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How The Economy Is Impacting Darling Point Property

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With rising interest rates, runaway inflation, global economic uncertainty and a change of government, the economic backdrop to 2022 looks very different from 2021.

And yet, property in Darling Point has outperformed the Sydney average by some margin.

We look at what impact broader economic and political trends are having on the Darling Point property market.

The impact of rising interest rates

In May this year, the RBA lifted the official cash rate for the first time in over a decade – taking it from its emergency level of 0.1% to 0.35%. It then lifted the official cash rate by another 0.5% in both June and July, so it now stands at 1.35%.

The RBA says it will continue raising rates until monetary conditions are ‘normalised’ and that it will be guided by both incoming data and its assessment of the outlook for inflation and employment. Some commentators believe this means it won’t stop until the official cash rate is around 3%. This would mean home loan interest rates would be in the range of around 6%.

The effect on the market

Rising interest rates aren’t necessarily having a major impact on affordability in our local property market. Mortgage stress is not as significant an issue here in Darling Point as it is in some parts of Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs, according to a recent report. In fact, my experience is that many recent buyers are downsizers with no mortgage at all.

At the same time, interest rates still aren’t very high by historical standards and are unlikely to even get to the 30-year Australian average of close to 7%. We’re unlikely to see a return to the late 80s or early 90s, where homeowners really did face crippling mortgage rates.

Where it does seem to be having an effect, however, is in the lack of clarity. The mere fact that rates are rising – and no one knows exactly where they will stop – is causing some people to pause the activity, whether that means buying or selling. Added to this is the general economic uncertainty that’s stemming from rising inflation, a sliding share market and unpredictable world events.

The recent change of government

Earlier this year, even before rates began rising, we saw people holding off on property transactions because of the upcoming federal election. Elections almost always lead to less property market activity. This year was no exception – even if it was not as pronounced as in 2019 when the Shorten-led Labor Party pledged to end negative gearing and end the capital gains concession for property.

Once an election is over, property market activity tends to return but this year that didn’t really happen. This wasn’t necessarily a reflection on the result but more that low activity from the election led straight into rising inflation, economic uncertainty and interest rate rises. The property market was never given the chance to recover.

Listings still tight in Darling Point

This lack of activity can really be seen in the number of property listings. SQM data shows the number of local properties for sale fell to just 48 in June 2022 – 3% lower than the same time last year.

In fact, a lack of stock for sale has been a real issue in Darling Point for some time, with less than half the number of properties for sale in recent years than a decade ago. The current conditions are adding to this.

Where the Darling Point property market stands right now

It’s this lack of supply – combined with continued demand – that has helped Darling Point continue to perform. In fact, realestate.com.au is reporting that the median unit sales price has risen 51.9% over the past 12 months to now stand at $2,925,000. In comparison, the median Sydney home value is now up only 5.9% compared to a year ago, according to the most recent CoreLogic data.

Domain data also reveals that our suburb’s auction clearance rate ranges from 60% for two-bedroom apartments to 80% for one-bedroom apartments. That’s a remarkable figure when you consider that the Sydney-wide auction clearance rate has dipped below 50% in some recent weeks.

There’s no doubt that Darling Point remains a good place to buy property, even in a turning market such as this one.

Over Sydney’s Winter, we’ve observed that many of our buyers and sellers are travelling overseas, making the most out of the Northern Hemisphere Summer and ability to travel after two years of the pandemic and lockdowns. We expect sales activity in Darling Point to increase in Spring and Summer 2022, as they return home and we see the traditional selling season kick off.

Want more?

If you’d like to know more about our local property market in Darling Point, or if you need help buying or selling a home, get in touch.

Sales records make for good headlines but do they matter for you if you’re buying or selling in Darling Point?

Record Sales in Darling Point

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The media loves reporting on record sales.

And, let’s face it, the reason the media loves reporting on them so much is because we all love reading about them.

But when a waterside mansion or a luxury penthouse sells for millions of dollars, does it really matter for you at all if you’re not also selling an exclusive, premium property?

When records get broken

You’ve probably noticed that city-wide property price records don’t get broken that often. Unlike other sections of the market, it’s not as though there are usually 20 strong prestige sales in quick succession that keep pushing prices higher. In fact, Sydney’s most expensive property, Fairwater, in Point Piper, sold in 2018 – some four years ago now, and well before the extraordinary property boom of the past couple of years.

The main reason for the time lapse between city-wide records is that there simply aren’t many properties – or many buyers – in this part of the market.

There also simply aren’t the same factors driving the money – like availability of credit. Buyers here tend to be more driven by the health of their businesses, the stock market and the economy more generally. They’re not usually concerned with interest rate movements, cost of living pressures and the other factors that determine the health of the wider property market.

But what’s in it for you?

Even if you’re not in the market for one of Sydney’s grandest waterside homes, I believe sales records have their place, particularly when setting and resetting expectations. But there are many different kinds of record sales.

Here in Darling Point, building records and street records often do impact nearby property owners. So too do records concerning particular types of properties – such as two-bedroom apartments facing east towards the heads or three-bedroom apartments without a view.

That’s because, when a record like this is achieved, it resets the market’s expectations about a home’s value or the price of apartments throughout a building. Buyers now have a benchmark to compare other properties against – and that benchmark has just been pushed higher.

If you’re selling your home, they’ll be considering that sale and looking at how your property differs – and this means they will also often adjust the amount they’re prepared to pay.

Choosing a real estate agent based on suburb records

Real estate agents love to publicise their records as a way of showing their abilities – and I think they do contribute to some extent. But, if you’re looking for a real estate agent to sell your home, it’s just as important that they can also demonstrate a breadth of sales, including properties just like yours.

This is often better proof that they understand your target audiences and can help you maximise your sale price than a once-off sale.

And, if you are looking at records, it’s most important that you ‘compare apples with apples’ – by looking at records within your own building, street or neighbourhood, or for properties with the same characteristics. Treat the ultra-premium sales, which usually have a truly unique selling point, as interesting reading rather than as a guide for what your own home will sell for.

Some recent sales

Below are some recent sales, which include building records. The number of suburb records below shows the rising demand for the finite supply of properties. We have also witnessed buyers coming into Darling Point with deeper pockets than they may have had in previous markets, having sold the family home, or a successful business.

Thornton Place

  • 4A/21 Thornton Street set a record in late 2021 for a three-bedroom, two-bathroom, apartment with double parking in this building, when it sold for $7,645,000.
  • 12C/21 Thornton St Darling Point: 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, 2 parking selling for $7,400,000

Belgravia Gardens

  • 24/60 Darling Point Road: This spectacular three-bedroom, two-bathroom apartment was a deceased estate. It sold at auction for $5,253,000.

President Towers

  • In 2020 we set a new benchmark for 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom, 2 parking strata apartments with spectacular views when 13/75 Darling Point Road, in President Towers, sold at auction for $7,105,000. The next best price was $5,250,000.

Some other suburb records

There have also been several key suburb records recently, including:

  • 3 Lindsay Ave, Darling Point: This six-bedroom waterfront residence sold after being on the market for years for a reported $67,000,000.
  • 1/47 New Beach Road, Darling Point: This ground floor, three-bedroom water’s edge apartment sold at private auction for $10,850,000 after selling for $8,450,000 in November 2020.
  • In 2020, the penthouse of “Santina”, a waterfront company title building at 85 Yarranabbe Road, Darling Point, also sold for over $10,350,000 resetting expectations for these types of apartments.
  • We’ve also seen records broken in “Yarranabbe Gardens”, a waterfront company title building at 87-97 Yarranabbe Road, Darling Point, with an unrenovated double apartment reportedly achieving a sale price well over $10 million.

Want more?

If you’d like to know more about our local property market in Darling Point, or if you need help buying or selling a home, get in touch.

Market Report: Darling Point

By | Local News, Real Estate News | No Comments

Sydney-wide data shows that our city’s property market has been slowing in early 2022.

But that’s not necessarily what we’re seeing here in Darling Point.

In fact, our suburb seems to have bucked many of the major trends affecting the Sydney property market in 2022. We explore how and why.

A snapshot of the Sydney property market in April 2022

In the 12 months to March 2022, the median Sydney property price lifted an incredible 25.5%, according to CoreLogic data. This compares to average annual growth of 7.8

Since then, however, the Sydney median price has remained relatively flat – rising just 0.3% in the first quarter of this year and actually falling -0.3% over February and March. This is the first time the Sydney market has seen a decline in 18 months – or the early days of the pandemic.

While a decline may seem like disappointing news, it shouldn’t be when you put it into perspective. -0.3% over two months is negligible and is unlikely to affect the value of most homes in any tangible way. Instead, it needs to be remembered that the Sydney property market is still 17.7% higher than it was this time last year.

Even those people who bought relatively recently will have made a substantial gain in the value of their homes.

The factors at play right now

A flatter Sydney market is the result of several factors. On the demand side, tougher lending criteria and talk of rising interest rates – especially for fixed-term loans – have impacted how much a lot of people have available to spend on a property. We’ve also noticed some people taking a ‘wait and see’ approach, based on the upcoming federal election and global uncertainty.

On the supply side, many more priorities have come to market this year across Sydney, giving buyers more choice. Over the pandemic, low stock levels helped create a sense of urgency for many buyers, helping to drive prices up. SQM now reports that property listings are back to their pre-pandemic levels.

Why the Darling Point property market is different

Here in Darling Point, the latest data from realestate.com.au paints a different story to the one taking place across Sydney more broadly. At the end of February 2022, the median unit price in Darling Point was $2.475 million. That’s up from $1.74 million a year previously – or a rise of 42.2% over 12 months.

Interestingly, our local market also rose markedly over the first couple of months of the year – with the median value lifting 10.7% – even as Sydney-wide prices remained flat.

What makes this performance even more impressive is that, as a whole, house prices (and Darling Point has few houses, compared to many units) have been well-and-truly outperforming apartment prices over the past couple of years. In fact, across Sydney, unit values grew at almost half the rate of houses over 2022 – 14.3% to 24.8% – according to CoreLogic, making the gap between them as vast as it has ever been,

This trend simply wasn’t reflected in Darling Point’s numbers.

Different factors at play in Darling Point

The reality is that the Sydney market can’t be seen as a whole. While there are macro trends that impact the whole market – such as economic confidence – others factors affect different areas differently.

A major demographic in our area is downsizers – many of whom are cash buyers and have recently sold their family homes for substantially more than they may have expected a year ago. Affordability and interest rate rises don’t affect these buyers in the same way.

Professionals are also overrepresented in our area (Census data reveals 43% of employed locals identified as ‘professionals’ and another 35.6% as ‘managerial’). Many have been experiencing strong business conditions over the past couple of years and are willing to spend to secure the right home.

So quality properties in a premium setting like Darling Point are still attracting considerable interest.

Thinking of buying or selling in Darling Point? Get in touch today.

Market Report: Darling Point, August 2021

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2021 has been a stellar year for the Sydney property market.

Since the start of the year, the median property price has lifted 18.2%, according to CoreLogic – one of the highest rates of growth it has ever experienced. The median house price has lifted even more. Since 1 January, homeowners have seen the value of their assets rise by an incredible 20.9%.

This means, for example, that a home worth $5 million at the start of the year should now be worth around $6.045 million.

Unsurprisingly, this is having an impact on the median dwelling value here in Darling Point. Domain data has the median three-bedroom apartment value in our suburb at $4.11 million, thanks to some recent record sales. Meanwhile, Realestate.com.au has recorded the median value for all apartments sold in the past 12 months at $2.075 million.

The impact of Sydney’s lockdown

Prior to the Sydney lockdown, our local property market was doing very well. Buyers were out in force, which meant that enquiries were up, open houses were busy and auctions were frenetic. The only thing missing was stock. There were few property listings compared to the number of buyers in the market – in fact, it’s hard to remember a time when demand so clearly outstripped supply. This helped foster extreme competition, pushing prices even higher.

As a result, in the weeks leading up to lockdown, there have been many successful sales campaigns, especially in prestigious apartment complexes. These included:

  • 1/44 New Beach Road, Darling Point – $11,200,000
  • 4/45 New Beach Road, Darling Point – $13,000,000
  • 1/21 Yarranabbe Road, Darling Point – $10,095,000
  • 3/22 Yarranabbe Road, Darling Point – $16,800,000
  • 6 Goomerah Crescent, Darling Point – circa $16,000,000

The lockdown market

When we went into lockdown the selling environment obviously changed in many ways. We could no longer hold auctions or take groups of people through properties. Instead, we’ve been conducting inspections one-on-one. But, while this has reduced the number of people who are inspecting properties, it hasn’t really taken the interest out of the market in any significant way.

If anything, it has made buyers more decisive. There is even less stock on the market right now, as some would-be sellers pulled their properties from the market or decided not to go ahead with a campaign.

At the same time, there are also a lot of buyers really keen to secure a property this year, who haven’t been able to, despite their best efforts. A lot of people also have more time to devote to their property search and they don’t want to still be looking when lockdown eventually lifts. When these motivated buyers see a property that meets their needs, they’re willing to make a strong offer to take it off the market.

This means property prices are still going up. The median Sydney price lifted 2.0% in July, while Sydney was in lockdown. This came on the back of a 2.6% rise over June.

So we’ve seen some strong sales over this period too. For instance, 2/73 New Beach Road, Darling Point, a two-bedroom, two bathroom apartment in the Pasadena complex, which boasted no fewer than four parking spaces.

What happens next?

Given the lack of available properties right now compared to the number of buyers in the market, there is a clear imbalance between supply and demand. So if you’re thinking of selling, this looks like a very good time to do it. It’s also likely that we’ll see a lot more properties come onto the market when lockdown lifts, meaning buyers will have more from which to choose if you do hold off.

That said, if buyers see something they like on the market right now, they shouldn’t hesitate to put their best foot forward. Around Australia, each lockdown to date has ended with a surge in real estate activity, sending property prices even higher. In the long run, you’re almost always better off securing somewhere you want to live rather than thinking about trying to ‘time the market’.

Want more?

If you’d like to know more about our local property market, or if you need help buying or selling a home, get in touch.

The Impact Of COVID-19 On The Property Market In Darling Point

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There’s no doubt COVID-19 has had far-reaching economic impacts and the property market hasn’t been entirely immune from them.

But at the same time, it hasn’t been all doom and gloom. In fact, I’ve observed several interesting, even positive, trends as a result of COVID-19.

1. Property is still selling

We’ve all read the headlines about falling prices. Corelogic’s National home value index dropped 0.6% over July, its third consecutive month of declines. Sydney property prices also fell 0.9% month-on-month.

However, these figures don’t tell the full story. Price declines have so far been relatively modest compared to the high growth we were seeing earlier in the year. If you’d bought for the median Sydney property price 12 months ago, you would still be up 12.1%.

Property has been selling throughout the COVID-19 disruption and, in Darling Point, it has been selling well. The problem hasn’t been a lack of buyers, it has been a lack of stock.

This has particularly affected houses, where sellers seem reluctant to make a move. Darling Point has relatively few houses – detached homes account for just 6.3% of dwellings in our suburb – so any decline in the number of houses for sale makes it very competitive for buyers.

To a lesser extent, we’ve also observed flatter stock levels in the apartment market.

Fewer listings may not be good news for buyers, but they are good news for sellers. If you’re considering selling, there is no reason to hold back as these low stock levels are keeping prices stable.

Interestingly, Darling Point isn’t alone in observing this trend of fewer properties for sale. Corelogic figures show the total number of properties available for sale nationally fell 4.3% in the four weeks to 27 July and there are 15.2% fewer properties for sale than at the same time last year.

2. We’ve changed the way we do business

One thing COVID-19 has reinforced is that many occupations can be carried out remotely. Real estate is no exception.

During the months Sydney was in lockdown we used Facetime, WhatsApp, Skype and other tools to continue showing properties for sale. We adapted to no handshakes, one-on-one private inspections, electronic contracts and online auctions.

We also used sales methods such as private treaty and “expressions of interest” for more properties than we normally would. This meant we could keep selling property and we achieved some amazing results through these techniques. This includes both a building record and per square metre record for Darling Point – we’ll tell you more about that below.

3. More remote sales

Since the COVID-19 pandemic hit, we’ve observed a growing new trend for offshore buyers to buy property in Darling Point without actually viewing it.

This group of buyers, who are willing to buy sight unseen, consists mostly of expats living overseas, as well as people who frequently visit Sydney but can’t currently travel here due to restrictions. They know the area, and want to buy here.

We’ve sold several apartments to buyers living in Europe, Asia and America in recent months, including:

19/85 Yarranabbe Road Darling Point
In August, an overseas buyer purchased this three-bedroom apartment in ‘Santina’ for $5.4 million based on photos and a Facetime viewing we facilitated. The sale price set a record per-square-metre rate for Darling Point.

32/60 Darling Point Road
An overseas buyer purchased this three-bedroom apartment in ‘Belgravia Gardens’ based on photos and video. The final sale price of $3.82 million set a record price for the building.

15a & 15c, 13-15 Thornton Street Darling Point
We negotiated the sale of the Penthouse in ‘Hopewood Gardens’ for $7 million to overseas buyers, based on photos and video.

We are currently negotiating with buyers in Hong Kong, London, New Zealand, Singapore and New York on several Darling Point properties via Facetime, WhatsApp and email.

Darling Point Apartments: The figures

The median unit price currently sits at $1,650,000 in August 2020, according to realestate.com.au.

The median weekly rent for units is $830 according to realestateinvestar.com.au, with a yield of 2.21%, and a vacancy rate of 2.8%. Rents for houses may have dropped significantly, but for units, they have risen 0.6% year-on-year.

Looking to buy or sell property in Sydney’s Darling Point?

Get in touch with me today.