Tell me about the property market in Sydney
January 7, 2007 4:41 AM   Subscribe

How do I assess the property market in Sydney? Are there any websites or magazines or whatever that I can read to give me an idea of the quality of the suburbs and the general price in different places? I've googled, but I am finding most information too specific.

As some of you might know, I recently moved to Sydney (see here) and now that I'm settling into the new job, my wife and I are thinking that 2007 might be the year to think about buying some property.

However, since we've only been in Sydney about 6 months, I'm looking for some resources to teach me more about the Sydney property market. I'm not looking for anything too specific, like recent auction prices, but rather a general description of Sydney suburban areas and the current cultural/social/economic makeup of the different parts of Sydney.

(Just as an aside, because of this, we considered buying on the Gold Coast, but my research suggests that we won't get the first-home owners grant in that case, plus there seem to be some major stamp duty changes!)

Anyway, any help would be great, from references of websites and books/magazines, to personal stories about suburbia in Sydney! Thanks guys.
posted by ranglin to Home & Garden (8 answers total)
The Bible for this sort of information (but it is not free). Oh and keep it quiet ;)
posted by vizsla at 12:15 PM on January 7, 2007

Oh and for demographic information, try here.
posted by vizsla at 12:21 PM on January 7, 2007

I'm a little surprised you're finding information hard to come by -- it's an absolute obsession of Sydneysiders. I throw away kilos of newsprint every week about the Sydney property market!

Stories about property often make it into the regular news sections of the paper, if the first ever property in some suburb has hit the one or two million mark, or if someone famous has sold or bought.

When a 120 sq m block in Bondi sold for $3.52 million it was even on the TV news -- it did have the added element that Lady Mary Fairfax was the owner (she paid $43,250 for the block in 1979).

You're reading Domain in the SMH, and the equivalent in the Tele?
posted by AmbroseChapel at 2:47 PM on January 7, 2007

Response by poster: You're reading Domain in the SMH, and the equivalent in the Tele?

I had a look on the website, but it seems that the SMH etc all make their real-estate website very specifically about buying property and not so much about the localities... I agree that the newspapers are a good guide, but (as you highlight) you are forced to get the information in dribs-n-drabs depending on the whims of the reporter and the big news.

I guess I'm really looking for a "Guide to Sydney suburbs". Something that tells me an insiders impression of suburbs (ie. "Burwood is a very multi-cultural suburb. Approximately 50% of the residents are Australian-born, with the other 50% evenly split between Indian and Chinese decent. Average weekly income is xxxx, and the suburb is mostly populated by young professionals and established middle-aged homeowners. Housing tends to be mainly self-contained houses, although the market has recently increased for units. Closest shopping centre is Burwood Westfield, which has....")
posted by ranglin at 3:21 PM on January 7, 2007

I guess I'm really looking for a "Guide to Sydney suburbs". Something that tells me an insiders impression of suburbs (ie. "Burwood is a very multi-cultural suburb.

With a bit of trawling, you'll be able to find this stuff in the census information that vizsla linked above. The census won't provide it all in the one document though, you'll have to go through a few.

Any personal stories about Sydney are going to be very subjective. In my experience, the way somebody perceives different suburbs is directly related to where they live. For example, I don't mind the western suburbs, having lived here my whole life, but many people in Sydney wouldn't come anywhere near them.
posted by cholly at 5:29 PM on January 7, 2007

>I had a look on the website

I was thinking much more of the physical print editions of those papers.

But even then, you're not going to get a profile of Burwood from them that's as specific as the one you want. The ABS will be some help, as vizsla says.

Perhaps the only helpful thing to say is, you're taking a rather remote view of the subject -- you're trying to do it via the internet and with a bird's-eye-view rather than using word of mouth and just, I don't know, driving around the suburbs you think you're interested in?

Perhaps if you rephrased your question: "we're looking for a house/unit within such-and-such a price, within such-and-such a distance of the CBD, and we're concerned about crime" or whatever, and take it from there rather than the very broad approach?
posted by AmbroseChapel at 5:29 PM on January 7, 2007

The Suburb Profiles section of the McGrath website has some information about Sydney suburbs, but it seems to be limited to where they do business (i.e. no western Sydney) and doesn't really go down to the census level of detail. The Domain version seems to have more of the demographic information, but not much in the way of an overview.

On your aside, I thought the first-home owners grant was open to any purchase in any state, as long as you meet all the criteria.
posted by garth at 8:26 PM on January 7, 2007

Response by poster: garth: The idea was that we'd continue to live in a rental in Sydney but buy something on the Gold Coast, since we've lived there for around 15 years and know it much better! But, of course, you need to live in a house to be eligible for the FHOG, so we'd miss out on the opportunity.
posted by ranglin at 1:22 PM on January 11, 2007

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