A case study of Sydney housing over time- Cameron Kusher

Over the three months to April 1990, the median selling price of a dwelling (a combination of houses and units) across Sydney was recorded at $152,500. 

As at April 2014, the median selling price of a dwelling was $680,000 which represents a 347% increase in selling price over the 24 year period.

Of course a median price is only measured across properties which actually transacted but it is interesting to look at what the median priced home is over time

The following charts will look at the changes in median price over time and the location of median priced sales. 

Note that the each dot represents one sale and the red dots indicate house sales while the blue dots represent unit sales.  The buffers shown on the maps represent a 10 kilometre, 20 kilometre and 50 kilometre distance from the Sydney CBD.

3 months to April 1990

Sydney 1990

The median price of a Sydney home over the three months to April 1990 was $237,000, across the city there was 12 sales at that price over the period, 3 of which were units and the remaining 9 were houses.

Apart from 1 sale at Sylvania, the reaming 11 sales all occurred within a 20 kilometre radius of the city. For houses, you will note that 4 of the 9 suburbs are located within a 10 kilometre radius of the city and for units, Epping was the only suburb with a sale outside of the 10 kilometre region.

3 months to April 1994

Sydney 1994

Moving to April 1994, there were 34 sales at the median price over the three month period and the median price was recorded at $169,000.

Comparing this chart to the previous chart you see that the median priced house is beginning to move further away from the city centre with only 5 of the 24 median priced house sales within 10 kilometres of the city centre and 5 of those 24 sales were located more than 20 kilometres from the city centre.

For units, 3 of the 10 sales were outside of a 10 kilometre radius of the city, 2 of which were more than 20 kilometres away.

3 months to April 1999

Sydney 1999

By April 1999, the Sydney median house price was recorded at $237,000 and over that three month period there was 28 houses sold at that price and 31 units.

The big shift over the five year period was the fact that none of the median priced house sales were within a 10 kilometre radius and a greater proportion were located more than 20 kilometres from the city than those within 20 kilometres.

Within a 10 kilometre radius of the city, units where the only sales at the median price however, units transacting at the median price were becoming more common in areas more than 10 kilometres from the city centre.

3 months to April 2004

Sydney 2004

The median Sydney dwelling price over the three months to April 2004 in Sydney was recorded at $440,000.  Over the preceding 3 months there were 62 house sales and 65 unit sales at that price.

Compared to five years earlier there were a few house sales within 10 kilometres of the city centre however, once again the majority occurred more than 20 kilometres from the city centre.

For units, most sales still occurred close to the city centre however, more and more were transacting at the median price further away from the city centre.

3 months to April 2009

Sydney 2009

By April 2009, the median dwelling price in Sydney was slightly lower than from five years earlier, recorded at $420,000.  Keep in mind that from early 2004 to mid-2009 there was no growth in Sydney home values after they fell by around 10%.

The map is quite similar to the previous one with 102 houses and 103 units sold at the median price.  Once again only a few house sales were within a 10 kilometre radius of the city with the vast majority occurring more than 20 kilometres from the CBD.  Unit sales were fairly similar and mostly focused within the 20 kilometre radius of the city.

3 months to April 2014

Sydney 2014

Over the most recent three month period, the median Sydney dwelling price was recorded at $680,000.  Over the three month period (and note these figures will be revised higher) there was 31 house sales at the median price and 40 unit sales.

Looking at the above map again we see few house sales within a 20 kilometre radius of the city and the median priced unit is pushing further away from the city centre with more and more sales occurring more than 10 kilometres from the CBD.

The analysis is an interesting exercise in how over time, the ‘typical’ home across the city is moving further and further away from the city centre.

As a result, it is no wonder we are seeing growing levels of higher density development in the major capital cities.  As the typical housing option moves further away from the city centre, those that need or want to be close to the city centre look for more affordable alternatives such as units.

As the city continues to grow and density in the inner city increases we would expect a further drift outwards of both the typical house and unit sale in Sydney.

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Want more of this type of information?


Cameron Kusher

About

Cameron Kusher is Corelogic RP Data’s senior research analyst. Cameron has a thorough understanding of the fundamentals such as demographics, trends & economics. Visit www.corelogic.com.au


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