Do Suburb Records Matter?

Real estate agents love announcing record sales but how relevant really are they to buyers and sellers?

Real estate agents love to publicise their record sales. But are these numbers really relevant to you at all if you’re not selling an ultra-premium property? We look behind the data to explore what record sales really mean and analyse which price indicators you should take notice of if you’re looking to choose an agent to sell your home.

What suburb records mean

As the name suggests, a suburb record is simply the highest price achieved for a home in any suburb. Often in the eastern suburbs, where there are a number of grand homes, the suburb record will belong to a premium and unique property that’s a true one-of-a-kind.

As we’ve mentioned previously, the very top end of the market runs on different dynamics from other market segments. Interest rates don’t tend to matter and cash buyers are over-represented in the premium market. Instead, factors such as the health of the share market, the amount of M&A activity and even the value of the Australian Dollar tend to matter more.

Because of these factors, suburb records can stand for many years. For instance, in 2018 we co-sold the amazing Rona on Ginahgulla Road for a Bellevue Hill suburb record and its sale price remains a record still. We also held the Paddington suburb record for 5 years, before breaking it again in 2021.

What matters for buyers?

If you’re looking at ultra-prestige homes and you can find a sales record that applies to a property you’re looking to buy or sell, then suburb records matter. However, it’s worth keeping in mind that properties usually achieve record sales because they can offer something that stands out from others in the area - whether that’s extensive grounds, expansive views, unusual heritage or something altogether unique.

That said, there are many types of suburb records and not all of them apply to homes at the extreme end of the sales market. Real estate agents are likely to point to suburb records for property types - such as two-bedroom apartments or three-bedroom townhouses or even four-bedroom homes without a view. They’ll also publicise street records, building records, “per square metre” records and any other records that they can find.

These often have more relevance for sellers. For example, if the house across the road from you sets a new street record it often recalibrates expectations about what your home is likely to be worth. It also gives buyers a quick guide to what they should expect to pay because they can compare that new record to your property and see where it differs, adjusting their likely price upwards or downwards accordingly.

Depth of sales a better indicator

When you’re looking to engage a real estate agent, we believe a much better measure than suburb records is often an agent’s depth of strong sales. This can often show that they know the market and the participants within it more than a one-off big sale. Because it takes into account more properties, it can also give you a better understanding of where the top end of the market is actually at.

For instance, we’re proud of the fact that, while we’ve achieved many suburb records, we’ve also dominated the list of top sales in many of our key suburbs.

In Woollahra, we were responsible for 26 of the top 50 house sales of all time (52%). In Paddington, we’ve sold 34 of the top 50 (68%). In Centennial Park, we’ve sold 35 of the top 50, or 70%, as well as 14 out of the top 20 sales.

That said, top-end buyers are often more “geography-neutral” than buyers in other segments and we’ve achieved record sales in many suburbs including Newtown, South Coogee and even across the bridge in Castlecrag.

Some of our record sales

38-40 Station Street, Newtown. Once a Masonic Hall, this property offered buyers grand proportions in a suburb in which they’re notoriously difficult to find.

16/16 Notts Avenue, Bondi Beach. This penthouse had arguably the best position in all of Bondi Beach. You can read the story of the sale here.

44-46 Lang Road, Centennial Park. One of Centennial Park's finest residences, 'Braelin' is an architecturally redesigned masterpiece set on 2,195sqm of land.

175 Underwood Street, Paddington. With a rare 6.7 metre frontage and 396sqm landscaped double block, this is one of and sun-filled contemporary interiors, this is one of Paddington's finest homes. When we sold it in September this year, we also broke the previous sales record we achieved and had held since 2016 with 72 Windsor Road, Paddington.

“Rosemont”, Woollahra. We recently set a new suburb record for Woollahra with the sale of the historic and beautiful Rosemont, on its generous land holding of 3000 square metres.

Want more?

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

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