Australia's most expensive city, Sydney, is heating up again thanks to historic low interest rates and low supply.
But which are the hottest areas to watch in the new year?
Chief executive of real estate agency group Starr Partners, Douglas Driscoll, has picked out his 10 suburbs to watch:
The inner eastern suburb, just 6km from downtown Sydney and down the road from Centennial Park, is on the top of the list for Driscoll.
"The long-awaited light rail network will see interest in the area grow exponentially," he said.
"I believe it will also become a ‘gateway destination’. A new cruise ship terminal is flagged for Port Botany and, if this goes ahead, I expect the government to extend the light rail all the way from neighbouring Kingsford to La Perouse."
2. Crows Nest
About the same distance from the city as Kensington but in the opposite direction is Crows Nest – and it seems like every demographic wants a piece of it.
"Many Sydneysiders dream of living in a suburb with a village-feel, and Crows Nest offers just that – with popular restaurants, trendy bars, a variety of eateries and a family-friendly atmosphere," said Driscoll.
"The multi-million-dollar Woolworths refurbishment and the arrival of a rail line in 2024 are other major drawcards that have undoubtedly driven residential interest in the area, especially among young professionals, young families, downsizers and hipsters."
Sydney's lockout laws also boosted Crows Nest's night-time economy, which already had plenty of late-night restaurants and bars.
3. Oran Park
Driscoll told Yahoo Finance last month that "exurbs" would grow fast around Sydney.
As a contrast to suburbs, exurbs are wealthy localities that exist just outside or on the fringes of metropolitan areas.
Oran Park is a prime example, and will soon be part of a larger urban economy centred around the new western Sydney airport.
"Despite being a relatively new suburb, it has a fairly self-sufficient population with good infrastructure, low housing density and reasonable commute times to the city and is fast developing its own personality," said Driscoll.
"Part of Sydney’s emerging Aerotropolis, and just a short distance from the $35 million Gregory Hills Health and Business Centre, transport links – and jobs – won’t be hard to come by."
4. Bellevue Hill
This eastern suburbs neighbourhood is one of the wealthiest postcodes in Australia, and Driscoll predicts it will only become more attractive in 2020.
"This classy pocket of Sydney will continue to skyrocket in value due to its appeal to families looking for a quieter eastern suburbs enclave that is just 10 minutes from Bondi Beach and even closer to the upscale boutiques and restaurants of Double Bay.
"With established blocks, leafy streets, a charming café strip and excellent access to employment, it is becoming – and will continue to become – increasingly gentrified. Better yet, the hilltop community also has a comparative absence of traffic – a welcome relief from other parts of Sydney’s east."
The median house price of $557,000 puts this south-western suburb within reach for first home buyers looking to use the federal government's new deposit scheme.
And according to Driscoll, Busby is $250,000 cheaper than Elizabeth Hills, which is only 2km away.
"Busby is an excellent long-term investment for young professionals and families looking to get their foot on the property ladder," he said.
"Close to the M5 motorway and with ample bus services and several schools, Busby has everything first home buyers need to make the area their home. Its proximity to Western Sydney University also makes it very attractive for investors."
6. Summer Hill
The once-industrial inner west suburb has long been a quiet favourite among families that want to be close to the city, but the word is spreading.
"There’s soul and character, and everyone loves the charming village environment it has to offer – good schools, a cool café culture, a supermarket, fruit shop, butcher and restaurants all [within] walking distance from the train station," said Driscoll.
"At its heart is The Flour Mill, an old industrial pocket that is being transformed into an amazing new residential community with apartments, shops, cafés and parklands. Rarely do you get a suburb that is both so close to the city and synonymous with family living."
Driscoll reckons Merrylands has some of the best value for money freestanding homes in all of Sydney.
"It will only be a matter of time before the suburb emerges from the shadow of its neighbour, Parramatta," he said.
"The more the Cumberland Council spends on the Merrylands town centre, the better it will become. Should it go ahead, a $292 million masterplan to redevelop Merrylands RSL will include more than 400 apartments and over three sleek, high-rise buildings, drawing European-style eateries and trendy alleyways to the area."
This south-eastern suburb is about to undergo a transformation, according to Driscoll.
"Pagewood Green, next to Westfield Eastgardens, and the former Holden manufacturing site are two previous industrial sites under development," he said.
"With a median house price of $220,000 – which is $440,000 cheaper than nearby Matraville and Maroubra – Pagewood is a coveted area for buyers in the market for a unit."
Blaxland sits just as the Blue Mountains rise from the metropolitan basin, and in recent times has been considered part of Sydney's greater west despite its rural feel.
"Large family homes are available for well under $1m and on large blocks with plenty of greenery," said Driscoll.
"Young professionals or couples looking for a better quality of life and wanting to get more for their money should seriously be considering investing here."
The suburb sits 63km west of downtown Sydney – beyond the end of the M4 motorway and the western train line.
10. Lalor Park
This western suburb is one of the most affordable in the 20km to 30km ring out from downtown Sydney, according to Driscoll, with a median house price of $611,000.
"I see it really taking off among first-home buyers. As the suburb has older homes, they can expect to get a three-bedroom, one-bathroom house on a decent block for about $600,000 to $650,000," he said.
"Its great community feel is also a major catch, drawing crowds to its monthly Community Hub Markets and the Lalor Park Community Gardens hosting frequent picnics and other events."
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