House prices in Sydney, the nation’s most exclusive property market, has pushed past the $1 million mark – but some homes in the city are still available at a more affordable price, according to property valuation and advisory firm Herron Todd White.
“$700,000 does not go as far as it did 12 months ago when it comes to purchasing a property in Sydney,” said Herron Todd White Sydney residential director Shaun Thomas in a recent report.
“Despite this, there are still options available across all parts of Sydney for the investor or first home buyer with a budget of $700,000 or under.”
While that seven-figure price point isn’t exactly a low budget, it makes a “great crossover price point”.
“At this magic number, you can pretty much purchase some sort of home in just about every market across the nation,” Thomas said.
Here are the Sydney hotspots where you can find properties for $700,000 or less.
If you buy and live in Box Hill, you’ll be about an hour out from Sydney’s CBD – but with the current lockdowns, daily commutes for office workers have vanished to nothing.
“A recent example is the sale of a 306 square metre block with a 10-metre frontage achieving $655,000 or $2140 per square metre,” said Thomas. The price tag marks a 77 per cent growth from $370,000 in 2.5 years.
Nearby, a 250-square-metres property in Marsden Park was recently sold for $542,000. If brand new is more your vibe, a two-bed two-bathroom terrace built in 2020 just around the corner sold for $685,000 in May.
In Penrith, you’ll be able to find three-bed, one-bathroom homes with a pergola and inground pool for $675,000. In Parramatta, dubbed Sydney’s second CBD, you can nab a swish two-bedroom two-bathroom apartment in the $600,000s range.
Property experts have long earmarked Western Sydney areas as attractive prospects for both owner occupiers and investors alike, as the NSW Government invests in six major construction projects in the area.
A freshly renovated three-bedroom, one-bathroom property on 556 square metres in Ashcroft sold for $650,000 earlier in the year, while an older three-bedroom one-bathroom property in Cabramatta went for $650,000 in April.
In Liverpool’s Ed Square, home buyers can find modern units close to amenities for around $650,000.
“Broadly speaking this sub $700,000 range should continue to perform, basically because it is affordable,” Thomas said.
But prospective buyers should do their research and look at the number of rentals on the market, any nearby infrastructure or amenity upgrades in the pipeline, and access to services.
“Be prepared for a long-term commitment to really see any strong capital growth.”
Property hunters seeking properties in the sub-$700,000s range will find two-bedroom townhouses and units with one or two bedrooms.
In the report, Thomas points to Miranda and Caringbah where there is potential oversupply from several newly completed apartment blocks.
An Engadine two-bedroom, two-bathroom unit recently sold for $690,000, while a renovated one-bed one-bathroom unit in Cronulla sold for $456,000 and is being rented out for $350 a week.
Inner Sydney/Eastern Suburbs
Regional house prices have been driven up due to citydwellers choosing to move out of the CBD. Realestate.com.au data found that the inner-city suburb of Redfern saw 10 per cent price falls in 2020.
But that doesn’t mean properties in the CBD come cheap. “Within inner city Sydney, $700,000 does not go far,” Thomas said. “This will buy an average one-bedroom unit with or without a car space depending on which side of town it is on.”
In this neck of the woods, you may find properties like this studio apartment in Rushcutters Bay that sold for $483,000 in May, or a renovated two-bed, one-bathroom unit in Hillsdale that sold for $610,000.
In the short term, property prices in suburbs surrounding Sydney’s CBD likely won’t grow much, with the closed borders keeping a lid on rental demand and returns, but when borders do re-open, rental returns will come back to their pre-pandemic levels, according to Thomas.
It’s getting quite rare to find properties under $700,000 in Sydney’s inner west, with buyers limited to one-bedroom units in this range.
One example is this one-bed, one-bathroom studio in Erskineville that sold for $537,500 in June.
“Smaller scale good quality developments (whether modern or older) are the safest bet in terms of a longer-term investment,” said Thomas.
“Other things to look for are units with a good aspect and natural light that have renovation upside, whether that be a full refurbishment or just an overall cosmetic update.”
With the median price of Northern Beaches units at nearly $1 million, finding a property under $700,000 will be a tough ask, though not impossible.
“Location, age of the building and accommodation will ultimately dictate available options.”
In this area, a Manly studio apartment ‘beach pad’ recently sold for $675,000 – but you’ll have to go as far as Dee Why, and might need to settle on an older building, for two-bedroom units at this price, such as this two-bed one-bathroom unit that sold for $670,000.
While prices for houses in the Lower and Upper North Shore have skyrocketed during the pandemic, there are still quite a lot of options in the lower end of the market amid lack of investor activity, according to the report.
But you’ll still be limited to one-bed or studios.
“In the suburb of Lane Cove, a reasonably sized, modern, one-bedroom unit with a single carspace is still obtainable for $700,000,” said Thomas.
“An example of such a unit sold in late May for right on $700,000, comprising one bedroom, a single basement carspace, located within a modern low-rise complex and appreciating views over Batten Reserve.”
You’ll get “slightly more for your money” in the Upper North Shore, where a relatively modern two-bedroom, two-bathroom unit in Waitara was sold for $680,000.
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