What $1 Million Buys In Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs

It’s no secret that property prices have steadily increased in recent years or that Sydney’s eastern suburbs has among the highest prices in the country.

But if you had a million dollars in your pocket, what would it get you and where would that be?

You may actually be surprised at what’s still possible.

What does $1 million look like?

Sydney’s overall average house price has already well exceeded the magic million dollar mark, hitting $1.15 million in March 2018. What once was a millionaire’s budget, is now the terrain of first home buyers.

And even first home buyers with a million to spend can find it tough to even get a foot on the ladder in parts of Sydney.

Flat or house?

If you have a million dollars and it’s a house you’re after the truth is you may have to be creative because a lot has changed in the eastern suburbs over the past four or so years.

In 2014, Redfern’s median sales price was still under a million. But just four years on the suburb’s median sales price for houses is now $1,682,500. Even the median unit price in Redfern now almost makes seven figures, sitting at $975,000. And Redfern is among the cheaper places to start looking for a house in the inner-East.

If it’s a freestanding house you’re after, there’s probably no way at all it’s going to happen. The reality is that freestanding houses in any of Sydney’s eastern suburbs generally come with a median sales price of $2 million or more.

So if you’ve got a million dollars, you could be lucky, and chance upon a quaint worker’s cottage or something on a small or unusual block. However, the reality is that if you’ve got only a million you’ll have far greater choice if you focus on looking at the market in apartments.

How much space will you get?

For under a million dollars you’re almost certainly assured of a one bedroom apartment with a parking space pretty much anywhere in Sydney’s east. In some suburbs, you’ll get a second or third bedroom or another add-on.

And depending on the condition, location, aspect and appeal of the property you may even get a lot more.

Where can you buy for under $1 million?

If you have $1 million to spend in Sydney’s east, the suburbs with the most to choose from will be in the parkside or inner city areas. You’ll be hard-pressed to find median unit prices under a million in any of the harbourside suburbs, with the exception of Elizabeth Bay.

As of February 2018, suburbs with a median sales price for units of under a million - or close to a million - in Sydney’s east included:

Surry Hills: $850,000

Darlinghurst: $855,000

Potts Point: $620,000

Elizabeth Bay: $847,500

Centennial Park: $777,500

Kensington: $915,500

Paddington: $960,000

Bondi Junction: $1,030,000

Randwick: $963,500

What about the eastern suburbs beaches?

The median unit price has passed the million dollar mark in all eastern suburbs beachside areas, from Bondi to Coogee. But, as this is a median price, some apartments will obviously sell for more and some for less.

For instance, while the median sales price for units in Bondi is now $1,125,000, according to Corelogic data, 49 Bondi units have sold for $1 million or less in the past 12 months. So there’s still plenty to choose from.

Meanwhile, in neighbouring Bronte, the median unit price is $1,400,000 but only nine units sold for under $1 million.

The opportunity cost of waiting

While the market has certainly had some heat taken out of it this year, we’re still seeing good prices and steady sustainable growth. Some speculate that by 2028 Sydney’s median house price will reach $2 million.

If that’s the case, investing your $1 million now isn’t such a bad idea.

Recent sales we’ve made for under a million include:

8/3 Waverley Crescent, Bondi Junction

This well-located studio apartment sold for $375,000

7/364 Moore Park Road, Paddington

This one bedroom apartment sold for $625,000

2/349 Liverpool Street, Darlinghurst

This one bedroom apartment with parking needed some renovation but sold for $641,000

21/13 Macpherson Street, Waverley

This one bedroom apartment with parking sold for $643,000

116/244 Alison Road, Randwick

This one bedroom apartment with parking sold for $685,500

Download our 2018/2019
Eastern Suburbs Market Report

Next Insight

Sydney’s Most Competitive Property Market?