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.
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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.