Is Sydney really still going strong?

Is Sydney really still going strong?
Is Sydney really still going strong?

GUEST OBSERVATION

With all of the growth that property in Sydney experienced last year, you would expect there to be a correction over the coming year. A halt, a significant slowdown, anything to balance out the growth that saw the New South Wales capital experience value growth far and away beyond any other capital city in the country.

However, it seem there may be more to come. For anyone who has bought investment property in Sydney or is thinking of doing so, the latest releases from several experts indicate that capital gains can still be made in droves in the Harbour City.

Boys cry wolf while Sydney carries on

In the 27 January SQM Research newsletter from sterling commentator Louis Christopher, he put paid to those decrying the Sydney market and anticipating its failure.

"Sooner or later they will be right but right now, a slowdown currently happening in Sydney? Hardly," he wrote. He says he spent the entire Christmas period meeting and speaking with agents and industry experts, all of whom had a busy holiday period for property.

Christopher does not see property growth dropping below 8% this year, especially if the interest rates fall. And given the Real Estate Institute of Australia's enthusiasm for a cash rate cut from the RBA because of the Consumer Price Index, this may just happen.

However, Christopher doesn't expect heavy growth to go on forever. While the predicted downturn hasn't happened yet, it may still happen in the coming years. This suggests that the near future could still be a good time to engage a buyers' agent and make an investment in Sydney property, while there are still gains to be made.

Brisbane behind, but Sydney's growth unbeatable

According to the Domain Group Home Price Report for the December quarter, Sydney's median house price rose 4.1%, while the median unit price rose 2.9%. This brought the final annual growth figures for homes and apartments to 14.1 and 10.4% respectively, head and shoulders above the competition.

Andrew Wilson, senior economist with Domain also noted that Sydney shows no signs of stopping this growth. Wilson is forecasting growth of between 7% to 10% for 2015.  Sydney’s median house price is now $873,000 and median apartment price $597,000. 

Not all suburbs will experience significant growth.  While low interest rates continue to support strong borrowing activity, investors and home buyers need to be careful to look at the long term value of the property they are buying.  Look for suburbs where there are good transport options, excellent schools, close to shops and where there is limited potential for over-development.  Many suburbs in Sydney could be rezoned for higher density so you don’t want to buy in areas where there is any possibility of over-supply.

While increasing prices means great returns on dwelling investment, the flipside is that buying a property becomes more expensive. 

Rich Harvey is an economist, investor and the CEO and founder of buyer's agency Propertybuyer.

Tags: 
Sydney

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