Most popular price points | John McGrath

In his latest Switzer column, leading estate agent John McGrath spoke about properties in the affordable price brackets still available in Sydney.

He said:If I told you there were more homes sold between $200,000-$400,000 in Sydney than $800,000-$1 million, would you believe me?John Mcgrath

It’s true and a new report from RP Data proves it.

The report reveals the most active price points in every capital city.

I thought this particular stat was interesting given how much we hear about Sydney being ‘unaffordable’ these days.

It’s certainly fair to say Sydney is expensive, but by no means is it impossible – as this data clearly proves.

Sydney has evolved from a time when you could afford to buy a house in a range of suburbs both close to the city and on the outskirts – whichever suited your lifestyle best or whichever was closest to work.

But over a number of decades, Sydney’s housing undersupply and high population growth has created more tiers in the marketplace where we now have an expensive inner ring, a mid-range middle ring and a cheaper outer ring.

Many buyers today can still afford a range of suburbs, but the closer they get to the city and lifestyle locations such as beachside areas, the more likely they are to have to compromise on property types.

This is why RP Data has measured the most popular price brackets for houses, townhouses and apartments combined. These days a lot more buyers are comparing apartment and house prices when deciding where to buy.

If the location is more important than having a house, plenty of buyers will settle for an apartment.

This is another example of the market evolving as prices change. Over my 30 years in real estate, I’ve seen massive changes in market activity. The rise in apartment living – in a property-obsessed country where the quarter acre block was always the holy grail – is definitely one of the more fascinating long term trends.

After crunching the numbers for the 12 months to April 2014, RP Data has revealed which price brackets are most popular in each capital city. Here’s the top three for each – notice they are all $800,000 and under.

Sydney’s top price brackets

  • $400,000 to $600,000 – 29.6 per cent of sales
  • $600,000 to $800,000 – 20.5 per cent
  • $200,000 to $400,000 – 17.3 per cent

Melbourne’s top price brackets

  • $400,000 to $600,000 – 33.9 per cent
  • $200,000 to $400,000 – 29.1 per cent
  • $600,000 to $800,000 – 17 per cent

Brisbane’s top price brackets

  • $400,000 to $600,000 – 38.8 per cent
  • $200,000 to $400,000 – 37.7 per cent
  • $600,000 to $800,000 – 13.1 per cent

Canberra’s top price brackets

  • $400,000 to $600,000 – 51.7 per cent
  • $200,000 to $400,000 – 20 per cent
  • $600,000 to $800,000 – 18.1 per cent

Perth’s top price brackets

  • $400,000 to $600,000 – 43.2 per cent
  • $200,000 to $400,000 – 19.8 per cent
  • $600,000 to $800,000 – 19 per cent

Adelaide’s top price brackets

  • $200,000 to $400,000 – 48.4 per cent
  • $400,000 to $600,000 – 30.1 per cent
  • $600,000 to $800,000 – 9.2 per cent

Darwin’s top price brackets

  • $400,000 to $600,000 – 41.5 per cent
  • $600,000 to $800,000 – 23.3 per cent
  • $200,000 to $400,000 – 19.8 per cent

Hobart’s top price brackets

  • $200,000 to $400,000 – 54.3 per cent
  • $400,000 to $600,000 – 23.3 per cent
  • $600,000 to $800,000 – 5.8 per cent

Having said all this, it’s certainly true that the number of properties selling above $1 million in our capital cities is on the rise. Putting the capitals together, RP Data reports that 9.2 per cent of homes were sold between $1 million and $2 million compared to just 2.5 per cent 10 years ago. Yes, just 10 years ago.

Two per cent sold for $2 million-plus, which is the greatest proportion on record. Ten years ago it was 0.7 per cent.

If property values are moving this much in just ten years, imagine where we’ll be in 2024?



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Australia's leading independent property commentator, brings together leading authorities on the property market. Each week at Real Estate Talk we take a fresh look at the property market so you get all the facts to help you make the right choice.
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