NSW

Larry Schlesinger | 19 December 2012

Sydney house and unit prices continue to tread water with strongest gains in far outer suburbs: REINSW

The Sydney median house price gained just 0.4% in the September quarter while unit prices were unchanged as the strongest growth was recorded in outer suburbs to the west and north, according to the latest figures released this week by the Real Estate Institute of NSW (REINSW).

The median Sydney house price stands at $567,000 still 3.1% down over the 12 months to September while the unit price stands at $460,000, down 1.1% over the same period.

The inner and middle suburbs of Sydney have borne the brunt of house price declines with the median house price for inner city suburbs down 2.8% over the past 12 months to a median $1.03 million while middle suburb house prices have fallen 3.3% over the same period to $720,000.

House prices in the prestige Eastern suburbs local of Woollahra have fallen 21% over the past year from $1.9 million to $1.45 million from 90 sales while houses in Mosman on the north shore have fallen 15% from $2.25 million to $1.9 million with 279 sales recorded.

The outer suburbs, predominantly in the west, were the ‘good news’ story, having avoided the drops experienced in inner and middle parts of the city, with the median house price remaining stable at $460,000.

Unit prices made their strongest gains in the Blue Mountains LGA rising 8.6% to a median of $315,000 with four of the top performing unit markets in Sydney’s outer west. The exception was Ku-Ring Gai to the north.

Across Sydney, the more affordable unit market performed decidedly better than houses with 25 Sydney LGA recorded gains in their unit prices and only 15 recorded falls. The Manly LGA recorded the biggest annual fall in unit prices – 8.5% to a median of $670,000.

Top five performing Sydney LGAs year to September 2012 - Units

LGA

Median price

Gain over year

Blue Mountains

$315,000

8.6%

Campbelltown

$256,000

6.1%

Camden

$324,000

6.1%

Ku-Ring Gai

$662,000

5.3%

Bankstown

$346,000

4.4%

Source REINSW

There were only 13 Sydney LGAs that recorded house price gains over the year to September with 26 LGAs recording falls.

The top performer was Camden in the south west, which managed a gain of 2.8% to a median of $452,250 over the year to September with the outer western suburbs (Penrith, Wollondilly, Bankstown) again prominent among the top performers, with Drummoyne in the inner west the exception to the rule.

Top five performing Sydney LGAs year to September 2012 - Houses

LGA

Median price

Gain over year

Camden

$452,250

2.8%

Penrith

$380,000

2.7%

Drummoyne

$1,100,000

2.5%

Wollondilly

$438,000

2.4%

Bankstown

$540,000

2.3%

Source: REINSW

There were much strong gains in some of the major regional towns headed by the Upper Hunter, with its house prices up 11.1% to a median of $306,000 ahead of Greater Lithgow, which recording a 9.6% gain to $232,500 and Singleton, up 7.5% to a median of $428,000.

There were also gains for Bathurst (up 5.4% to $510,000) and Dubbo (up 3.8% to $269,500).

However, the regions were very much a mixed bag with losses recorded in Wagga Wagga (down 3.3% to median of $300,000), Tweed (down 5.1% to $438,000), Port Macquarie Hastings (down 3.1% to $376,500) and Kempsey (down 8.6% to median of $267,500).

Wollongong house prices are down 2.2% for the year to a median of $440,000 while Newcastle house price are down o.5% to a median $385,000.

Commenting on the Sydney metropolitan market, REINSW chief executive Tim McKibbin says the flow-on effect from interest rates has yet to be seen.

“As conditions in the US improve, it is having an impact on our market and the overly cautious outlook we have had is beginning to ease.

“While we will not see sharp rises in property in 2013, we do expect to see consistent growth,” he says.

p top listings

Take luxury city living to a new level