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Spring price growth looks perfect for Sydney’s property sellers

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A large five-bedroom, two-bathroom house in Lilyfield could be in huge demand.This spring, everything is coming up roses for those planning to sell their homes. A shortage of property on the market plus strong buyer demand – fuelled by record low interest rates and population growth – continue to drive up prices in most areas.
Shanghai night field

“It’s just a great market for sellers,” says Mathew Tiller, head of research at LJ Hooker. “Listing figures are down from last year and we’ll see a little bit more price growth than was expected because of the uneven supply and demand.

“We will see some more people put their houses on the market for spring but compared with the last few years, that number will definitely be down as some of those considering upsizing or downsizing don’t see anywhere to move into.”

A measure of the strength of current demand lies in the last two weekends’ record clearance rates of 84.1 and 82.8 per cent respectively. The contrasting lack of supply can be seen in the numbers of listings, down in all parts of Sydney in the first seven months of this year compared with the same period last year, and slumping by up to a 24.4 per cent on the Northern Beaches.

“There are significantly fewer properties on the market this year and the Sydney market will struggle to get those 1000-auction weekends we had last year,” says Domain Group chief economist Dr Andrew Wilson. “It’s good for sellers but it does lead to the conundrum: if you sell, where will you buy?

“I think last year a lot of sellers brought forward their property plans so we had extraordinary numbers of sales levels. But the key question, with more competition for properties, is what the impact on prices will be.”

One dampener on price growth will be the traditional rise in the numbers of houses for sale as spring gets underway, says BIS Shrapnel property analyst Angie Zigomanis. While that won’t be as big a quantity as in the last few years, it could still be substantial.

“We’ll see that pressure on prices ease a little as the spring quarter gets underway,” he says. “Also, there’s a lot more new stock being built, both houses and apartments, that will be completed and come online.

“And we’re seeing investor demand still down, with Australian Bureau of Statistics data showing lending activity for investors dropping back, but owner occupiers are coming up to fill the breach.”

Price growth will naturally tail off over time as income levels fail to jump up to match property price rises, believes Housing Industry Association senior economist Shane Garrett. In addition, he believes that many people who were thinking of selling their current home and buying something else are now choosing to stay and renovate instead.

“When they’ve weighed the pros and cons of stamp duty and the cost of selling and buying, and seen how much finance they can raise with the equity they already have in their home, they realise they can do substantial renovations, or a knock down and rebuild,” he says. “And a lot of demand for housing is being displaced into new builds.”

Indeed, the strength of demand for one new apartment complex, The Finery at Waterloo, persuaded developer Mirvac to bring forward the final release. “The level of demand for our projects suggests that spring has come early this year,” says Mirvac’s head of residential John Carfi. Photo: Kate Geraghty

When retired firefighter John Maguire decided to put his home of the last 50 years on the market, he had no doubts that spring would be the best time to sell.

“Who would buy a house in winter?” he asks. “Spring is a much better time. The sun is out shining on the house, the flowers are in bloom and the garden looks great. A house really looks at its best then.

“And in summer, it’s too hot and people are too busy going to the beach – and I will be too!”

5 Park Avenue, Randwick.

Daily ocean swimmer Maguire, 77, now has his beautifully renovated two-bedroom Federation house at 5 Park Avenue, Randwick, up for auction on September 15.

McGrath Coogee agent Jason Pisani (0410 471 761) has put on a price guide of $1.4 million-$1.5 million.

“It does look great in spring,” says Pisani. “It’s north-facing so it gets plenty of light, both morning sun and then afternoon sun to the front. Its proximity to Queens Park, Centennial Park, the eastern beaches and all the private schools makes it very special too.”

With high ceilings, period features, a near-new extension, a large entertainment terrace and scope to add a second storey, the house is in immaculate condition and is light and bright all year round.

“It’s been a lovely house but it’s time to move on now,” says Maguire, the father of two firefighter sons, Mark, 53, and Todd, 50, and grandfather to five. “It’ll be nice for someone else to enjoy it now.”

See more at: domain上海m.au/2012992072Feature property

56 Glover Street, Lilyfield

56 Glover Street, Lilyfield Guide: $2.2-$2.4 million

With so few properties on the market at the moment, and the shortage of family homes on offer even more acute, McGrath Balmain agent Cindy Kennedy knew that a large five-bedroom, two-bathroom house in Lilyfield could be in huge demand.

But even she was taken aback at her small preview opening last weekend.  “We had 49 people through,” she says. “We were so busy. Everyone is desperate for more houses at the moment, especially family ones.

“This one has such generous accommodation with three living areas and, of course, with spring coming, the gardens look pretty wonderful now, with all the trees and many of the flowers blooming.”

The house, on a 430 square metre corner block close to schools, The Bay Run and the Leichhardt Aquatic Centre, is owned by expat Australians who’ve decided to return from Singapore to their original hometown of Canberra. It’s now being auctioned on September 17 through Kennedy (0404 000 570).

With a veranda overlooking the garden, a balcony off the master bedroom and DA-approved plans for a pool, it also has a tree house, workshop and rear courtyard.

“It’s perfect for either a young family or an older family, and it’s so close to the CBD,” says Kennedy.

See more at: domain上海m.au/2012998061

Or try these:

188 Short Street, Birchgrove

188 Short Street, Birchgrove Guide: $2.5 million

A completely renovated three-bedroom, two-bathroom Victorian terrace with fabulous harbour views, a roof terrace and a pretty landscaped courtyard could be the perfect place to enjoy the onset of spring. “As the garden becomes more established, it’ll look even better,” says Cobden & Hayson agent Anthony Ross (0408 266 508). With French oak floors, state-of-the-art kitchen and a stroll to the ferry, it’s for auction September 10.

See more at: domain上海m.au/2012993982

49 Woodi Close, Glenmore Park

49 Woodi Close, Glenmore Park

49 Woodi Close, Glenmore Park Guide: $739,000-$769,000

A stunning springtime garden sets this four-bedroom, two-bathroom house off beautifully. With great indoor/outdoor living and a pool on the 790 square metre block, it’s perfect for the warmer months. “And it has such a relaxing, at-home feel to it,” says agent Andrew Lia of Jim Aitken & Partners Lennox (02 4735 2121), who’s selling the property, which is close to schools, parks and public transport.

See more at: domain上海m.au/2013003354

3/40 Dorritt Street, Lane Cove

3/40 Dorritt Street, Lane Cove Guide: $1.38 million – $1.5 million

A new townhouse in a block of just three, this three-bedroom, two-bathroom home is close to Lane Cove Village and the express city bus. “It also has its own gardens and lots of outdoor spaces for spring,” says Tony Walker of Shead Property (0402 767 666). Over 340 square metres, it has spacious open-plan interiors, including a casual living space and a private balcony. For auction September 10.

See more at: domain上海m.au/2012993827

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