New South Wales continues to outperform all other states
Over the year to September, Sydney was the only city to record double-digit growth, with values rising by 14.3 per cent, according to RP Data.
Sydney has long been the country’s most expensive market but rapid price growth has widened the gap between it and other major capitals. Of the ten most expensive suburbs in the country, eight were found in Sydney, RP Data figures show.
The top spot was taken out by Point Piper on Sydney Harbour. This blue-chip suburb has a median price of $5,749,815. In second place came another harbourside suburb, Darling Point, with a median over $4.8 million.
Sydney also has one of the country’s most popular suburbs, according to a survey by Homely.com.au. This site found that Melrose Park, on the Parramatta River, was overwhelmingly beloved by locals – users of the site gave the suburb an average score of 96.7 out of 100.
In the south west, the suburb of Liverpool is tipped for rapid growth in coming years, according to PRDnationwide. Since 2008, house prices in the area have increased by 45 per cent while unit prices are up by 52 per cent. The real estate agency reports properties in the suburb regularly sell for $25,000 to $50,000 over their reserve price at auction.
With the announcement of a new airport at Badgerys Creek, PRDnationwide believes the Liverpool region is primed for a growth surge in coming years.
BIS Shrapnel made a similar prediction. The research group believes Sydney’s population will be pushed further to the south west and new employment opportunities will also spring up, attracting higher investment and pushing up prices.
Some experts, however, warn Sydney’s growth may be about to peak. According to a report from the Residential Development Council, values in the city are currently 18.7 per cent higher than their previous high-water mark. The report cautions that price growth may begin to weaken in coming months.
SQM Research, on the other hand, believes the market still has room to move. Their forecast, based on steady interest rates and strong economic indicators, suggests growth could hit between 8 and 12 per cent in 2015.
In focus: Killcare Heights
Killcare Heights is a lovely area in the south east of the Central Coast, situated high up in the hills on the Bouddi Peninsula. It is not too far from Gosford’s city centre and from certain parts of Killcare Heights you can see some of the skyscrapers located in Sydney’s CBD. The area is close to Woy Woy train station, and there is also a ferry nearby which goes from Ettalong all the way down to Palm Beach on Sydney’s northern beaches.
It borders on Bouddi National Park, and you have the ocean on the other side. It is one of those places that allows you to escape the hustle and bustle of the city without being too far away.
Killcare Heights is populated primarily by families, with some retirees residing there also. As a result, a lot of the properties in Killcare Heights are family homes on standard residential blocks.
Most of the properties that we have been buying there are for people to live in rather than for investors looking for rental return.
The rental market has softened a bit over the past few months, particularly during winter. The reason may be that investors are fairly active but interest rates are low enough that some tenants have bought their own properties. I have seen some rentals come onto the market that remained vacant for four to six weeks. Recently, however, the rental market seems to be tightening up again. I think it is likely that stock will be absorbed by tenants in coming months.
Killcare Heights does not fit the profile desired by most investors.
Most people who invest will buy properties close to shops, restaurants and public transport, and you could not say Killcare Heights fits those criteria. It is more of an owner-occupier scenario – people move there for the lifestyle.
Some people that we have been buying for have businesses in Sydney and commute regularly. Often, however, people telecommute instead, allowing them to work mainly from the comfort of their own home in Killcare Heights.
If I was looking to buy there as an investor, I would go for a four-bedroom, two-bathroom house. That seems to be what most people are looking for in a home these days.
The Central Coast area usually picks up the ripple effect from activity in the Sydney market. When Sydney goes through a boom like it has been, people generally look to move an hour’s commute away from it.
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