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The Sydney suburbs where properties are selling the fastest

ASSA | 2021-02-17 13:21:05

The day an uninhabitable, near-derelict house went up for sale in Leichhardt, in Sydney’s inner west, someone offered to buy it on the spot for its price guide of $840,000.

“I could have sold it that very same first day after only hours on the market, but the owners decided they wanted to see it go for auction instead,” said LJ Hooker Newtown agent George Milionis. 

“The market is so incredibly strong at the moment; we’re selling everything very quickly.”

In the latest data gathered by Domain on how quickly houses are now selling, Leichhardt has emerged as the hottest area in Sydney in terms of the dramatic reduction in the number of days a house is on the market until it sells.

That number has almost halved, from 64 days in January 2020 to 34 in January 2021.

That run-down, turn-of-the-century, two-bedroom home at 25 Hubert Street is a perfect example.

Despite its state, in dire need of TLC, it will only stay on the market for 25 days until it is sold under the hammer.

Most Sydney areas are now seeing houses being sold at private treaty being snapped up much faster than a year ago. Even auction campaigns are being shortened, from the traditional four-to-four-and-a-half weeks to three and three-and-a-half.

“It’s all about big buyer demand, low interest rates, people working from home and wanting to find a place that suits them better – and the market is trending upwards,” said James Price of Hudson McHugh, who’s also selling in Leichhardt.

“I always think Leichhardt is a bellwether suburb and picks up earlier on trends, like market movements, than other suburbs as it’s one of the biggest inner-west suburbs with a higher volume of sales. We’re opening houses and getting 100 people through on a Saturday. It’s crazy.”

Further west, Auburn is the next suburb with the biggest reduction in the number of days on market over the year, of more than a third from 111 to 73.

There, a lot more properties are being put up for auction instead of private treaty as a reaction to the soaring level of demand. One house, at 198 Auburn Road, for instance, was auctioned after a campaign of just a week and a half.   

“I think people are realising Auburn is more inner-west now than west,” said agent Steve Sanders of Starr Partners Auburn. “It’s always in the top group for capital growth and it’s pretty much the centre of Sydney these days.”

Days on market in Canterbury in the south-west fell by only slightly less at 34.1 per cent, from 91 days to 60, and in the north-west, Rouse Hill had the quickest selling homes, with days on market down by over a quarter from 117 to 86.

That’s probably a result, too, of better interest rates and more relaxed mortgage loan conditions, said James Laing of Murdoch Lee Estate Agents.

“We have a lot of new builds here and people were previously finding it more difficult to get finance for those,” he said. “Now finance is easier and there’s less stock available.”

Houses in Ku-Ring-Gai, Baulkham Hills and Merrylands all moved faster, while in the eastern suburbs south – suburbs like Maroubra, Matraville, Randwick and Coogee – days on market fell by 22.7 per cent, from 75 to 58.

Houses in Sydney’s inner-city are also selling faster, down 22.6 per cent from 53 days to 41, but the volume of off-the-market sales taking place in some spots, like Millers Point, could lower that still further, suggests McGrath agent Andrew Stewart.

“There’s a distinct lack of stock in many areas around the city, which is driving days on market down, but also properties sell off-market in just a week or two,” he said.

St Marys in the west has seen days on market down 21.6 per cent from 74 days to 58, with North Sydney-Mosman coming in with the next biggest reduction of 21.3 per cent of 80 days to 63.

“We’re finding that, because of the shortage of stock, a lot of people have employed buyers’ agents and, because of their experience, they’re coming in much quicker with offers,” said Jacqui Wansey of Atlas Lower North Shore.

“We’re also seeing buyers miss out on properties because of the competition so, the next time, they’re doing their due diligence much more quickly and making offers fast.”

Out of the 40 areas of Sydney included in the study, only eight areas saw the number of days on market for houses actually increase over the year. Pennant Hills-Epping saw them double by 52 to 79, Chatswood-Lane Cover saw them increase by over a third at 54 to 74 and the inner west area of Strathfield-Burwood-Ashfield saw them rise 10 per cent from 80 to 88.

For apartments, days on market fell the most in North Sydney-Mosman by 35 per cent from 80 days to 52, in Chatswood-Lane Cove by a third from 87 to 58 and in Liverpool by 32.5 per cent from 126 days to 85.

In the eastern suburbs south, they dropped by 27.5 per cent from 69 days to 50.