Transacting at the Top End - February 2024
February 1, 2024 / Written by Leanne Pilkington
By Guest Blogger, Leanne Pilkington, CEO,
Laing & Simmons and Immediate Past President REINSW
Sydney knows luxury property. Waterfront mansions, Opera House and harbour views, beachside grandeur and architectural masterpieces, the city is known for its prestige residences. Just look at the success of Luxe Listings. But it’s a market which runs its own race. Many factors that drive other segments simply don’t apply here, and navigating a prestige purchase can be a challenge for buyers. This month Laing+Simmons CEO Leanne Pilkington takes a look at the top end.
At the start of 2024, the availability of prestige stock is extremely low. This goes for the ever-popular Eastern Suburbs and Northern Beaches markets.
The second half of 2023 saw very strong sales at the top end, with this buyer cohort less impacted by rising interest rates. The limited number of properties which did hit the market were quickly snapped up. As an example, the median price in Bellevue Hill skyrocketed to $10 million over the course of last year.
We can expect this to continue. It’s largely local buyers driving demand, whether they’re currently residing in prestige areas or looking to enter these markets. But those in the latter group have to be realistic.
There’s a price point these buyers will need to accept as a starting point. The prestige market is not a place for bargains.
For markets including select Northern Beaches suburbs, the property itself can be secondary. Buyers are paying a premium to be part of the community, and for the lifestyle aspects, such as access to great schools.
In Sydney’s Eastern suburbs, buyers typically prioritise land size. Level land in particular is a hot commodity. Again, this can attract a premium, irrespective of the property itself.
Of course, there are still the big ticket items buyers want: privacy, aspect, views, high quality finishes, extra space, streetscape and the wow factor. Homes boasting these characteristics are broadly desired but rarely available.
Off-market transactions dominate activity. With its often-elevated concerns for privacy and discretion, the prestige market is one in which relationships really matter. Properties can be bought and sold without neighbours even knowing they were on the market. For buyers looking to enter this market, simply keeping up to date with what’s available can be a challenge.
Buyers’ agents offer a way in. A good buyers’ agent with strong contacts will know what’s on the market, officially or unofficially, and can operate discreetly in an under-the-radar capacity which vendors – and their clients - expect. A high proportion of Sydney’s top end homes are transacted this way, so for people looking for prestige residences, a buyers’ agent is worthwhile investigating.
In an environment of such low sock, we’re seeing plenty of people coming through open homes. Yet open homes for top end properties can be rare. Private viewings will often be arranged, particularly when buyers want to ensure their anonymity. Often these buyers will be working with a buyers’ agent who will have a natural understanding with vendors’ agents experienced in operating in this market.
It’s typical for prestige agents to take a ‘say nothing’ approach, especially when the media comes fishing for info. Agents are known to leverage profile-building opportunities, but the best prestige agents know that ‘keeping mum’ is how trust is gained. It means genuinely putting the client’s interests first.
Breaking into the prestige market in Sydney is not for the faint hearted. Buyers need plenty of resources. They also need relationships. The best place to start is with the prestige agents specialising in these markets, and the buyers’ agents helping people transact at the top end.
contact you in regards to buying property,
click below to
call us on 1300 655 615 today.