Following the decline of the Sydney property market last year, buyer’s agent Meredith O’Reilly said that the market is going to be a ‘little quieter’ in 2019, allowing investors to enjoy several buying opportunities across the capital city.
For the past years, investors across Sydney have been in a state of panic—for fear of missing out during the property boom and for fear of losing money after the market has entered the softening phase.
Now, upon realising that the property market is not at all heading for Armageddon, most investors, particularly first-home buyers, are slowly reassessing their current situation in order in order to position themselves for a new round of active investment.
“They’re thinking, ‘We probably should do something now,’ and that would be my advice to them as well. Prices are dropping, and it's very evident in the first waves of emails that have come through to me in the last week that everyone's got back to work,” Ms O’Reilly said.
“Of course, the lending practices have become much tighter, so my first advice would be to get your finances sorted now. Even if you think, ‘I might wait a few months to start looking,’ that can take some time, longer than people usually think. There's a lot of ducks to line up.”
With the current declines in housing prices, first-time buyers could find an affordable way to enter the property market.
However, even with consistent price declines in the capital city market, Sydney remains as one of the most expensive real estate markets across Australia. In fact, median prices remain higher that they were three years ago.
Still, Ms O’Reilly encouraged investors to take advantage of opportunities as they come, particularly in growth areas across the capital city.
“If you can only afford a one-bedroom unit, buy the best one-bedroom unit you can in a great area.”
According to the buyer’s agent, there are a lot of burgeoning areas in Sydney and its surrounding suburbs at the moment, with population growth and infrastructure growth set to spur the recovery of the property market.
While it may not be easy for everyone, particularly due to the challenges brought forth by the tightening of the credit environment as well as the looming changes that may come as a result of the upcoming elections, her simple advice is ‘spread your wings a bit and explore satellite cities.’
“It's a terribly hard market, but I still think that Sydney is a great place to invest if you can get in. If you can't, then spread your wings a bit.”
“These satellite cities are markets that are still very much growing and these are where people typically go when they can't afford Sydney,” she highlighted.
Moreover, the suburb of Bardwell Park has started to show signs of potential growth over the coming years, so much so that Ms O’Reilly described the area as ‘a new pocket… [that could be] the next potential hotspot’.
“I was so taken with it, I bought a house there to live in,” according to her.
“It goes Earlwood, Marrickville then Bardwell Park. There's a train station, Bardwell Park Station and it's on the airport line, both domestic and international. It's 20 minutes to Central and it's leafy and green. It's like the Lower North Shore in vibe but without the price tag.”
“There's a lot of very nice property there—houses, small townhouse developments, not so much high-rise. Then you're right near Marrickville and all the grooviness of that. You've got the Cooks River to walk along, too. I was totally smitten.”
For investment purposes, Bardwell Park is expected to showcase a good performance over the year, with rent comparable to one-bedroom properties with water views in North Sydney, Ms O'Reilly said.
“The rent for what I would get for my place would be comparable but the mortgage is less.”
Inner West suburbs also show potential for growth, supported by their good lifestyle and communities, as well as infrastructure and amenities.
Overall, the buyer’s agent encouraged investors to stay within close proximity of the central business district, as well as significant infrastructure such as transport links in order to sustain strong demand as the Sydney property market makes its way towards full recovery.
According to Ms O’Reilly: “Just think, ‘What's a property that's never going to be empty?’ That depends on the area’s demographics, where that employment growth is, where the lifestyle benefits are.”
“You've really got to do your research. You've got to be across what's hot, what's not, what the local infrastructures are and what’s coming on. Get in touch with your local councils, then look at the recent sales and all the indicators of growth.”
“I think investing is just going where the action is. You don't necessarily want to buy somewhere leafy and quiet. You want to go where the action is for your property investment.”
Tune in to Meredith O’Reilly's episode on The Smart Property Investment Show to find out more suburbs with reasonable prices and the potential for a good return.