04.27.2022 Lifestyle

How Downsizers Have Reshaped Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs

How Downsizers Have Reshaped Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs

Over the past decade, downsizers have been changing the face of the eastern suburbs’ property market.

For some time, downsizers have been a real factor in the eastern suburbs’ property market. In fact, they’ve become so important to our local property market, that last year we wrote that downsizers had become the dominant force in some suburbs.

If anything, since then the influence of downsizers has grown even further. While COVID-19 has impacted some market segments, like investors, downsizers have remained just as active.

That means downsizer-appeal has become the major factor in determining what price many properties will sell for, especially in suburbs such as Potts Point, Elizabeth Bay, Rose Bay and Double Bay. That, in turn, means downsizers’ requirements are even deciding the kinds of developments that are currently being built and sold.

What’s driving downsizers at the moment?

While the Sydney market generally begins to cool, the downsizer market remains red hot. We’ve observed two factors behind this.

First, much of the gain in property values over the past 18 months or so has focused on family homes, especially in established suburbs. The median house price in many suburbs has recorded a gain of more than 30% since mid-2020. That means downsizers who sell the family home to fund their next move are finding they have a lot more money to spend than they once would have.

Second, there haven’t been enough quality properties to satisfy this market segment. While there has been a general shortage of listings – and this has helped drive prices upwards across the board – it’s in this part of the market that lack of stock has been most acute.

The main reason is that downsizers today don’t always expect the same things that buyers of five-or-10 years ago did, and the property market has taken some time to catch up.

Today’s downsizers

Most of today’s downsizers are retirees and pre-retirees but that isn’t always the case. Increasingly, we’re seeing families with children in their final years of high school leave the home in the suburbs for a lock-up-and-leave lifestyle closer to the city and education.

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One thing all downsizers seem to want, other than convenience, is space. That means that the standard one-and-two bedroom apartments of the past don’t tend to meet their needs. Instead, three- or four-bedroom apartments or townhouses are in the highest demand. Of course, if the property comes with a view or amenities – such as a swimming pool or tennis courts – even better still.

Where are downsizers most active?

There are several key locations in the Eastern Suburbs which downsizers find especially appealing. Paddington and other parkside or inner-city locations are one of them, but so is the harbourside area stretching from Potts Point to Elizabeth Bay, Double Bay and Rose Bay.

What all of these suburbs have in common are walkability, great restaurant and cafe scenes, proximity to the city and transport links, and a general cosmopolitan buzz.
As a result, these suburbs are increasingly seeing developments of smaller, more exclusive complexes that capitalise on the views while offering privacy and house-like dimensions. Over the past five years or so, we’ve seen office space and hotels converted into apartments just to satisfy this demand – changing the character of suburbs such as Potts Point so that they become more residential and less commercial.
How far your downsizer dollar stretches in the Eastern Suburbs
If you’re looking to downsize in the Eastern Suburbs, here’s what it would cost to buy a three-bedroom apartment.

Suburb Median value two-bedroom apartment Median value three-bedroom apartment
Potts Point $1.505 million $4.25 million
Elizabeth Bay $1.85 million $5.551 million
Double Bay $1.495 million $3.405 million
Rose Bay $1.31 million $3.1 million

*Source: Domain Suburb Profiles accessed 26 April 2022

As you can see, given high demand and low supply, the gap in value between two- and three-bedroom apartments can be significant.

A property with substantial downsizer appeal

We recently listed 23/22 Wylde Street Potts Point, a sophisticated sub-penthouse with tremendous downsizers appeal. Set in the exclusive ‘Winten’ residence, it boasts 174sqm of living as well as picturesque views over the harbour and beyond. It also features three-bedrooms (two with built-ins), a double garage with lift access and oak and marble finishes. Residents have access to an indoor pool and gym, and all the cafes and restaurants of Potts Point on their doorstep.

Want more?

If you’d like to find out more about downsizing in Sydney’s Eastern suburbs, get in touch with our team today.