Now Located in the Forum

Buyer’s Domain has a new home. Never too late to celebrate, the New Year finds us in the Italian Forum in Leichhardt – Shop 8, 21-23 Norton Street. The new office overlooks a piazza currently drenched in the last of the summer sun. The warm, earthy ceramic tiles and café-latte stuccoed facade of the mixed shopping and residential precinct will put you in mind of your last Mediterranean holiday...or perhaps the one you hope to have one day.

For us, a new Inner West office and a new website (www.buyersdomainaustralia.com.au) signify a fresh approach as we step up service – we’ll soon be offering property management to assist investors. More on that later in the year. With the Light Rail extension nearing completion, the property landscape in the Inner West is also enjoying a summer of its own. The market has been heating up in some quite unexpected places, and prices are on the rise.

The Light Rail Extension

Due to be completed within the next month or so, the extended Light Rail service will travel from Central to Lilyfield, before following the former Rozelle freight rail corridor, through the Inner West to Dulwich Hill. Nine new stations are set to service Haberfield, Leichhardt, Petersham, Lewisham and Dulwich Hill.

While on the topic of Light Rail, the planned South East extension of the network is great news for the Inner East and Eastern Suburbs. With the service set to travel down George Street to Circular Quay, then back through Surry Hills, Moore Park and Randwick through to Kingsford (via UNSW), interest in the ever popular Eastern Suburbs property market is bound to escalate. Work is expected to commence on the South East extension later this year and could take 5 – 6 years to complete.

Meanwhile, in quite an amazing revelation,Transport Minister Berejiklian has put to the sword the idea that added convenience comes at extra cost. Light Rail customers will be able to travel from Dulwich Hill to Central, without paying any more than they previously paid from Lilyfield. In fact, the price of a concession for students and pensioners has dropped.

This all adds up to great news for the Inner West and surrounds. Take it from me, the expanded Light Rail is about to awaken a few sleeping giants and, by extension, redefine the geographical implications of “Inner West”. Here are 3 of the suburbs on the rise, and on track to record even more significant growth in the months ahead:

  1. Canterbury used to suffer by association with Bankstown, which has a completely different demographic. As Richardson and Wrench Marrickville agent Andrew Knox put it: “If you go to the old Gregory’s they are three pages apart.'' Situated across the road from Earlwood, it doesn’t take much imagination to see the “village” trend take hold in Canterbury as it has done in nearby Marrickville and Newtown. Median house prices range from $753K for 2 bedrooms to $886K for 4 bedrooms (realestate.com.au)
  2. Lewisham is poised to look even better in the light of the Light Rail. Already on the up, there are still plenty of bargains to be had for the discerning buyer. The median price of a 2 bedroom house (realestate.com.au) is an attractive $586K, though it climbs quite sharply to $984K for the addition of an extra bedroom.
  3. Tempe used to be rubbished by a lot of people, but not anymore. Though not a genuine benefactor of the Light Rail, it really is spoilt for public transport choice. Just south of Marrickville, this Inner West suburb is no journey from the airport and not much further from the CBD. Geographically, it’s a stone’s throw from the Eastern Suburbs and a gateway to the South. Median house prices are still enticing to those who want proximity but not the price of the traditional Inner West. The range is from $700K for a 2br to $822K for a 4br.

With last year’s recovery in the residential property market and the prospect of continued low interest rates, SQM research (http://www.sqmresearch.com.au) has forecasted a 15% -20% increase in Sydney housing prices for 2014. Even allowing for a bit of wishful thinking in that projection, the ever popular Inner West looks set to offer buyers plenty of opportunity in 2014.

As always, though, you need to choose your property carefully, irrespective of whether it’s for an investment or as a home. Every property has a downside of some kind. Maybe that means you should avoid it; or maybe you should use the negatives as leverage when negotiating the best price. Such judgements usually call for discernment, and discernment is educated by knowledge and experience. Consider using a professional to get the best property possible. Consider using Buyer’s Domain.

If you have any plans to buy a property in 2014, call me today on 0405 134 645.