buy in the next 3 to 6 months. They included upsizers and speculators looking to add to portfolios if they spot a good deal.
It’s also interesting to note how more general micromarkets move amid all this. If you look at houses and apartments as a whole for 2018, Erskineville, Newtown and Darlington combined is also one of those pockets where the median price is still trending upwards. We’ve seen a median float from $916,000 in January to $1,072,500 in July.
By comparison, the same calculations in Paddington, Darlinghurst and Surry Hills would give you a median price moving from $1,215,000 in Jan, to $1,125,000 in July (down 10%).
This high activity plays a part in spurring people to spend their Saturdays house shopping, and Erskineville is drawing that action. It holds half the number of dwellings as Surry Hills and usually sells half the number of homes each year. Yet this year the two areas are on par in terms of clearance rates, and number of homes sold.
In the past 6 months, 24 (houses) have gone to auction in Erskineville, and 15 have sold, putting the clearance rate at 62.5%. This is on par with Surry Hills in the same period, where 29 houses have gone to auction and 18 have sold (that’s 62.1%).
Some react to a market coming off its peak and are keen to sell. But people who see undervaluing still want in.
For those hunting bargains, it’s worth looking at how tipping these scales affects prices. Redfern was a major drawcard in the last upswing. And now we see better buyer interest in suburbs on its fringes. For example, this house in Redfern sold for $875,000 while this one in Erskineville sold for $860,000. A few years ago Redfern would have trumped with a bigger price difference.
Where else are prices out-of-line with long-term trends? That’s the million-dollar question. Because next month, it will be a different story again.