Australia records its highest annual growth in more than 30 years as local property market grows through lockdown.

The Upper North Shore property market is again showing its resilience, continuing its unbroken run of price growth even through three months of lockdown.
In fact, we’re currently busier than we can ever remember, with many buyers using lockdown to get more serious about making a move. Buyers have been using lockdown to do their research and plan their next move.

Australia’s booming property market has reached record highs in the face of extended lockdowns and growing affordability constraints, resulting in the strongest annual growth in more than 30 years.

Property values climbed more than 20 per cent over the past year nationally, marking the fastest annual growth seen since 1989, the latest CoreLogic National Home Value Index, released Friday, shows, with Sydney up 23.6 per cent and Melbourne up 15 per cent.

Confidence in the market based on past experiences

What we’ve noticed is just how different the current lockdown is from the one we experienced in early 2020. Ku-ring-gai and Hornsby managed to avoid the worst of the price falls during that time. However, the period between March and June last year was still marked by low levels of activity, with few properties on the market and buyers and sellers holding off.

This time, we’re seeing unprecedented levels of activity. By the end of September, the auction clearance rate across Sydney had lifted to 85%, according to Domain. Here on the Upper North Shore, the North Shore Times reported that the auction clearance rate was an incredible 96% in the final week of September.

On 30 September, there were 712 properties for sale in our area (483 by private treaty and 229 via auction). This represented almost a 20% jump from the end of July, when 601 properties were listed.

What this shows is just how confident buyers and sellers are in the Upper North Shore property market. A lockdown is no longer unfamiliar territory, and as of the 11th of October, open homes are set to recommence all be it with a limited number of people inside a property at 1 time.

It also shows the genuine demand for property in our part of the world. As we’ve noted in the past, COVID-19 has forced many people to reassess what they want from their life and many have come to the conclusion space, privacy and greenery matter a lot more. These are all things that the Upper North Shore can offer like no other part of Sydney.

Family homes performing

As a result, we’ve seen some incredible median price rises over the year so far, especially in suburbs with a large number of substantial family homes.

For instance, Killara’s median house price is now $3.9 million, up from $3.1 million at the start of the year. Warrawee’s median house price rose from $2.845 million to $3,512,000 over the same period. Nearby, Gordon’s median house price rose from $2,505,000 to $3,070,000.

Given the sheer level of interest still in the market, we expect that this kind of price growth is likely to continue. We also believe that it will extend into the apartment market, which for the past year has experienced more subdued growth than the market for houses. Because of this uneven growth, apartments are often now attractively priced compared to houses. Many downsizers and first home buyers are likely to see this as the perfect opportunity to make their move.

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The banks tend to agree, with all the Big Four forecasting further growth in the Sydney property market. At the end of August, ANZ believed Sydney property prices should lift 23% by the end of 2020 and another six per cent next year.

There is one caveat, with SMH reporting that APRA was drafting measures to force banks to tighten their lending criteria in an effort to crucial price growth. However, as one commentator in the same article noted, any measures are likely to be ‘modest’ but ‘visible’.

Our new Hornsby office

Another trend we’ve been noticing – and one that has been playing out for longer than COVID-19 – has been the ‘expansion’ of the North Shore.

Traditionally, the Hornsby property market has operated separately from Ku-ring-gai’s but that has been changing over the past decade or so. At our open homes, we’ve been noticing more and more buyers with Hornsby addresses. We’re also seeing an increasing number of downsizers moving from Ku-ring-gai into Hornsby.

We believe this makes sense. Hornsby is the North Shore’s largest commercial centre after Chatswood. It’s more urban and higher density than neighbouring areas but that is part of its appeal. It has great transport connections and a vibrant restaurant and cafe scene. Yet, it still has access to all that makes the Upper North Shore great – green spaces, great schools and a relaxed way of life.

That’s why we’re excited to announce the opening of our new Hornsby office. Hornsby will sit alongside our existing offices in Turramurra, St Ives and Killara and will allow us to better service our existing clients while offering new clients the Chadwick experience.

It will also let us service areas further north, including Asquith, Hornsby Heights, Mt Colah and Berowra. With more people working from home than ever, we expect these suburbs to become in demand from city dwellers looking for a more relaxed pace of life near the Hawkesbury River. And we can’t wait for this new chapter in our agency’s future.

If you’re interested in buying or selling on Sydney’s Upper North Shore, contact our experienced team today.

Benjamin Goben
CEO, Chadwick

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