Shortage of listings affects Sydney market

The figures show the number of houses up for sale in the period fell by 10.8% and 12.2% for the year while unit sales volume dropped by 4.1% for the quarter and 16% for the year.

“Sellers in some areas can’t be enticed into the market, making the availability of stock an issue,” said REINSW President Cristine Castle. “However, when properties, particularly well-located units, do go up for sale they are realising good prices.”

The market saw the median house price in Sydney grow by 0.87% in the June quarter while unit prices grew by 1.85%. In NSW, overall, house prices grew by 1.01% and unit price growth were the same as in Sydney, growing by 1.85%.

The residential rental vacancy rate for June came in at 1.5%, a slight easing in comparison to the March quarter’s rate of 1.2%, but the amount of available property declined again in August when vacancy rates for Sydney dropped back to 1.4%.

Inner Sydney rents in the June quarter have continued to rise ahead of the CPI at 2.9% for three bedroom houses and 4.9% for two bedroom units.

Increasing rents are encouraging first home buyers to consider buying units they would otherwise be renting Mrs Castle said.

“The older unit stock is irreplaceable at current value and sellers with realistic expectations are attracting buyers,” she said.

Strathfield, Manly, Concord, Ashfield and Willoughby are among suburbs with easy access to public transport where units have been realising good returns. In Strathfield, for example, the median price of units rose from $355,000 in the March quarter to $390,000 this period. In Concord prices rose from $429,000 to $495,000 while in Willoughby they rose from $450,000 to $$475,000.

Conversely, both unit and house prices in the June quarter in some of Sydney’s top tier suburbs including Mosman, Woollahra and Hunters Hill have been disappointing, said Mrs Castle. House prices in Woollahra have taken the biggest hit, falling from $1.7m in the March quarter to $1.5m this period, an annual decline of 18.9%.

“Potential sellers are tightly holding onto prestige property and only selling when they need to which is frustrating people looking to get settled prior to Christmas,” Mrs Castle said.

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Marc Pallisco

A former property analyst and print journalist, Marc is the publisher of realestatesource.com.au.

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