Significant jump in appraisal demand in Sydney: Matt Lahood

Significant jump in appraisal demand in Sydney: Matt Lahood
Significant jump in appraisal demand in Sydney: Matt Lahood


The latest CoreLogic data shows the home value index increasing by 2.21 per cent in Sydney for the month of June, while auction clearance rates have consistently sat under 70 per cent.

Matt Lahood explains the latest market conditions, looks at the first home buyer concessions and talks important taxation changes.

The market to date

While some conditions have remained unchanged from last month, like reduced bidding heat at auction, the numbers through our open homes are strong and the value of homes in Sydney has increased by 2.21 per cent, according to the latest CoreLogic figures for the month of June.

I see two levers being pulled in the marketplace at the moment. There’s more stock coming on for sale in certain Sydney areas, which leads to greater buyer choice and the normal seasonal lull that settles in during winter.

There has been a significant jump in appraisal demand, which assumes people are gearing up for spring. An important factor to consider is that the Sydney market will slow for a few weeks given school holidays. Homeowners are naturally hesitant to open up their home when children are off from school or may take an annual vacation.

Don’t forget, the new ATO taxation rules on sales above $750,000 requiring a clearance certificate kick in this Saturday July 1st. This is part of the capital gains withholding changes affecting foreign ownership in Australia, the clearance certificate confirms you are an Australian resident. The clearance certificate must be obtained prior to settlement to prevent the 10% non-final withholding.

First home buyer concessions

The first home buyer stamp duty concessions also take effect this Saturday July 1st. First home buyers will be stamp duty exempt for purchases on new and existing builds up to the sale of $650,000 and be given stamp duty relief for purchases up to $800,000.

There has been speculation that the slight market dip could have been impacted by the July stamp duty concession release date and that post July 1st things will kick off again. In my view, we will not see any kind of major price shift due to the stamp duty concession, first home buyers just don’t have the market depth, or bargaining bandwidth. What the stamp duty concession will do is get them back into the market if they were going out of it and give them the confidence to stay in the market.

Investors and first home buyers will always be competing within these housing price brackets and investors have not gone out of the market. In fact, the main trend I have seen is people putting their superannuation into property. I believe the upward pressure on property pricing has come from property investors and this has been more evident since super was released for property purchases. Investing in property is seen as a more secure and lucrative investment than shares.

Census statistics say it all

Australian homeownership rates are close to a 70-year low and in 2016 sat at 65.5 per cent, this included those who owned or were buying the home they are in. Rental rates sat at 30.9 per cent across Australia in 2016, but this was even higher in Sydney at 34 per cent.

Considering these stark results, it is not surprising we are seeing large numbers through our rental open homes and the team is working hard to help tenants find what they need.

“We are working very closely with prospective tenants to ensure we find and place them into their new home before the available properties hit the market,” National Director of Property Management, Maria Carlino, says.

With Sydney rental vacancy rates sitting under 2 per cent demand is strong, especially in the executive market.

“The high-end properties are still very much in demand. Our latest executive property in Northbridgeleased after its first open home with an increased offer from $2,200 up to $2,300,” explains National Director of Property Management, Maria Carlino. “Both the owner and the new tenants were delighted as it is a special home.”

Revealing market results

Vendors are benefitting by hitting the market now because they are going straight back into the same market. If you take a 2.0 or 3.0 per cent adjustment on the intense bidding from a couple of months’ ago, the vendor then picks this 2.0 or 3.0 per cent up when they purchase in the same market.

The recent 2.21 per cent increase in Sydney home value for the month of June, despite less competition at auction, is consistent with the buyer activity we are seeing. An example was the sale of 1 Monmouth Street in Randwick. Though bidding was slow, agent Ben Collier and auctioneer Thomas McGlynn achieved a new street record at $3.54 million.

In certain blue-chip suburbs, properties are selling prior to auction and above the asking price ­­– this is on both sides of the bridge. On market for just seven days, Michael Rava sold a two-bedroom unit in Gerard Street Cremorne to an investor, the ‘upsizing’ homeowner received $100,000 above their asking price. In Waratah Street Rushcutters Bay, James Ledgerwood sold a two-bedroom unit after just 14 days on market to first home buyers, the vendor also obtained a $100,000 above asking price.

Another interesting sale was Avoca Street Randwick. Janet Morrison sold this property 18 months ago for $770,000 and after a renovation, Janet re-sold the property for $950,000 in mid-June this last month.

One Sydney area that constantly bucks the property market trends is the Inner West. A long-term performer, the Inner West has maintained much higher clearance rates than the Sydney average. For example, in May, Inner West clearance rates sat at 89 per cent and The Agency’s Inner West office has achieved clearance rates of 100 per cent and gross sales of in excess of $40 million since February 01.

The Agency service expansion

In major news for our NSW’s operation, The Agency has joined forces with leading Lower North Shore group Province Agents. This will propel our service offering across Sydney, connecting the ‘best of the best’ in real estate from the east and west, to the Lower North Shore. Most importantly, this merger will strategically connect buyers, sellers and property management across these three blue-chip markets.

Another significant announcement from Steven Chen, director of The Agency Projects, is the sale and marketing of the luxury, 88-level development ‘Spirit’ on the Gold Coast beachfront. Worth $1.3 billion, these stunning residential properties will feature uninterrupted views and access to world-class amenities. The Forise Holdings ‘Spirit’ development will create thousands of jobs and inject millions into the local community, according to Forise representative and Hickey Management chair Tony Hickey.


Matt Lahood is the CEO at The Agency - Sydney. He can be contacted here.

Sydney Property market

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