As we wrote in our mid-year market wrap, 2023 has been a positive year for our local property market.

Corelogic’s National Home Values Index has risen by 8.3% over the past 12 months to reach a new record high. Here in Sydney, the median home value is $1,125,533, and dwelling values have risen 11.3% over the year to date.

Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs have performed even better still, with dwelling values increasing by 13.1% to reach a median of $2,029,684.

Sydney’s auction clearance rate has been over 70% for most of this year, and the first weekend in December was the city’s busiest auction week of the year so far with 1149 properties going under the hammer.

Here in the Eastern Suburbs, auction clearance rates are a healthy 73.6%.

Increasing buyer demand for Darling Point houses

Houses in Darling Point are tightly held and don’t come onto the market too often – but that is having no impact on quelling buyer demand. In fact, the opposite is true.

According to PropTrack data from realestate.com.au, Darling Point apartments receive an average of 16 buyer enquiries per property listed, which is fairly consistent with last year’s figures. When it comes to houses, that number increases to 53 enquiries per property listed, with buyer demand increasing 20% year-on-year to October 2023.

The last census revealed that just 6.5% of properties in Darling Point (119 properties in total) were free-standing houses. A further 5.9% were terraces or townhouses, bringing the total of properties that are not apartments to 228.

According to Domain, just 10 houses have sold across 2023: too few to calculate meaningful medians.

Many of the houses that do sell are unique, prestige homes, making the suburb median even less meaningful still. In February, we sold 22 Sutherland Crescent, Darling Point, an exquisite five-bedroom family entertainer with a pool and harbour views, for $17.15 million.

Market realities: low supply and rising interest rates

Two factors have remained constant in the background throughout 2022 and 2023: low supply of listings and rising interest rates.

Low supply is part of a citywide and nationwide trend. SQM Research reveals, however, that it may be easing in our area. Since spring, we’ve been seeing around 60 properties for sale each month in postcode 2027 – a positive uptick on lower winter figures and welcome news for buyers.

Rising interest rates have certainly been in the minds of buyers who need finance to purchase property. Repeated interest rate rises mean the average variable interest rate has reached 6.72%, causing some buyers to reassess their budgets.

In Darling Point, this has especially impacted the market for one- and two-bedroom apartments.

Prestige is driving the market

In several market segments, interest rates have had little effect, such as the market for large, three-bedroom apartments or penthouses.

In fact, data reveals that a quarter of all buyers last year did not need a mortgage and paid cash. Many of these were downsizers who have a large presence in the Darling Point market.

While prices have dipped slightly, we’re still seeing medians significantly above those from 2021.

Right now, in Darling Point, the overall median apartment price is $2,695,000, according to realestate.com.au. Domain puts the median price for two-bedroom apartments at $1.9 million and for three-bedroom apartments at $3.913 million.

This price gap (equivalent to around 105%) shows the disparity in the value of two- and three-bedroom apartments in our area and the real influence of the prestige market in Darling Point.

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The ability of the prestige market to overperform the broader market was something we predicted would happen last January, based on its success in 2022.

In fact, research shows that Sydney has been one of five global cities that have seen a rise in sales volumes for properties over US$10 million in the third quarter of 2023, with no signs that it is slowing down.

Darling Point has registered several sales over $8 million this year, and excellent results have included:

In the last month, we sold:

Rental market booming

Sydney’s rental market has been experiencing a boom, with rents rising across the board and huge competition from tenants.

According to realestate.com.au, weekly rents are up 22.2% across the board for Darling Point apartments over the past 12 months. The average weekly rent on a one-bedroom apartment has risen 7.7% to $700 a week. For two-bedroom apartments, it has increased a massive 29.4% to $1,100 per week. Three-bedroom apartments saw price growth of 2.3% to reach $1,650 per week.

The vacancy rate is now just 2.12%, and one bedroom apartments are leasing within three weeks, which is excellent news for investors and landlords.

The year ahead

Many experts are forecasting a strong 2024 and perhaps even some relief on interest rates. When it comes to the banks, CBA and ANZ are forecasting a 4% rise in median prices for Sydney, while NAB puts it at 5%, and Westpac as high as 6%.

Domain argues that the property market has all but recovered any losses from 2022, but economic factors, including affordability, rising unemployment and inflation could still have a negative impact on prices in 2024.

However, it also believes a potential cut in interest rates could spark demand and drive prices up, as could tighter supply in combination with a rising population – which certainly looks to be on the cards.

Current listings

“The Terraces” 1/33 Sutherland Street: This three-bedroom dual-level waterfront penthouse in The Terraces has been transformed into a magical wonderland with dazzling views over Double Bay from almost every room and parking for four cars.

“Thornton Place” 18C/21 Thornton Street: An exceptional three-bedroom apartment with awe-inspiring uninterrupted views centred on the world’s most beautiful harbour, taking in the Harbour Bridge and Opera House and sweeping around to the yacht-filled waters of Rushcutters Bay.

“Retford Hall” 4A and 4C Thornton Street: A spacious and flexible floorplan over 167 sqm, currently presented as a three-bedroom home with the potential to create a 4th bedroom or separate study.

The 29th floor in “Ranelagh” 29/3 Darling Point Road: An opportunity to amalgamate four existing apartments totalling approximately 400 square metres and occupying the entire 29th floor of the Ranelagh building.

Want more?

Read our Buyer’s Guide to Darling Point here.

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