We know the size of the prestige market is growing in Sydney, but where are buyers doing their most competitive bidding?

Here’s a look at the eastern suburbs real estate market, where buyers are facing their toughest competition – and sellers are seeing some of their strongest results.

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13 Liverpool Street, Paddington
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Paddington and Woollahra: Where downsizers face off against upsizers

The parkside suburbs of Paddington and Woollahra, both highly desirable for their close proximity to the city, heritage homes and leafy streets, are something of a battleground for two groups of buyers: downsizers and upsizers. For downsizers moving out of large homes in areas like Bellevue Hill, Double Bay and the Lower North Shore, the three bedroom terrace houses available in these suburbs offer just enough space in just the right location.

Meanwhile, plenty of families are continuing to choose apartments over houses in the Paddington/Woollahra area to find the best of both worlds. Many are moving from their first homes – often apartments in nearby Surry Hills or smaller Paddington terraces – but are unwilling to give up their parkside location for a larger floorplan.

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Which set of buyers comes out on top?

While it’s easy to assume that downsizers would have the bidding advantage at Paddington/Woollahra auctions, the fact is there’s often no clear winner when it comes to the three bedroom terrace market. Each auction always comes down to the buyers in attendance on the day, along with the features of the individual property and its location.

But no matter who makes the final bid, the fact remains that the market for three bedroom terraces in these parkside suburbs is remarkably strong. This is despite ongoing reports of declining auction clearance rates across Sydney as a whole and softening prices earlier in 2017. As we’ve seen from strong activity in the $4-$6 million price bracket since last year, these trends simply don’t reflect the reality in the eastern suburbs.

How much are these buyers willing to pay?

The competition between downsizers and upsizers in this particular corner of the eastern suburbs market is starting to push three bedroom terraces well above the $3 million mark on a regular basis. In fact, competition is so strong in some areas that we’ve seen owners sell for a profit just months after acquiring their terrace house.

According to CoreLogic, both Paddington and Woollahra have maintained average annual growth of around 6% across all property types. Woollahra’s median house price is now above $3 million with Paddington’s just below the $2.5 million mark, but a 12-month growth of 10.05% here suggests this isn’t the end of Paddington’s price rise.

Tips for Paddington/Woollahra buyers

If you are aiming to break into this area of the eastern suburbs, either as a downsizer or upsizer, there are things you can do to make the process easier, including:

  • Get access to off-market listings to make sure you’re aware of all potential properties on the market.
  • Consider enlisting the help of a buyer’s agent to give you the best possible chance of placing the winning bid.
  • Talk to an agent who knows these areas well to manage your price expectations, communicate with sellers and give you insider knowledge about new opportunities as they hit the market.

Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs Market Snapshot

A detailed annual assessment of the property market focusing on the Eastern Suburbs of Sydney, Australia.

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