09.13.2023 Buying Tips

The Spring 2023 Buyers Guide to Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs

The Spring 2023 Buyers Guide to Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs

While property in Sydney’s eastern suburbs is highly sought-after all year round, spring sees more properties come onto the market – and more buyers keen to snap them up.

Spring is here, which means the traditional property-selling season has begun too. While homes in Sydney’s eastern suburbs are in high demand all year round, the warmer weather typically sees more properties come onto the market, as well as more buyers keen to snap them up.

Spring selling season is here

Last month CoreLogic released some interesting data, showing that COVID has altered the patterns we usually see in the “seasons” of the property market.

They say that based on the pre-COVID decade average, new listings added to the national housing market typically dropped by 5.2% between autumn and winter, then rose by an average of 9.8% from winter to spring.

But this winter, new listings have risen by 13.2% nationally, and there has been a 17.9% rise across the capital cities.

While the patterns have changed, the total number of listings for Sydney is actually down -7.2% compared to the 5-year average, so there’s less for sale.

With competition from buyers heating up, we take a look at what upsizers, downsizers, first home buyers and investors need to know to give themselves the best chance of success in Sydney’s eastern suburbs property market this spring.

1. Work out where you want to buy

Sydney’s east is a big area, home to a wide range of demographics, lifestyles and property types, so you’ll need to narrow down which part of Sydney’s eastern suburbs you’re interested in.

The harbourside eastern suburbs, such as Elizabeth Bay, Rushcutters Bay, Double Bay, Bellevue Hill, Rose Bay and Vaucluse, have charming Art Deco apartments nestled alongside some of Australia’s most exclusive properties. Meanwhile, Sydney’s inner city eastern suburbs, like Potts Point, Paddington, Darlinghurst, Surry Hills, Redfern and Chippendale, are ultra-convenient and often surprisingly well-priced. The wide open spaces of the parkside eastern suburbs, including Queens Park, Centennial Park and Woollahra, are popular with families, couples and singles alike. And the eastern beaches, from Bondi to Bronte, Tamarama to Clovelly and Coogee, have seen a surge in demand in recent years as buyers clamour for their own slice of beachside living.

If you’re buying a home to live in, try to picture what your day-to-day life would be like if you were to live in a particular part of the eastern suburbs. What would your commute to work be like? Which school or daycare centre would your children attend? Which amenities, like shops, medical centres, parks and beaches, do you want to live close to? Investors will want to seek out areas popular with renters, such as those close to public transport, employment hubs (like the city and other commercial centres), the university, the beach or parkland.

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2. Decide on your must-haves for your new property

The features you’re looking for in your new home will most likely be linked to your reasons for moving. If you’re upsizing, you’ll be looking for a more spacious home, perhaps with an extra bedroom or two, a dedicated workspace or additional living areas. Meanwhile, upgraders might be seeking a better-appointed home with features like a pool and luxury fixtures and finishes, while downsizers will likely be hunting for a lower maintenance property offering a ‘lock up and leave’ lifestyle. Investors might also be looking for an easy-care property, or they may be searching for a doer-upper with renovation or redevelopment potential. Meanwhile, first-home buyers are probably hunting for a property that suits their lifestyle now rather than a forever home.

While determining what you’re looking for in a home will help focus your property search, it’s worth remembering that unless you custom build your next home, it’s highly unlikely you’ll find a property that ticks every single one of your dream home boxes. Maintaining a degree of flexibility in your search can help you find your next property sooner.

3. Consider using a buyer’s agent

Buyer’s agents have become a fixture in Sydney’s eastern suburbs in recent years, and it’s easy to see why. With their inside knowledge of the local market and expert negotiating skills, they save buyers time and help them get ahead in a competitive market. They often have access to off-market or pre-market sales through their networks. Look for an experienced, communicative agent who can demonstrate an in-depth understanding of the eastern suburbs market and with whom you have a good rapport. Try asking for recommendations from friends, colleagues and real estate industry professionals.

4. Get your home loan finance approved (and your budget locked in)

With the RBA keeping interest rates on hold in September for the third month running, things are looking slightly better for buyers. It’s a very good idea to organise your home loan finance while you’re still searching for a property. That way, as soon as you find a home you’d like to buy, you’ll be ready to make your move. This piece of organisation can be the difference between securing a home or missing out because you can’t get your finances arranged in time to make an offer or bid at an auction. Having pre-approval in place will show vendors and their real estate agents that you’re a genuine buyer. It also has the advantage of giving you a firm idea of how much you have to spend.

First-home buyers interested in applying for the first-home buyer assistance schemes operated by the state and federal governments should also do so well in advance.

5. Prepare for auction – and negotiation

If you’re looking to purchase property in Sydney’s east, there’s a good chance you’ll be buying at auction. Auction is the most popular way to sell homes in the eastern suburbs, and while Sydney’s auction clearance rates dipped last year, they’re now consistently sitting in the 70 – 75% range. This is considered a good rate, a real-time sign of healthy buyer demand. This means that competition between buyers at auctions is alive and well, so to give yourself the best chance of success, it’s important to be prepared. Get a pest and building report, have your solicitor or conveyancer check the contract, and attend other auctions to get a feel for how proceedings will unfold on the day. If you’re nervous about bidding, ask your buyer’s agent, a real estate agent or a friend or family member to bid on your behalf. Sometimes, a property won’t sell at auction. If you’re the highest bidder, you’ll most likely have the opportunity to negotiate with the vendor’s agent. That’s why, if you’re interested in buying a particular property, placing a bid is always a good idea.

Looking for more advice about buying property in Sydney’s eastern suburbs this spring? My team and I are here to help – get in touch today.