While the Sydney property market is struggling to shake off its winter blues, demand for residential property in Strathfield is remarkably strong – defying even the agents’ expectations.
The latest figures show Strathfield property prices rose by 7.5 per cent in August, despite Sydney’s general property market recording a modest 0.6 per cent price increase in the same month.
According to valuation company RP Data, the median price of a house in Strathfield was $1.3 million in July 2011 but rose to $1.7 million in the following month.
Sammy Haddad from Devine Real Estate says the healthy price increase is due to the lack of available housing stock in Strathfield and continuing high demand from would-be residents.
Haddad says Strathfield’s wide range of private schools and transportation options makes the area attractive to young families and migrants alike.
“Strathfield has always been a good property area and prices have been reasonably steady,”
the agent says.
Joseph Georges, from Georges Ellis & Co, says clearance rates for his agency in September remained strong – about 80 per cent, for houses and units.
Georges agrees many buyers find Strathfield attractive because of the good housing stock, choice of private school and public transport options in the city.
“The inner west has a much more resilient housing market and is much more stable than the rest of Sydney,” he says.
Guangdong-born Anna Tang, who now lives in Strathfield, says many of her overseas-born friends only look at property within the municipality, such is the appeal of Strathfield real estate.
“My friends want to move into area because of the convenient transportation and the good houses,” she said. “It’s a good time for them to buy because the market is quite slow [at the moment] so they are very keen to buy now.”
Haddad says the slow market and falling house prices have also encouraged investors back into the market, another reason why the clearance rates for Strathfield auctions had been so strong.
“For the rest of Sydney, the home clearance rates have been low but at Devine we’ve cleared 100 per cent,” he says.
Even the clearance rates for units in Strathfield, traditionally weaker than the housing sector, have been healthy, with Devine selling 92 to 93 per cent of listed units over the past month.
RP Data says 2900 people were looking for homes in Strathfield in August, but only 130 properties were listed during that month.
“The problem with the area is that there is much more of a demand than there is supply which contributes to our high clearance rates,” Haddad says.
“There were far fewer houses advertised this spring than there were at the same time last year.”
Agents agree a slow market makes potential sellers cautious about listing their houses – preferring to wait for an upswing in prices.
“The market is slowing down and people who are looking to sell are very wary for obvious reasons – they are afraid their property might not sell,” Haddad says.
“But in Strathfield, demand is higher than ever. It is one of the best places to buy and you can’t go wrong.”