06.28.2023 Suburb Spotlight

What Your Money Buys You In Sydney’s Inner City

What Your Money Buys You In Sydney’s Inner City

We explore exactly what your money buys you in Sydney’s inner city eastern suburbs

Whether you have $500,000 or $15 million to spend on a property, we show you what you can afford to buy in Sydney’s inner city eastern suburbs.

Where are Sydney’s inner city suburbs?

When you think of Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs, places like Bondi, Bellevue Hill and Double Bay might come to mind. But closer to the city centre there’s a completely different atmosphere and lifestyle on offer.

Sydney’s inner east takes in more suburbs than many people might immediately think of. It encompasses inner city areas such as Potts Point, Darlinghurst, Paddington, Surry Hills, Redfern and Chippendale.

Buyers and renters alike are drawn to the convenience, lifestyle, and stunning

views properties in these suburbs can offer. Almost everywhere you’ll want to go will be within walking distance and for anything that isn’t, the public transport options are great. This leads some people to dispense with a car altogether.

Investors are also attracted to the strong rental market and good returns inner-city properties offer compared with many suburbs further out. Right now, apartments in Surry Hills provide a median gross yield of 3.9%, while weekly rents have grown 9.09% over the past 12 months. In some suburbs, including Darlinghurst and Paddington, rents have grown by 20% or more since this time last year.

How far your money stretches in Sydney’s inner-eastern suburbs

So if you’re looking to buy property in this wonderful part of the world, here’s what you may be able to afford based on your budget.

Under $1 million

It may surprise you to learn that you can buy into Sydney’s inner east for far less than half the median Sydney property price (currently $1,052,810, according to CoreLogic). Still, in this price range, you will be limited to apartments – and most likely, they’ll be studios or one-bedroom apartments. Depending on the suburb and building, you may be able to find a study or second bedroom.

In mid-2023, the median for one-bedroom apartments in Potts Point and Darlinghurst was $705,000. In Paddington, it was $720,000, and in Surry Hills, it was $730,000.

In Chippendale, the median price for all apartments was $722,500.

At this price point, we see first-home buyers keen to maximise government incentives and schemes to get on the property ladder. They’re often competing with investors and out-of-towners looking for a convenient crash pad.

Recent sales

33/51 Glenview Street, Paddington A North facing top floor studio with a balcony overlooking the leafy streets, this property would make the perfect crash pad, investment or starter home. It sold for $400,000 in June 2022.

17/82 Myrtle Street, Chippendale A stunning one-bedroom, one-bathroom apartment with a large terrace. This property is situated in a warehouse conversion with a cool industrial vibe. In January 2022, it sold for $770,000 – well below the $800,000 price cap many first-home buyers have on their checklist.

$1 million to $2 million

The entry-level for houses in Sydney’s inner east starts at over $1 million. In this bracket, you may be able to find a smaller terrace house. However, unless your budget extends beyond $2 million, you’ll need to be open to the western fringe of this area.

For instance, in Redfern, the median house price is $1.55 million. Next door in Surry Hills, it is $1,819,400. But in Paddington, even the median two-bedroom median house price sits above $2 million.

You’ll also find that you may be able to buy an excellent apartment in this bracket. For example, in Potts Point, the median two-bedroom apartment value is $1,325,000.

Recent sales

204/136-142 Barcom Avenue, Darlinghurst, designed by Engelen Moore this stunning one-bedroom, one-bathroom apartment with parking is like a sanctuary and benefits from a prime north aspect, private garden oasis and rare street frontage. In October 2022, it sold for $1.225 million.

$2 million – $5 million

Darlinghurst has been one of the top-performing inner-city housing markets over the past year, with the median house price rising 7.3% to reach $2.2 million.

Next door in Paddington, the median house price currently sits at $2.82 million.

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.

Data from realestate.com.au shows Paddington is a high-demand market, with 2,566 potential buyers competing for the 33 properties that came onto the market in the past month. Meanwhile, only 171 properties have sold ‘on market’ in Paddington over the past year. That said, we typically sell a lot of property in this suburb off-market.

63 Stafford Street, Paddington This fabulous three-bedroom Paddington terrace sold for $2,700,000 in November 2022.

174 Crown Street, Darlinghurst, sold in September 2021 for $3.6 million. This grand c1840s sandstone terrace offers four bedrooms and five bathrooms and showcases a stunning architectural layout.

14 Alma Street, Paddington, sold in April 2022 for $3.905 million. A large street frontage and 212 square metres held great appeal. While the property was largely in original condition, it offered a blank canvas for reinvention with the potential for four bedrooms, double parking and more.

$5 million – $10 million

This price bracket is prime downsizer and upsizer terrain. Downsizers have been a major driver of the inner city Eastern Suburbs property market for many years now. Meanwhile, upsizers – who fuelled the unprecedented boom of 2021 – are coming back into the market in big numbers once again. Some had put off their plans to upgrade but now find the flatter market conditions are working in their favour.

It may sound like a lot of money, but what exactly does $5 million – $10 million buy you in this part of the world? In Potts Point, three-bedroom apartments sell for a median of $5.25 million. Penthouses, or larger apartments with stunning views, can sell for much more.

The $5 million to $10 million price bracket is also where we see a lot of transactions take place in the market for larger Paddington properties. At this price point, you can expect a generous, renovated terrace house on a great street.

112 Sutherland Street, Paddington In August 2022, this architecturally reimagined three-bedroom terrace on one of the suburb’s most coveted streets sold for $6.1 million.

23/22 Wylde Street, Potts Point An incredible three-bedroom sub penthouse in the exclusive ‘Winten’ building, this apartment sold in May 2022 for $6.55 million.

27 Elizabeth Street, Paddington, offers grand proportions, impeccable interiors and over six metres of street frontage. Featuring a double lock-up garage, four bedrooms and an expansive array of living spaces, this stunning property delivers effortless convenience. Oxford Street, Queen Street Village and Centennial Park are all a level stroll away. It sold for $8.6 million in December 2021.

Above $10 million

This is where inner city property records are made, and we’re proud to currently hold the price record for Surry Hills at $11.5 million.

While price records in the inner city are around half of the parkside price records and a fraction of the harbourside price records, we don’t anticipate they’ll remain unbroken for long. More and more inner-city properties are being expanded, reimagined and renovated to the highest level. When these properties do come to market, they’re in demand.

In fact, over 2023, Sydney’s prestige market has exceeded expectations, unaffected by high-interest rates and generally flatter property market conditions.

To sell at this price point, properties need to offer something unexpected. In Sydney’s inner eastern suburbs, that could often be a double block of land or superior architecture.

177a Albion Street, Surry Hills, set the Surry Hills price record (that remains unbroken) when it sold in April 2020 for $11.5 million. This one-of-a-kind four-bedroom residence beautifully showcases the renowned architectural mastery of Renato D’Ettorre. It sits on a 512 square metre parcel of land – a rarity in the inner city.

175 Underwood Street, Paddington, set a new price record for Paddington in September 2021, when it sold for $12 million. With a rare 6.7 metre frontage, this four-bedroom terrace on a 396 square metre landscaped double block is, without doubt, one of Paddington’s finest.

Want more?

If you’re interested in finding out more about the Eastern Suburbs harbourside property market, get in touch.