08.02.2023 Buying Tips

Finding The Perfect City Crash Pad

Finding The Perfect City Crash Pad

We’ve noticed an increasing number of buyers in Sydney’s eastern suburbs are looking for a small property as a city “crash pad”.

In recent years, we’ve noticed an increasing number of buyers in Sydney’s eastern suburbs looking for a city “crash pad”.

Who buys a crash pad?

The idea of a city crash pad or bolthole goes back to the early days of the colony when wealthy landowners would have a fashionable ‘pied a terre’ (literally, a ‘foot on the ground’) in the city.

In more recent times, however, we’ve seen city crash pads grow in popularity with a range of buyers – the most notable of which is downsizers.

Many of these buyers have moved their main residence away from Sydney and into a regional area: often to a coastal area or somewhere with a more laidback lifestyle, such as the Southern Highlands or the Blue Mountains. At the same time, they still want to be in the city frequently for entertainment, family and friends. So they also purchase an apartment or small house they can use for regular stays.

The rise of the regional buyer

But it’s not only downsizers driving this trend. COVID accelerated the ability for many of us to work remotely, and a lot of people who weren’t yet at the downsizing stage moved out of Sydney too.

ABS data shows that over the five-year period to 2021, there was a net loss of 160,100 people from Australia’s capital cities. This is far greater than the previous two Census periods, with a net loss of just 72,200 people in the five years to 2016 and 43,100 in the five years to 2011. The trend was most pronounced here in Greater Sydney, which lost 154,800 people, equivalent to 3.0% of the city.

As buyers from all across Sydney flocked to regional areas, we fielded more and more enquiries about crash pads in the Eastern Suburbs.

Why buy a crash pad?

Many of these buyers want – and often need – to keep a foothold in Sydney They don’t want to make a permanent move out of the city altogether.

Some use their crash pad for weekends, visiting kids, going to events, entertaining or catching up with friends. Others use their city residence on weekdays, commuting from their main home in a regional location to work in the city three or four days a week – the ultimate in fly in fly out, or a FIFO lifestyle.

Some keep their city crash pad purely for themselves, their family and friends. Others put their crash pad to work and create extra income by offering it part-time on short-term rental sites such as Airbnb.

What makes a good crash pad?

A good location is critical if you’re seeking a city crash pad, and there are plenty of options here in Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs.

Many buyers look for something close to transport, shops and services that’s low maintenance and that they can easily “lock up and leave”. Security is important, as is parking for those who drive rather than fly to their city bolthole. Because apartments typically meet these criteria, most people looking for a crash pad opt to go down this route.

Weekly Market Insight
Receive Ben Collier's Weekly Market Insight directly to your inbox.
Sign Up
  • Enter your details to receive the report
  • Enter your details to receive the report
  • Enter your details to receive the report
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

However, as we wrote last year, tiny homes or small houses in suburbs like Paddington are becoming increasingly popular with a range of demographics, including those looking for a city crash pad.

These buyers are drawn to small houses because they offer a different level of privacy, greater potential for capital gains, and don’t come with the strata fees or communal living found in an apartment.

Not everyone wants a small crash pad, though, with some buyers, particularly downsizers, opting for larger properties with up to three bedrooms, including penthouse apartments.

What to consider if you’re buying a city crash pad

If you’re looking to buy a crashpad in Sydney’s eastern suburbs, there are a few things you should keep in mind.

First, location is crucial. So if you’re buying in an area you haven’t lived in, do your homework and “try before you buy”. Spend time in the area, or test it out by renting an apartment on Airbnb to see how you like it. Don’t treat this as a holiday. Try carrying out your normal life – including working, shopping, and any other activities you normally do.

Second, run the numbers. Remember that a crash pad is essentially your second home and not purely an investment property that you’ll rent out and make maximum income from. This may have implications for the type of mortgage you’ll need (should you need one) as well as tax and ongoing running costs.

Third, if you do intend to rent out our crash pad when you’re not using it, research the short-term rental market, paying particular attention to occupancy rates. Also, analyse whether you’ll need a property management company to oversee the property or whether you’ll have the time, energy and inclination to do it yourself.

Recent listings that would make an excellent city crash pad

9/166 New South Head Road, Edgecliff at just 200 metres to Edgecliff Station, this renovated art deco apartment has two bedrooms and a private North-East aspect.

5/18a Albert Street, Edgecliff, with stunning views and just 500 metres from Edgecliff Station, this spacious whole-floor designer apartment with three bedrooms offers the ultimate lock-up and leave lifestyle, with lift access to double parking.

If you’re thinking about buying or selling in Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs contact my team today.