Sydney property prices fall, affordability rises

It’s now a little cheaper to purchase a home in Sydney, with average prices noticeably off their peaks from mid-last year.

So slower growth means purchasing a home in Sydney just got slightly more affordable, but the fall in prices very much depends on where you live or where you’re looking to buy.

The average Sydney house is now worth just under $1.05 million, while apartments are selling on average for $762,000.

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“Sydney, since market peaks in July last year, has seen values fall by only 3% after a 75% increase,” said Corelogic’s Dr Tim Lawless.

But even a 3% fall means a big difference for first home buyers.

“$100,000, 150, maybe 200, just that little bit, it makes all the difference I think,” said first homebuyer Luke Stocks.

Some investors are using the fall to upgrade from an apartment to a house.

“I think it softened at the end of last year but obviously there hasn’t been anything on the market for a couple of months,” said homebuyer Shawn Glick.

Dr Nicola Powell from Domain Group said, “First home buyer numbers are at their highest in around six or seven years.”

The state Government played its part with first home buyers by offering a $10,000 grant for properties up to $600,000. Stamp duty was also cut for properties up to $650,000 and reduced stamp duty for investments of up to $800,000.

“Those State Government incentives to first home buyers really has seen a resurgence of first home buyers in the NSW market 37,” added Dr Nicola Powell.

This caused prices in affordable suburbs to hold up but in more affluent areas including the Northern Beaches, the Eastern suburbs, Lower North Shore and Inner West, home values have fallen harder.

“It’s the higher end of Sydney’s market that seems to be softer,” added Mr Lawless.

The real test is the coming weeks, with more homes expected for sale.

“You’ll definitely find a fair bit coming on it’s just gone on this week and the next couple of weeks you’ll find a fair bit of stock across all price points,” said Jonathon Hammond from Cobden & Hayson.

Finally, there’s also the threat of higher interest rates.

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