Sydney seems to have bounced back from the decline experienced in 2019 hardly any worse for wear. While it lost out on being the top capital city market in the country in the three months to November 2019, it has charged into the new decade with a lot of promise. However, it may not have the same star power it once did.

“We anticipate the start of 2020 will be positive but measured. The increase in listings that built up towards the end of 2019 had some carry-over effect, but the market stabilisation that occurred over the course of 2019 is not expected to lead to a sharp upturn in the market,” says Leanne Pilkington, president of the Real Estate Institute of NSW.

“Many agents are booking auctions for the first quarter in 2020 to capitalise on the momentum, but it will be interesting to see if the transactional activity expected in the first quarter of 2020 carries over to the second quarter.”

Rather than a property market skyrocketing back to the top, Sydney is showing more of a “gradual recovery tempered by the low level of supply” at this juncture, she adds. 

Buyers are more careful now, especially in light of the financial restrictions and recent issues related to the quality of new developments. Regional pockets are also anticipated to benefit from their affordability compared to the metro.

“The satellite cities adjacent to the largest capitals, such as Newcastle, Wollongong and Geelong, are likely to benefit from an overflow of demand as buyers seek out affordable housing options in areas with a diverse economy as well as commuting options into the major cities,” says CoreLogic head of research Tim Lawless in his 2020 outlook report.

The NSW Fair Trading Office has also announced some modifications to the Residential Tenancies Amendment (Review) Act of 2018 for NSW and the Residential Tenancies Regulation 2019 for NSW. Some of the changes include the limitation of rent increases to once per year in a periodic agreement once the fixed term has passed; the nonpayment of utilities or water being grounds for termination; and the freedom of domestic violence victims to terminate a tenancy without having to pay a penalty.


MOAMA: Houses flourish in this waterside suburb

Located in what is known as the sister town of Echuca, the suburb of Moama is on one side of the Murray River. It is regarded as Australia’s paddle-steamer capital and has many wineries by the water.

Houses are in great demand, with prices rising in the double digits over the five years to November 2019. In the last 12 months alone, values were up by 15.3%, yet these properties remain affordable at a median price of less than $500,000. In contrast, units struggled, with values falling by 8.6% over the past three years. Nonetheless, this market does offer reasonable rental yields of 5.5% on average.

Tourism: Known as the country’s paddle-steamer capital, Moama is also home to several wineries

Growth Houses: Houses have experienced consistent double-digit growth in the last five years