The COVID-19 pandemic and Sydney’s lockdowns have been driving increased demand for lifestyle properties.
We take a look at the growing popularity of this type of property in Sydney’s East and how it’s impacting the real estate market.
What is a lifestyle property?
Generally speaking, we use the term lifestyle property quite broadly to describe properties that offer a way of life that is so appealing you almost feel like you’re always on holiday.
It might be a home that’s situated in a great beachside or harbourside location, that’s also close to cafes, restaurants and bars, and a stone’s throw from major shopping precincts. It could be a resort-style property with spacious entertaining areas and all the bells and whistles, plus maybe a pool or extra feature that sets the house apart from the rest.
Domain recently reported that rising demand for houses at the upper end of the market, including lifestyle properties, were leading Sydney’s price rises.
There are several factors behind this trend, including a shortage of properties on the market, the large number of expats returning home, ease of borrowing, and low interest rates. But the pandemic also caused people to reassess what they’re after in life, especially as so many of us have been spending a lot more time at home.
In turn, this has made a lot of people want to renovate to add dream features to their existing property. But it’s also caused many to want to upgrade to a larger home, whether that’s a bigger apartment, a house, or a larger house than they already had. And this chain of events is what is driving the strong demand for larger homes in blue-chip areas like the Eastern Beaches.
Property prices are rising in the East
It’s no secret that the Sydney property market has been booming. According to Corelogic data, national home values across the whole city increased 13.5% over the 2020-2021 financial year.
But in our local area, growth in house prices has reached a whole new level.
In July 2021, the median house price across the Eastern Suburbs sat at $3,507,500 according to the latest Domain House Price Report. It increased 7.5% over the second quarter of 2021 and a staggering 26.4% over the financial year.
But the median is just that: a median. In many areas, it’s a lot higher still. For example, Clovelly has a median house price of $3,850,000 while Tamarama is sitting at a massive $8,125,000. Prices in suburbs such as Waverley, Bondi, Bondi Beach, Coogee and South Coogee all grew to exceed the magic three million mark over 2021 according to data from realestate.com.au.
In Bronte, the median house price has risen to $4,975,000, when just a year ago it was sitting at $3,420,000. Just a little further south in Maroubra, the median house price is now $2,376,944, up from $2,031,000 a year ago.
A study in lifestyle
A recent listing of ours, 494 Bronte Road, Bronte, is a great example of the type of larger family homes and lifestyle properties currently in demand in Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs.
Offering five bedrooms and four bathrooms, the home has generous entertaining areas and is spread across three multi-functional levels. With a leafy outlook onto Bronte gully, and ocean views it has a premier, dress circle location adjacent to the beach, and is a one minute walk away from the sand.
The property also boasts a unique spa, plunge pool, and sauna on the lower level, creating an idyllic and luxurious beachside haven.
In Maroubra, we’ve co-listed 15 Wilson Street, a designer beachside property offering three bedrooms.
The original character of this 1920s home shines through, with unique indoor-outdoor living, an outdoor shower and bath, alongside a separate studio with WC offering endless work from home options. It has got to be the ultimate Sydney surf shack, with a touch of luxe. It also has scope to capitalise on its amazing location with DA-approved plans for a second level.
Demand is outstripping supply
For the past year, demand has been outstripping supply in the property market. And this is particularly true when it comes to lifestyle properties. Right now, at the end of August 2021, the auction clearance rate across the city is still 81.3%, while in the Eastern suburbs it is even higher, sitting at 89.5%. That’s despite over two months of lockdown.
Data from the past year shows that after a lockdown ends there’s a surge in buyer demand, listings, sales and property prices. When Sydney’s lockdown ends we expect to see this happen again. So prices could go higher still.
Right now, we’re running open homes by appointment only, adhering to the social distancing restrictions. We’re auctioning many properties online and we’re also selling through other tried and tested methods, including expressions of interest and private treaty.
So far, we’re seeing buyers undeterred by the lockdown and still happy to make strong offers for properties. Many fear missing out and would rather make their next property move sooner, rather than wait until later.
If you’d like to know more about the current market, get in touch today.