A Guide to Sydney’s Top Property Suburbs 2014-2015

July 7th, 2014

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Domain.com.au estimated house values in suburbs around Sydney with the release of their 2014 property guide. However, they should truly only be understood as a guide. As Chris Curtis explains in his article about the contradictory nature of recent housing statistics, many property guides base their analyses on macro data. For example, median house prices are often used as a guide but this method is fraught with danger because it tells us nothing of of the properties that fall above the median, or below the median, and nothing about the changes about the underlying movement between periods in the value of comparable properties.

Domain.com.au’s 2014 Property Guide bases its suburb ranking numbers on median house and apartment prices. Yet this data can be useful when taken in conjunction with other data. Therefore, we present some of Domain.com’s stats, predictions and opinions on where investors should be putting their money.

Lower North Shore

Buyers are rife in the lower north shore, and so they should be as the area has some of Sydney’s top ranked suburbs. Currently the trend is to build new properties or renovate many of the older 50s and 60s buildings in the area. Families are particularly interested in spots like Artarmon that have reputable local schools. Some of the top ranked spots according to house and apartment median prices were:

  • Woolwich was on top in the lower north shore, ranked at number 3 with the Australian Property Monitor’s predicting a value rise of 7% this year in both houses and apartments.
  • Milson’s Point was at number 5 with the same predicted 7% rise in both houses and apartments.
  • Longueville came next at 7 with the same predicted growth.

Upper North Shore

Expensive sales from the $1 million to $2 million price range drove the upper north shore’s property in 2013, but is the trend set to continue this year? There appears to be no signs of the market slowing down. Buyers agent Lisa Bradley from Finders Keepers said that 2014 will see Roseville, East Lindfield and Killara hitting the $2 million-plus range, and a lot of these areas’ popularity comes from their proximity to good schools. Chatswood stood out with 527 property buys and sells, while Gordon is becoming a safe bet with a new train connection that allows professionals to commute into the city. Stand out performers in terms of median property prices were:

  • Castle Cove ranked 36.
  • East Lindfield at 39.

Northern Beaches

The northern beaches is playing host to an influx of renovators and there’s a lot of interest in houses under the $1 million mark, but Century 21 Dee Why principal Brett Read said that unfortunately there’s not a lot in this bracket to go around. The recommendation for investors is to grab any apartment that they can to use as a rental property as demand is high. David Mackay, principal of LJ Hooker Avalon said, “The rental market out here is very strong – as soon as we get something we lease it out straight away”. According to the domain.com.au data, top performers were:

  • Clontarf ranked number at 19 for Sydney’s median house and apartment prices.
  • Palm Beach was at 14.
  • Manly ranked at 28.

North West

There’s a lot of buyer interest in the north west but not enough sellers to meet the demand. Common buyers are those wanting a four bedroom home near public transport, first home buyers (particularly in Pennant Hills) and changeover buyers looking for the outer suburban lifestyle. Improved public transport should increase home values even more as the $8.3 billion North West Rail Link adds value to property in Castle Hill, Kellyville and Rouse Hill. Areas that ranked relatively well in terms of median house and apartment prices included:

  • Kenthurst at 83.
  • Followed by Putney ranked at 93.

City and East

Nearly all city and east properties grew in 2013, some by as much as 25%. Those suburbs where median house price grew by 10% or more were Bondi Beach, Clovelly, Rose Bay, Double Bay and Rosebery. Yet Bronte and Kensington didn’t budge. As for the growth of median apartment prices, Miller Point, Dawes Point, Point Piper and Little Bay all saw improvements of over 25%.

Inner city living is becoming increasingly appealing for many demographics, even young families. Poh Ling Ee of Ee Real Estate said that areas like Chippendale, Redfern and Darlington are seeing more popularity. “In the past, lots of people wouldn’t live in Redfern,” she said. Domain.com.au data showed that the following performed well:

  • The area to win first place of all Sydney suburbs was Dawes Point.
  • Point Piper was hit the number 2 spot for median house and apartment prices.
  • Millers Point ranked at number 4.
  • The Rocks sat at 8.
  • Bellevue Hill ranked at number 12.
  • Dover Heights was on 15.
  • Clovelly ranked at 18.

Inner West

The inner west has been a continuously high performing area over the past few years and 30 suburbs saw double digit growth in 2013. Housing prices in Rhodes, Strathfield South, North Strathfield, Balmain, Lewisham, Forest Lodge, Rodd Point and Birchgrove home prices rose more than 20%. Houses recently started hitting the million dollar mark as buyers recognise the benefits of a lifestyle close to, but not quite in, the city.

Raine & Horne chief executive Angus Raine predicted that the inner west would outperform the average. “I’d be keeping a close eye on the city’s inner west in 2014, with commuter suburbs such as Petersham, Stanmore, Dulwich Hill and Summer Hill among the picks,” he said. Your Investment Property magazine concurred, pointing out a positive signs for Marrickville and Dulwich Hill. Meanwhile, Domain.com.au’s top median property price rankers were:

  • Breakfast Point on 29.
  • Cabarita on 33.
  • Balmain East on 40.

The West

Sydney’s West is seeing its strongest property figures in 40 years, said Raine. Selling points are low interest rates, affordability and improving infrastructure. However, no West suburbs had a Domain.com.au ranking above Wentworth Point’s 205, followed by Newington on 241 and Windsor Downs with 254.

South-West and Canterbury-Bankstown

Investors are still scouring the south-west area as there’s a shortage of rental properties, as well as a shortage of land for new homes. First National Harrington Park director Michael Alexander said that, “When anything comes up that is vacant and registered and priced right, it sells very quickly.” First home buyers are a major demographic in this area but smart investors will see a decent payout. Alexander said that blocks in bought in Oran Park and Harrington Grove just 2 years ago have now been resold at 10-20% premium.

Those south-west suburbs that ranked comparatively well included:

  • Bringelly at 207.
  • Ashbury at 209.

South

In the south new developments in Greenhills Beach and Woolooware have been snapped up, and many buyers in the south are investors. Once again, according to house and apartment median prices, valuable properties were located in:

  • Kangaroo Point ranked at number 9.
  • Burraneer was ranked 41.
  • Sandringham was at 42.
  • Port Hacking came in at 50.

In contrast, realestate.com.au compared Sydney suburbs based on long term growth and threw in a few surprises. The Ponds (near Rouse Hill) came in first with a 5 year growth of 20%, with Pemulwuy coming second with 19.5% growth in the same time frame, then came Spring Farm (18.5% growth), Middleton Grange (18% growth) and Ashfield (15.1%).

Unsure where to go from here? For expert advice on where to invest, get in touch with Chris Curtis from Curtis Associates.