See current Sydney market information to keep you up to date with the Sydney property market, sales, trends, interest rates and more.

raglan street mosman

Raglan Street Mosman Property Purchase Our clients were keen to use a Mosman Buyers Agent to help them with the purchase of an apartment in the area. After selling their family home in the Hills District they were looking to move closer to the city. Being unsure of the area and the market they engaged […]

raglan street mosman

Homesearch Solutions is one of the most established and best respected Mosman Buyers Agents.  We have bought hundreds of properties in the local Mosman and Lower North Shore area for homeowners and investors, including local, interstate and overseas buyers. Read more

Beecroft buyers agent

Beecroft Buyers Agent

Acting for my client I’ve just exchanged on a Beecroft house at 10pm at home on a Saturday night, for a Canberra client relocating to Sydney.

Beecroft is a suburb in northern Sydney about 22km from the CBD. Beecroft offers great value, and there is a lot of interesting new retail and commercial development around the train station. Definitely a suburb to watch.

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NSW Office of Fair Trading Property Industry Reforms

Property Industry Reforms set to rule out understated property prices

Agents will have clearer requirements to adhere to as a result of underquoting reforms as part of the proposed property industry reforms. The proposed laws announced by the Minister responsible for Fair Trading seek to prevent prospective buyers wasting time and money on inspections because a property price has been underquoted.

The reforms will restrict agents from advertising or communicating (in writing or verbally) any price for a marketed property that is less than their evidence-based estimated selling price recorded in the agency agreement.

About the requirements

Under the new laws, agents will be required to:

  • include their estimate of a property’s likely selling price in the agency agreement
  • record the evidence that informed their estimate and provide the vendor with this evidence in writing
  • ensure a price range is no greater than 10% of the bottom figure (eg. $500,000-$550,000)
  • ensure advertising does not include any imprecise or unclear statements such as ‘offers over’ or ‘offers above’ or $XXX,000+. Importantly, an agent must never include any price in an advertisement that is less than the estimated selling price in the agency agreement
  • record all quotes provided while a property is marketed
  • notify the vendor if the original estimated selling price is revised. The agent will be required to provide the vendor with evidence (eg. market feedback) for their revised estimate and amend the agency agreement. Agents will also need to update any marketing for the property as soon as possible to ensure that no price is communicated that is lower than the new estimated selling price for the property.

Together, the requirements provide a level playing field for agents in a competitive market. They also preserve the vendor’s opportunity to work with the agent to gain the best price possible for their property. Fundamentally, they will enable true competition between buyers whose interest in a property is not solicited on the basis of an agent’s understated price assessment.

Next steps

The reforms to the Property Stock and Business Agents Act 2002 will be before Parliament in the coming weeks. They are expected to commence in early 2016. In developing the reforms, NSW Fair Trading assessed comparable laws in other jurisdictions and consulted with key representatives from the real estate sector.

To help address questions you may have about the reforms, we have included further details on our Underquoting reforms page. You should also refer to the Agents – questions and answers section on this page to gain a deeper understanding of the changes and how to comply.

We will be providing additional information to support agents and consumers in understanding the new requirements closer to when the reforms will commence.

You can read more about these reforms by visiting the Fair  Trading website – click here.

Underquoting Real Estate

Written by Sean Nicholls for the Sydney Morning Herald on 4 September 2015

In moves to stop underquoting real estate, agents will be forced to nominate a property’s estimated sale price and adhere to that figure in advertising or face losing up to tens of thousands of dollars in fees and commissions.

The estimated selling price will be set in a formal agreement between the seller and the agent as part of a NSW government crackdown on the practice of under-quoting.

Advertisements containing the phrases “offers over” or “offers above” or any similar phrase will also be prohibited, and a hotline will be established for complaints.

The new rules are contained in amendments to the Property Stock and Business Agents Act due to be introduced to parliament next week as the spring property market gets under way.

underquoting real estate

The Minister for Better Regulation, Victor Dominello, said the new laws – which fulfil an election promise – would provide “clarity” for agents, sellers and buyers and strengthen consumer protection. “Under-quoting is illegal and misleads potential buyers looking for their dream home,” he said. “This legislation will help NSW Fair Trading identify and catch the rats in the ranks.”

 

The Department of Fair Trading defines under-quoting as making “a statement in the course of advertising a residential property for sale that is less than the agent’s true estimated selling price as recorded on the agency agreement”.

Fines of up to $22,000 already apply to agents who deliberately “falsely understate the estimated selling price” of a property. Only one under-quoting prosecution is now under way, against Bresic Whitney in Darlinghurst. There have been no successful prosecutions under the current act.

Data released by Mr Dominello’s office shows 263 complaints about under-quoting were lodged against agents in the past two financial years.

The most complained about areas were Castle Hill with 18 complaints, Epping with 14 and Neutral Bay with 13.

The small numbers are believed to be a consequence of consumers not being aware of what constitutes under-quoting and therefore not contacting Fair Trading.
Malcolm Gunning, president of the Real Estate Institute of NSW, said the government had consulted the industry to ensure the new rules would be “clear and, we think, effective”.

Written by Sean Nicholls for the Sydney Morning Herald on 4 September 2015

Why rents will keep rising

Source : Tim Lawless. RP Data, as posted on Property Observer 6 March 2012

Rental rates across the combined capital cities grew by 6.3% in 2011, compared with a fall in home values of 3.6%. The superior growth performance of rents compared with values has been a consistent trend over the past five years.

Since the beginning of 2006, rental growth across the combined capital cities has outpaced the growth in home values. Over the period December 2005 to December 2011, capital city home values have increased by a total of 34.5% compared to rental rates having increased by a total of 46.8%. On an inflation adjusted basis, capital city home values have increased by 15.4% over the period and rental rates have increased by 27.7%.

 

why rents will keep rising

Looking at the performance across individual years highlights the fact that you typically see either rents or values growing or in some instances both. Across each year highlighted, one of either values or rents has grown by more than 5%. The results also highlight that if value or rental growth slows, typically the other will increase; the markets tend to be counter-cyclical.

The results are also indicative of a disconnect between housing demand and housing supply given that in any given year values or rents are growing at a rate that is in excess of the growth in inflation.


Across individual capital cities over the five years to December 2011, house values have grown by as little as an average annual rate of 0.1% in Perth and by as much as 7.9% per year in Darwin. Across the combined capital cities, house values have increased at an average annual rate of 4.4% over the last five years.

In comparison, house rents have recorded average annual growth of as little as 2.8% per year in Adelaide and as much as 9.9% annually in Darwin. Across the combined capital cities, rental rates for houses have increased at an average annual rate of 5.8% pear year over the last five years, a full 1.4 percentage points higher than average annual value growth.

Focusing on units, they have enjoyed stronger value growth over the past five years than houses. Across the combined capital cities unit values have increased at an average annual rate of 5.5% per year over the period and have increased by as much as 12.5% per year in Darwin and by as little as 0.9% per year in Perth.

Rental growth for units has outpaced the growth in the value of units over the last five years. Unit rents have increased at an average annual rate of 6.2% annually over the past five years and have increased by as much as 11.9% per year in Darwin and by as little 3.1% per year in Canberra.

The average annual rate of rental growth for houses has outpaced that of units over the past five years in each city except Melbourne, Adelaide and Canberra. Duringthe same timeframe, rental growth for units has outpaced value growth in Sydney, Brisbane and Perth.


Over 2012, RP Data expects that growth in rental rates will continue to outpace the growth in home values. The reason being that we are not anticipating any ‘real’ growth in home values. Additionally, tight rental market conditions accompanied by an insufficient supply of new housing is likely to result in superior levels of rental growth to that of home values.

As always, there is likely to be some disparity between rental growth across individual capital cities. Markets such as Sydney, Brisbane and Perth are anticipated to be the strongest performers for rental growth due to the large discrepancy between housing supply and demand and low rental vacancy rates. On the other hand, rental pressures are not expected to be anywhere near as strong in Melbourne and Adelaide due to higher rental vacancy rates and less of a disparity between housing demand and housing supply.

The question everyone is asking – what will happen to Sydney property prices in 2011? Before we make some predictions for 2011, let’s take a look back at what happened in 2010.

2010 proved to be an interesting year. Until around April/early May 2010, buyer activity was very strong in the inner/middle ring suburbs, with auction clearance rates regularly over 70%. Many of these suburbs showed significant price growth (some areas at as much as 15% in the first 3-4 months). Around early May 2010 however, the market began to soften, influenced by 3 subsequent interest rate rises (in March, April and May), international debt concerns, and a strengthening Australian Dollar deterring overseas and expat buyers. This weakening continued through to the conclusion of 2010, and with clearance rates trending significantly lower, the market was officially off the boil.

There has been a lot of anticipation with the start of 2011. How was the year to begin after the conclusion of 2010, where many properties had failed to sell and were still on the market?

Early indications are that the market has regained some strength after the Christmas break. Auction clearance rates, off to a slow start at 48% for 5th February auctions have improved with the next weeks recording 69% and 63% clearance. We have noticed large numbers at open for inspections of properties up to around $1.5m with good buyer interest for quality properties.

The high $AUD has continued to deter overseas property buyers. As buyers agents we have found that overseas buyers are sitting and waiting for a return to a stronger $USD. This has particularly impacted high-end properties and has presented some good buying opportunities, in some cases more than offsetting the poor conversion rates. This situation is unlikely to continue indefinitely and when rates return to more usual levels, we are predicting the return of overseas purchasers and higher premium property prices.

For investors, rental vacancy rates remain low at 1.4% for December 2010, with inner ring suburbs facing the greatest shortages with a 1.1% vacancy rate. Rental price rises are evident, as a result improving yields for investors.

We do believe that the market indicators are strong. Australia has high employment, historically relatively low interest rates (with no major changes expected in the short term), high levels of population growth and insufficient housing development, which will all ensure that the market will continue to growth however we believe it will do so at a modest rate. As always with Sydney property, there may be some troughs, but history has proven time and time again that the only way has been up, so if you are in the market for the medium-long term, you will find it hard to lose.

World-class price tags on Wolseley Road

Wolseley Road, Point Piper, ranks as the world’s 10th priciest residential street, says the latest Dow Jones Financial News index.

Europe property prices are in turmoil, and the priciest street was in Hong Kong. Australia’s representative held its ground, and might edge higher after the recent $52 million sale of Villa Veneto.

The price reflects about $38,000 a square metre, higher than the $US28,000 ($30,000) a square metre given in the index for Wolseley Road.

Australia’s robust economy and the strength of the local currency helped Point Piper hold its spot on the list, according to Dow Jones.

Severn Road on Victoria Peak in Hong Kong ranks as the most expensive residential street in the world, according to the third annual survey.

It costs $US70,000 for one square metre of real estate. Severn Road jumped from eighth place to overtake last year’s No. 1, Avenue Princesse Grace in Monte Carlo.

About 15 per cent was wiped off the value of the world’s 10 most expensive streets in the past year. The worst fall was on Avenue Princesse Grace, from $US120,000 a square metre to $US65,000.

The next biggest decline was Chemin de Saint-Hospice in Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat in the south of France, where values tumbled from $US100,000 a square metre to $US55,000. The only places where prices rose were Severn Road and Moscow’s Ostozhenka.

Kensington Palace Gardens in London and Fifth Avenue, New York, ranked equal second at about $US65,000 a square metre, according to the list compiled by agents Knight Frank, Savills and Chesterton Humberts along with local independents.

It appears it took a Double Bay dentist, David Penn, and his wife, Linda Mueller, to consolidate Point Piper’s spot in the prestige stakes.

After their bullish $52 million purchase last month they will have the Lowys, of Westfield fame, as their neighbours.

Villa Veneto, the home of Andrew and Andrea Banks, had been on and off the market for three years. The Penns made their initial inspection two years ago.

Mr Penn heads clinical and technical research at Southern Cross Dental Labatories, which he founded in 1983. The Penns sold their Michael Suttor-designed home at Bellevue Hill for about $23 million to Tom and Lilly Haikin, owners of the Australian franchise of the Max Brenner chocolate shop, which recorded sales last year exceeding $20 million.

Mr Haikin, a former dental technician, has a $2 million house in Maroubra.

The listing agent of both properties, Bill Malouf of LJ Hooker Double Bay, will not confirm any sale details. But the reputed $52 million price trumps the $45 million – $11,250 a square metre – paid in 2008 by the expatriate foreign exchange dealer Ivan Ritossa for the Vaucluse residence, Coolong, currently rented to Lachlan and Sarah Murdoch.

After the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy in September 2008, which sent sharemarkets into a panic, the highest Sydney sale has been $26.75 million in Vaucluse, at $16,700 a square metre.

In Perth, a 7500 square metre residential compound with three houses on the Swan River at Mosman Park fetched a record $57.5 million in 2009. But it is hardly comparable, at $7666 a square metre and three houses.

The next Wolseley Road test will be the sale of property developer Nati Stoliar’s non-waterfront penthouse through Mr Malouf. It comprises 322 square metres on one floor, and a 280 square metre roof-level terrace with jacuzzi and barbecue.

Mr Stoliar, who once called as home both the record-setting Boomerang in Elizabeth Bay and Villa del Mare in Point Piper, is seeking more than $9 million.

It is in Pacific Point, in which was set a Sydney record off-the-plan apartment price of $3.8 million in 1988. But the apartment was sold again for $2.51 million in 1993, which indicates that prices do not only ever rise on the street paved in gold. Phil Green, of Babcock & Brown, then made money on it by selling it for $3.66 million in 2000.

The ground floor apartment in Pacific Point – which has 277 square metres of internal space, plus terraces – remains unsold after being scheduled for June auction with $5 million hopes through the McGrath agent Alan Waitsman.

It was listed by the Schwartz family executor after the death in 2000 of the long-time BRW Rich List dentist Bela Schwartz, who started investing in property after immigrating from Hungary in 1940, and his widow, Eve, who died in 2005.

The highest sale price at the weekend was $2.54 million for a terrace in Darlinghurst. Two pricier listings, at Balmain and Wollstonecraft, failed to find buyers.

The overall clearance rate from 243 listings was 57 per cent, 10 per cent weaker than the 67 per cent August average, according to Australian Property Monitors.

Source
Jonathan Chancellor
Sydney Morning Herald
September 6, 2010

Sydney Rental Vacancy Rates 

Source: Press Release 25 June 2009, REINSW

Sydney’s rental vacancy rate is at its lowest level in 12 months, according to the latest data released today by the REINSW.

In May 2009, the percentage of available rental properties across Sydney slumped by half a percent to 1.0%.

“This is the lowest result recorded since May last year and is extremely disappointing,” said REINSW President Steve Martin.

In May 2009, the percentage of available properties in suburbs more than 25 kilometres from the CBD fell 0.4% to 1.0%.

In Sydney’s ‘middle’ suburbs, between 10 and 25 kilometres from the CBD, rental vacancies fell 0.2% to 1.5%.

The only parts of Sydney not to record a fall in available rental properties were suburbs within 10 kilometres of the CBD, which recorded a vacancy rate of 1.4% – unchanged compared to the previous month.

“These results are a double-edged sword: great news for landlords but grim news for tenants,” said Mr Martin.