As we move towards the end of 2023, we’ve noticed some new (and not so new) trends within the inner eastern suburbs property market.
Here’s what buyers are looking for right now.
1. Outdoor space
Our area is one of the most apartment-dominant real estate markets in Australia. But that doesn’t mean locals want to spend all their time indoors. In fact, outdoor space, whether in the form of a balcony, courtyard or even rooftop garden, is probably the most sought-after feature in our local market. This is reflected in the fact that realestate.com.au data has ‘balcony’ as the second most searched keyword for apartment buyers throughout NSW in 2023 in Potts Point. “Swimming pool” was number one, and “outdoor space” was number three.
Because it’s in such high demand, a great outdoor space can generate real competition for a property and add significant value to it. One study found a balcony added 11.7% to a property’s ultimate sale price. We think that could be underestimating just how valuable good outdoor space really is, especially in the inner city.
An example of great outdoor space: Designed by Woods Bagot, 502/37 Bayswater Road is set on the fifth floor of the near-new Hensley Building. Not only does the sunny northeast terrace offer harbour views, but there’s a communal rooftop terrace too.
There was a time when most properties came with the same kind of layout – not anymore. Today, people want to be able to set up a space to suit their lifestyle, whether they’re living alone, as a couple, or as a family. Some want to be able to change their configuration without changing homes – for instance, when the kids grow up or leave home. Others want space that can perform multiple functions during the same day: a home office during working hours, a second lounge room in the evenings and a guest bedroom for when the grandparents (or grandkids, friends and family) choose to stay.
An example of great flexible space: 12/2 Elizabeth Bay Crescent offers unobstructed views over Elizabeth Bay and a jetty on title. It also provides a house-like dual-level layout that includes three flexible double bedrooms and a lounge or media room on the upper level.
3. Good parking
You may not need a car in Sydney’s inner city, but that hasn’t stopped most people from wanting the space to keep one. Off-street parking remains one of the most prized assets in any local home. It came in at number three of realestate.com.au’s most popular keyword searches for buyers in Woolloomooloo and at number two for buyers in Surry Hills.
At the top end of the market, parking for multiple cars is expected – often with a mechanical turntable or car stacker that lets you get in and out easily. Downsizers leaving the family home also prize parking.
But even for buyers without cars, a good garage can add real value. That’s because they offer both security and versatility. You can store the bikes, surfboards or the unused furniture or camping gear in them. There’s also less need to cull possessions if you’re moving into an apartment from the family home.
An example of great parking: The five-bedroom, four-bathroom freestanding home at 9 MacDonald Street offers two drive-in off-street parking spaces – a real rarity in central Potts Point.
4. Resort-style living
There was a time when apartment living meant getting fewer of the luxuries you’d expect in a family home. That’s not the case today at all. Many apartments now offer the kind of amenities you used to only find at a five-star resort. For many people, indoor heated pools, 24-hour gyms, yoga studios and saunas are all part of the inner-city apartment living experience in 2023.
The apartments that offer these kinds of top-notch amenities tend to be newer (or at least developed more recently). They also tend to be in the highest demand with local buyers.
An example of great resort-style living: 1706/81 Macleay Street is a three-bedroom sub-penthouse on the 17th floor of the coveted Ikon building. A prestigious Potts Point address, the Ikon apartments enjoy exemplary facilities, including a swimming pool, spa, gym and 24-hour concierge, and sold for $11 million after just 7 days on the market.
5. A pied-à-terre
The final trend we’ve noticed – and one that we’ve already written about – is the growing number of people looking for an inner-city crash pad or pied-à-terre. These buyers often have their main residence in a regional area, interstate or overseas. They want something that offers the ultimate lockup-and-leave lifestyle for when they have to be in Sydney.
When they’re not in town, they often choose to rent their pad out on Airbnb or another short-term letting platform. So they tend to prize something stylish and central, with great short-term tenant appeal.
An example of a great pied-à-terre: Set in the Riley Apartments, 501/46-48 Riley Street brings Upper West Side living to Sydney. Even though it has just one bedroom, one bathroom and a study, it boasts a generous 106 square metres of internal living space and sold for $2.05 million recently.
If you’re interested in buying or selling in Potts Point and the eastern suburbs, contact my team today.