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How Sydney’s lockout laws are affecting property prices

Samantha Menzies
How Sydney’s lockout laws are affecting property prices

Sydney’s Kings Cross area used to be well known for all-night partying and free flowing alcohol, but since the lockout laws were implemented the area has turned into a ghost town and property prices are shifting.

The new laws – introduced in response to the increasing level of drunk violence in the King’s Cross district in particular – state that establishments can’t allow entry after 1.30am and can’t serve alcohol after 3am in parts of Sydney’s CBD and the King’s Cross district.

Implementation of the restrictive new rules have resulted in the closure of several iconic nightclubs across the city.

Also read: 10 laws that suggest Australia is a nanny state

But what was instrumental in the death of the Kings Cross nightlife could be a boon for the local housing market.

Instead of attracting all-night party goers, the area is getting more interest from families and Aussies looking to downsize their property – and less interest from investors.

Simon Polito of Laing Real Estate told Domain Group while lockout laws had led to the closure of many venues, they had accelerated home sales, especially in the high-end market.

Baby boomers especially are creeping in from blue-ribbon postcodes such as Paddington and Woollahra – bringing a lot of cash with them.

So too are young families.

“You are seeing a whole new demographic of people moving into the area – it used to be prostitutes on corners, now it’s people pushing prams,” he said.

“They used to choose Woollahra, even Darling Point, but now they can have the convenience of the city and the nightlife, and noise is disappearing. These are people who have sold big houses in the east and can afford something luxe in the Cross.”

Also read: Why one family quit the Sydney property dream

The lockout laws were also offered as one of the reasons that a number of properties in the Kings Cross and Potts Point area have recently sold at record prices, with signs there may be more to come.

In April, ​a 1890s Victorian Italianate terrace at 29 Challis Avenue, Potts Point, sold for $13 million, the highest price ever for a terrace in Australia. 

Meanwhile, a two-bedroom art deco flat on 13-15 Bayswater Road sold $230,000 over reserve at $1.63 million just last week.