Less than five years ago, Kings Cross was synonymous with the worst aspects of Sydney nightlife.

Since then, new laws for last drinks, late entry to bars and bottle shop closing hours have transformed ‘the Cross’ into a much quieter place to be after dark.

How lockout has changed prices overall

We know property across Sydney’s eastern suburbs tends to show consistent price increases year-on-year, but the effect of the lockout laws on the suburbs surrounding Kings Cross is undeniable. Domain Group data shows a 25% boost to the price of units sold in Potts Point in the six months following the introduction of the laws, while in neighbouring Elizabeth Bay prices also jumped 17% in the same time period.

The story for units: Darlinghurst leads annual growth

If we take a look at recent data from CoreLogic, price growth has returned to more sustainable levels but remains strong. Average annual growth for Potts Point units stabilised at 5.82% for the year, while Darlinghurst saw an even more impressive 9.31% price increase. This suggests property hunters with their sights set on units are keen to buy in Potts Point but even more persuaded by property in newly desirable Darlinghurst.

House prices: Over 10% annual growth around the Cross

When it comes to houses, Potts Point has managed 10.58% price growth over the last year, with Darlinghurst just ahead at 11.19%. Interestingly houses in neighbouring Surry Hills also saw almost 10% annual growth over the same period, which could mean buyers no longer prize one of these inner city hotspots above the others, but all have a similarly positive reputation.

Is more development on the cards?

Kings Cross is starting to be seen as a more viable option for residential property developers who are gradually buying up buildings previously used by businesses and restaurants. But while higher traffic strips like Crown Street and Victoria Street could change, it doesn’t seem likely that these kinds of developments will radically transform the suburb as a whole, which is prized for its old-world architecture as much as its proximity to the harbour and CBD.

But isn’t Kings Cross boring now?

The biggest argument against the lockout laws has always been that Sydney’s streets will turn boring as they become safer. While an evening in the Cross is definitely different, there’s at least one study that shows the impact on things like foot traffic and business closures hasn’t been catastrophic. The Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education study found that four businesses has closed since the laws came into effect. And their figures once again showed a boost to property prices across the area.

And there’s no denying Darlinghurst and Potts Point continue to be a hotspot for new bars and restaurants, which simply draw a different crowd to the area.

Article by Jason Boon

In a real estate market that is the focus of Australian, and indeed worldwide attention, Jason Boon's results in the Sydney scene make him a highly significant figure within the industry. A long-term specialist in the Potts Point and inner eastern suburbs area, he is uniquely placed to leverage his skills and local knowledge as the area undergoes significant change and diversification. Jason ha…