The ‘invincible’ Sydney suburbs defying the downturn

Analysis by a buyer’s agent has found an area in Sydney that he claims to be “invincible” to the market softening seen in the capital city.

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According to Michael Ossitt, director of STRAND Property Group, the auction clearance rates in Lower North Shore suburbs have been outperforming the rest of the city.

“The Lower North Shore has been a star performer, with more homes selling at auction than in any other locality, including the City & East, and the Northern Beaches,” Mr Ossitt said.

The suburbs that are leading the pack auction clearances include Wollstonecraft, Waverton, Crows Nest, Cammeray, Neutral Bay, Cremorne and Mosman.

“Sydney’s weekly auction clearance rate has tracked between 61.5 per cent and 67.9 per cent since the start of February this year, and there’s no doubt the Lower North Shore has done most of the heavy lifting with results of 65.6 per cent to 89.5 per cent during the same period,” he said.

“In fact, our study of Lower North Shore clearance rates shows it has tracked well above the Sydney result throughout 2018 and 2019 to date.”

Mr Ossitt’s analysis showed there was a slight uptick in stock following Christmas, and demand was strong, meeting an increase of supply through listings.

“A strong auction clearance rate against a backdrop of more choice for buyers reinforces the fact that demand is holding up in these areas,” he said.

With the worse of the price declines passed, Mr Ossitt said there is a window of opportunity for property investors to make a profit.

“These addresses are historically resilient in downturns and show the greatest upside potential when markets eventually turn around,” he said.

“Savvy buyers and investors are seeing hot prospects in the Lower North Shore and are taking the chance now to get in while vendors are willing to negotiate.

“For those looking to secure a holding, there’s an opportunity to seize a great property at the bottom of this cycle and enjoy the long-term value upsides that are sure to come.”

Why the Lower North Shore?

The success for the Lower North Shore, Mr Ossitt said, was three-fold:

1. High demand for quality

The first reason, according to Mr Ossitt, was that there was a noticeable rush towards quality property, which is typically seen during a general market downturn.

“These suburbs are in a prime location and offer exceptional housing, so they’re attracting premium buyers,” he said.

2. Premium buyers

Those that typically buy premium property, Mr Ossitt said, were typically immune from the issues of acquiring finance.

“Top-end purchasers have been less effected by the tighter lending conditions that plagued lower-price areas, because many have strong asset bases and cash flow,” he said.

3. Location, location, location

When it comes right down to it, Mr Ossitt said that location was the ultimate decider of property purchases, and Lower North Shore properties are well positioned.

“They’re close to the city, well represented by lifestyle drivers and attractive to those middle-ring buyers who were looking to upgrade a year or two back and can now afford to come closer in,” he said.

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