Sydney property market delivers tiered results

By Nila Sweeney
The overall Sydney property market remained quiet in the third quarter of 2007, with overall median house prices growing only marginally and the median price for units declining.
However, favoured areas with good quality, double-brick homes close to public transport such as Waverley in the east and Marrickville in the inner west recorded good prices, with lack of available stock being the primary problem in some of these suburbs.
“People see the value in these areas and when stock comes up they’re prepared to pay for it, and then hang on in there by fixing long-term interest terms,” said Real Estate Institute of NSW (REINSW) President Cristine Castle.
Data released by the REINSW shows that overall, median house prices in the September quarter rose 1.48% to $538,000, while median unit prices fell by 0.88%.
In Waverley, where house prices rose a bullish 12.69% to $1.5m, turnover declined 5.47% and unit prices grew 6.92% to $572,000.
Marrickville house prices rose 3.75% to a median $623,000 and unit prices grew 5.35% to $364,000 on a declining turnover of 7.60%.

Castle said the pick up in sales in some areas could be attributed to the spring market, traditionally the time when people buy and sell. She also believes uncertainty as to when the federal election would be called has had a dampening effect over recent months on market activity.
“With vacancy rates in Sydney now below 1% and rents on the rise, I wouldn’t be surprised if we get a late listing surge before Christmas,” Castle said.

Mortgage stress suburbs have continued to suffer with house prices falling a further 0.17% in Campbelltown and 0.15% in Fairfield. Turnover has increased in Campbelltown on the back of mortgagee sales and buyers taking advantage of bargain prices.

Highlighting the two-tier nature of the Sydney market, however, sales records are being broken, with more than $29m paid in September for a Vaucluse property, making it Sydney’s most expensive home.