Where to find distressed sellers and bargain properties

By Sendy Chung

The property market in Sydney has long been a heated topic among families, investors, agents, and even Gen Y-ers themselves.

The endless debates about the impossibility of owning their own home, whether there actually is a housing bubble, and whether that bubble may burst soon is perhaps the most talked about aspects of Australian life.

The record Sydney home prices – which have jumped 50 percent in just the past 3 years – have hit some so hard, they are afraid to set their foot in the property market.

However, there are some identified areas where properties have actually gone backwards, including Cabramatta, Guildford and Alexandria. Felix Taing from buyers’ agency Cohen Handler provides insights for April’s edition of Your Investment Property Magazine’s story on distressed suburbs in Sydney.

Cabramatta, 30km south-west of Sydney’s CBD, is a large suburb with promising growth and popularity, growing an astonishing 53% over the past 3 years. This is partly due to its proximity to the city and universities, enticing younger tenants who are drawn towards units, apartments and townhouses. Felix Taing notes that its

“consistent growth in housing values and relatively low rental return of around 3.7% is putting pressure on investors.”
The result is a surplus of townhouse listings, representing a good opportunity for investors.

Guildford is also an appealing place for young professionals and couples. Located 25km west of the city centre near Sydney’s second largest business precinct, Parramatta, it has sustained a 66% growth over the past 3 years. Housing values have increased significantly with little sign of slowing, with median house prices rising from $480,000 to the mid-$700,000’s. Felix says this is in part

“due to its location, and rental prices haven’t been able to keep up with inflated prices”
recommending investors look toward discounted houses as an opportunity for renovation.

Alexandria, the closest distressed suburb to the Sydney CBD, has high rental demand and increased supplies of accessible and identical housing. This inner-ring suburb of Sydney located 4km from the CBD has grown only 25% in the past 3 years but will hold its property values.

“Signs of saturation means investors should look for discounts towards the top end of the suburb closest to the city” according to Felix, “preferably one with a point of difference such as an extra study room to ensure a stronger resale in the future.”
For those wanting to buy property in Sydney, don’t be fooled by thinking it’s not possible. Don’t rule out leaving Sydney like so many do – you may just find a silver lining with the right team on board. Contact buyers’ agency Cohen Handler today for advice about buying property in Sydney.

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