The CoreLogic Home Value Index has crowned Sydney as the top-growing capital city in Australia once again as dwelling values went up by 6.2% in the three months to December 2019.

In the ANZ/Property Council Survey for March 2020, buyers also showed increased confidence in NSW as market conditions have improved and growth expectations have gone up. The performance of the property market in the latter half of 2019 has helped facilitate this boost, as have the infrastructure projects in the pipeline that are supporting the local economy.

However, despite this remarkable return to form, Leanne Pilkington, president of the Real Estate Institute of NSW (REINSW), does not see Sydney setting any new records soon, as buyers are still being more cautious.

“The price turnaround was welcome, but we don’t expect a return to peak growth in 2020. More than just supply constraints, there are broader economic uncertainties and prevailing burdens like stamp duty that will continue to weigh on people’s minds in deciding whether to upgrade, downsize, invest or otherwise,” she explains.

“While demand is still outstripping supply and we will continue to see strong clearance rates and increasing prices, increases will be gradual and different suburban markets will perform in different ways.”

In the rental market, the results of the REINSW Vacancy Rate survey for December 2019 indicated that there had been an increase in rental supply in Sydney. In the inner-ring suburbs, average vacancy rates rose by a full per cent, from 2.4% to 3.4%.

REINSW CEO Tim McKibbin says of these market movements: “The increase in vacancies in Inner Sydney shows tenants now have a lot more choice in many metropolitan areas.”

The report further notes that vacancy rates have hovered around 3% as more apartment stock comes on to the market and must pass muster among careful investors.

“The issue of quality can be expected to remain at the forefront of buyers’ minds,” Pilkington says. “In the wake of the Opal and Mascot Towers experiences, the cladding issue and other scrutiny around the quality of new buildings, both owneroccupiers and investors can be expected to intensify their due diligence processes. This means the development community will have to work harder to set buyers’ minds at ease.”


BATEHAVEN: A strong trend of growth

A small but well-populated suburb, Batehaven is sustaining positivity going into the new decade as both house and unit values increased over the five years to December 2019.

In the 12 months to December, house prices went up by 6.9% to hit a median of $485,984, while unit values inched upwards by 0.5% to a median of $282,363 – so properties here are quite reasonably priced.

Batehaven is mainly populated by owneroccupiers who are close to retirement, with singles making up more than half of residents. Nonetheless, there is something for families as well, given the presence of institutions like Batemans Bay High School and Sunshine Bay Public School.

School: Batehaven is home to the Batemans Bay High School and Sunshine Bay Public School

Population: Batehaven is a small suburb populated by many retirees