Top places to buy in Sydney 2019

Peter Matthews, Vice President of the Real Estate Institute of New South Wales (REINSW), reveals his top Sydney picks after speaking at one of our Connect Events.

He also shares some sensible first home buying tips to help maximise your value for money and protect you financially in the future.

Top picks to buy in Sydney

Peter recommends areas with current or improving infrastructure – especially transport options.

He also recommends areas that haven’t been overly impacted by new or upcoming residential developments, particularly high rises.

“It comes down to a supply issue,” he says. “There are some markets with an oversupply or impending oversupply. Be cautious of that if you don’t think you’ll stay in the property for at least five years.”

Inner West

Peter describes it as a hive of great buying options – with potential for future growth in suburbs like Marrickville, Tempe and Sydenham.

“Once the poor cousins in the Inner West, they had a nice little catch up during the rise in the market,” he says. “Even though that’s now settled back a bit, they have great access to rail transport and some free-standing properties available, so you can actually get yourself some land.”

Lower North Shore

“There’s some good value in the newer parts and some of the refurbed buildings,” says Peter. “And the Wollstonecraft and Waverton markets have established properties and great infrastructure, including rail links.”

“As for Crows Nest, new transport options and great amenities might take it to a whole new platform price-wise in the future.”

Eastern Suburbs

“I think the best value in the east isn’t necessarily in the high value markets,” says Peter. “It’s probably more south of Randwick, towards Maroubra, Matraville and Hillsdale. Any established properties around those markets could be worth considering.”

Wildcard markets to watch

Peter suggests Blacktown and markets like Kellyville and Rouse Hill in the Hills District for families who plan to stay in the property for at least 10 years.

“While you can never accurately determine how these outer markets will perform, they have good schooling and new infrastructure,” says Peter. “They’re not far off the main rail line.”

“And then there’s the suburb of North Epping. It’s an insular, family orientated market with easy access to Epping, and it’s surrounded by national parks.”

Tips for first home buyers

Start small

A lot of first home buyers will try to borrow as much as they can and jump into a higher value home straight away.

Peter recommends considering a stepping stone property instead – an apartment or a place that’s not necessarily your dream home – and saving up enough money to buy a higher value home after that.

One of the main benefits of starting smaller as a first home buyer in Sydney is the possibility of stamp duty exemptions or concessions from the government if the property is under a certain amount – be sure to check the state government’s housing website for the latest info.

Be prepared for the unexpected

Starting small could also help ensure you have financial flexibility if things change and you need to move.

“If you sell your house within three to five years, you may remove any uplift in value due to costs like stamp duty and selling agent fees,” says Peter. “I’d suggest deciding what to pay for the property based on that.”

“Some buyers assume that if x suburb grew by 10% last year, it’ll keep growing at that rate. I’d instead assume very modest or no growth and ask myself if I could afford to sell the property in two years if I pay down x amount.”

Repay at a rate of 2% more

Peter recommends that you borrow assuming you’re paying at an interest rate of 2% more than the rate you applied for. Then, repay at that rate to help pay off your mortgage sooner.

“If the market changes or stays flat for a long time and you need to move, you’ve created equity instead of burned it. If the market does rise, that’s a bonus. You’ll be double dipping because you’ve been really strong with your repayment strategy.”

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