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Eyes On The Prize: The Prestige East - August 2021

By Guest Blogger, Leanne Pilkington, CEO,

Laing & Simmons and President REINSW


Last month, REINSW President and Laing+Simmons CEO Leanne Pilkington made the case that Sydney’s eastern suburbs, Australia’s postcard property market, may not have yet reached its peak. This month she intensifies the focus on the east and specifically the prized harbourside pocket of Bellevue Hill, Vaucluse, Rose Bay, Double Bay and Dover Heights.

There’s no other way to say it: buyers who want to play in the eastern suburbs need the bank balance to do so. When it comes to the truly prestige suburbs of Bellevue Hill, Vaucluse, Rose Bay, Double Bay and Dover Heights, property is the playground of the wealthy.

It stands to reason. Some of the freestanding homes in these areas are among the most spectacular in the country. You’ll find Sydney’s best selection of trophy homes. A property merely hitting the market represents metropolitan news.

Harbour views, beach proximity, restaurants, cafes, bars, parks, high streets, celebrities and more, all with the CBD nearby. ‘Superficial’ demand will always be strong in these suburbs. After all, who isn’t attracted to such a lifestyle? Most of us would love to live there, if we could afford to do so.

But at the moment, genuine demand is strong too. Owner-occupiers in particular are active. Our award-winning office servicing the area, Laing+Simmons Double Bay, is having plenty of conversations with investors, but owner-occupiers are most willing to pay a premium in the current climate. And developers are responding.

New projects in Rose Bay, Bellevue Hill and Double Bay are coming out of the ground to meet demand. The product mix is varied but there’s an underlying constant: quality. Developments must offer the type of quality in design and build that mirrors the surrounding suburban fabric, as buyers looking in these areas are not looking to compromise.

It’s worth understanding what different price points can command in these suburbs. Entry prices to this market might be steep but history suggests growth is on the cards.

For $2-2.5 million, there are choices. Generally, if you’re looking at brand-new apartments, smaller two-bedroom homes of around 80sqm are within reach. For apartments in established buildings, this budget should get you a bit more space, an extra bathroom and an extra parking space.

For a budget around the $5 million mark, you move into neat, smaller homes and semi-detached territory. Buyers can secure a couple of storeys with around 300sqm of space or a large semi for this type of price. Demand in this range from owner-occupier families is particularly strong at present.

At the upper end, markets like Vaucluse can re-write the record books. Some of the country’s biggest ever residential sales have been in this pocket. With a budget of $20 million, you can secure a large block of around 1,500sqm in a great street. Once secured, however, many buyers then look to knock down and rebuild.

Laing+Simmons Double Bay recently sold 2 Clairvaux Road in Vaucluse for $18 million with a knock-down-rebuild on the cards. Goes to show just what people are willing to pay for a foothold in this most prestige of markets.

Granted, the top of the market in suburbs like Bellevue Hill, Vaucluse, Rose Bay, Double Bay and Dover Heights is something most of us can only dream about. But for a more modest budget, there are choices, and there’s no shortage of people with their eyes on the prize at the moment.

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