Some Sydney buyers are getting more bang for their buck in suburbs they were once locked out of as house prices continue to fall.
House prices in the harbour city recorded the steepest decline in more than two decades after a 9.9 per cent drop in the past year, the latest Domain House Price Report showed.
As a result, more first-home buyers have entered the market while other buyers have upgraded their family home in their desired suburbs, agents are reporting.
Penshurst recorded the largest price decline of 19.7 per cent, which saw the median reduced to $1.06 million.
Selling agent Steve Beattie of McGrath Cronulla said this had worked to many buyers’ advantage.
“Some people are in the position of selling an apartment to buy a house. People are trying to make that move as soon as possible,” Mr Beattie said.
He sold a Peakhurst apartment for a resident who upsized to a three-bedroom, double-brick home in Penshurst, a neighbouring suburb closer to the CBD, for $950,000 after the initial $1.2 million asking price was reduced.
“No one would have thought about that in 2015 or 2016 … it would have be unlikely in the heat of the market,” he said.
Meanwhile, Lane Cove recorded the second biggest drop of 18.2 per cent to a median of $1.8 million.
Selling agent Rebecca Mitchell of Raine and Horne Lane Cove agreed there were better value properties in the market compared to a year ago, with buyers being more selective about their purchases due to increased stock levels and reduced competition.
She said a four-bedroom house recently transacted at a price that was almost on par with a small two-bedroom house she sold two years ago.
“Properties that have big issues like a lot of steps or issues within the house like a tiny bathroom or bedroom … [are] becoming an impossible sell,” Ms Mitchell said.
“A lot of people are upsizing by taking a hit of $50,000 but saving a lot of money on their next property.”
Paul Costin upgraded his Five Dock family home to a four-bedroom house with a swimming pool in Lane Cove – something unimaginable to him a year ago – in an auction that saw him compete with one other bidder.
“The land size is almost double what we would have got in the inner-west suburbs,” Mr Costin said.
“The price drop opened up a lot of other suburbs which we wouldn’t have considered previously.”
In the city’s inner west, the number of suburbs with a median house price at or below $1.5 million has more than tripled, according to the report. Popular suburbs like Newtown, Erskineville and Leichhardt are now more affordable to buy into than Earlwood was in 2017.
On the lower north shore Willoughby is now more affordable than Lane Cove was during the market peak, meanwhile in the eastern suburbs home owners in Bronte – which previously had a median house price of $3.5 million – could buy into Rose Bay for even less, since its median dropped from $4,092,080 to $3.375 million.
Meanwhile in the south, buyers with a $1 million budget can look at houses in suburbs 20 kilometres closer to the city, swapping Engadine and Heathcote for suburbs like Bexley and Peakhurst.
Selling agent Brad Gillespie of The Agency Eastern Suburbs said buyers who were priced out at the height of the property cycle are clawing their way back in.
“Buyers are now coming back into inner-ring suburbs. They still want proximity to the city,” Mr Gillespie said.
“It just gives them a chance of being in that three-kilometre ring to the city as opposed to seven kilometres a few years ago … they would have been priced out several suburbs south or west.
“If you were a two-bedroom buyer in the inner west, effectively with the price drop you can stay in the suburb and go to a three-bedroom.”
This article was published in www.domain.com.au. Here’s the link to the article: https://www.domain.com.au/news/sydney-buyers-get-more-bang-for-their-buck-as-house-prices-decline-domain-data-shows/