Best Opportunities for Sydney First Homebuyers - February 2021
February 25, 2021 / Written by Rich Harvey
Record low interest rates, government incentives, a rebounding economy, incoming stamp duty reform making the cost of purchasing cheap… what a time to be a first homebuyer!
For the past few months, market data and anecdotal reports from agents on the ground suggest a looming boom in first-time buyer activity across Sydney. After a long period of stagnation thanks to uncertainty and turbulence, the lower segment is set to explode.
But with general market demand surging through the roof, most debutants will struggle to find potential deals in their price bracket and will face stiff competition when they do. This is especially true the closer you get to the CBD.
There are the odd bargains to be found in inner-city suburbs, but ‘bargain’ in this context means a studio or one-bedroom without a car park and the need for a healthy renovation budget.
All hope is not lost, though. There are five pockets where potential first-time buyers with a decent budget can make their homeownership dreams a reality.
Want a roomy house with a yard and a garage on a leafy street in a pleasant neighbourhood without paying an absolute fortune? Set your sights on Kings Park about 40 kilometres west of the CBD.
The southern bit of the suburb is bordered by some light industrial zones and unattractive old warehouse sites, but don’t let that put you off. A few streets away from that, you wouldn’t know it exists. And my money is on continued population growth seeing these parts eventually rezoned and developed in the long-term.
The median house price in Kings Park is about $750,000 and a current scan of available listings shows you can get a nice entry level home for that price.
The demographic has tended to skew a little older here, but there’s generational change afoot. You’re starting to see more young and established families settle in the area, which will encourage a bit of gentrification.
Down in the sought-after Sutherland Shire, the lovely little suburb of Kirawee is a good option for those in the market for an apartment that’s a bit closer to the hustle and bustle.
Here, for around the median unit price of $735,000 you can get a modern and spacious place that will make a very comfortable first home.
The area itself is thriving, with the South Village precinct breathing new life – and a stack of new restaurants, cafes and shops – into Kirawee. Young families are flocking here as a result of the gentrification and urban renewal.
There’d a train station providing decent connectivity through to the city, which is 25 kilometres away. And, of course, being in the Shire, you’re a short drive to the beach.
To the northwest of the CBD in Hornsby, you can find a contemporary unit with all of the mod cons that a first timer could dream of, and for a reasonable price.
The median unit price is $640,000 and a recent influx of new supply means there’s a bit of choice at the moment. But older-style brick complexes offer the best value and there’s opportunity to add value down the track with a considered renovation.
I like Hornsby. It’s active, vibrant, cultural, has a good amount of lifestyle amenity and excellent services, including a Westfield. The food scene is exceptional with the world’s cuisine spread throughout in everything from casual café fare to fine dining. For young families, there are some good schools in the area too.
Best of all, it’s only 25 kilometres from the CBD. The transport links are good, making a work commute a pretty easy experience.
The suburb of Enfield is one of those Sydney locales that you kind of forget about sometimes. It’s not quite inner west, it’s sandwiched between bigger suburbs, and the demographic has tended to be older in the past.
But I think it presents excellent value for first homebuyers, especially those looking for units, the median price for which is about $610,000.
It’s a very close 11 kilometres southwest of the CBD and only a few minutes down the road from the posh and trendy Summer Hill. It also neighbours Ashfield, which is on the cusp of an urban renaissance.
The thing that acts as an unexpected upside here is that Enfield doesn’t have a train station. But that makes it much more peaceful and low key than its big neighbours. Spend a bit of time wandering around and you’ll see what a mean. Plus, buses make getting around convenient and the rail station at Strathfield is nearby.
If you’re into outdoor space, Henley Park is massive. There are facilities for just about every kind of recreation, plus playgrounds and BBQs.
Those who want a bit of room and a bit of outdoor space on a budget should look for houses in Granville, in the southern ring of booming Parramatta, just 18 kilometres from the city.
The median house price is $800,000 and as a result, interest is always high. But with some patience – or better yet, the help of an expert buyers' agent – you can find a gem, whether it’s a period-feature packed cottage, a newer and modern build, or a 70s lowset brick.
Despite being surrounded by the colour and character of the west, Granville is a little more peaceful than you’d expect. That makes it the perfect place to have your cake – or virtually any type of international cuisine you can imagine – and eat it too.
There are decent local services and some nice pocket parks and nature reserves.
Connectivity is an absolute breeze, whether it’s to Parramatta, literally minutes away, or the Sydney CBD, about 35 minutes on a train in morning or afternoon peak.
No matter your budget and your needs, wants and desired area, an independent, qualified and experienced buyers' agent can help you to seek out opportunities and then negotiate on your behalf.
They can also source potential property deals that never make it to the open market. They’re houses and units that you won’t find on real estate listings websites.
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