Property buyers in a suburb cluster on the lower north shore have ignored Sydney’s softening market for more than a year, new analysis by a leading Sydney buyers’ agent has revealed.
STRAND Property Group director, Michael Ossitt, said auction clearance rates on the lower north shore had consistently and dramatically outperformed the rest of Sydney.
“The lower north shore has been a star performer, with more homes selling at auction than in any other locality, including the city and east, and the northern beaches,” he said
Suburbs such as Wollstonecraft, Waverton, Crows Nest, Cammeray, Neutral Bay, Cremorne and Mosman were leading the charge in auction success, he said.
“Sydney’s weekly auction clearance rate has tracked between 61.5 per cent and 67.9 per cent since the start of February this year, and there’s no doubt the lower north shore has done most of the heavy lifting, with results of 65.6 per cent to 89.5 per cent during the same period,” he said.
“In fact, our study of lower north shore clearance rates shows it has tracked well above the Sydney result throughout 2018 and 2019 to date.”
The fact that these results have been achieved in a pre-election climate has only added to the level of confidence in the market, Mr Ossitt told the Mosman Daily.
“People often sit on their hands until they know what’s happening with an election,” he said.
“But we are still seeing people prepared to get in where they can on the lower north shore, it is definitely a standout.”
Agent Matthew Smythe of Belle Property-Neutral Bay showed nearly 100 groups of buyers through 14/14-18 Kareela Rd, Cremorne Point in the lead up to the March 30 auction and said it was popular with executive couples and downsizers.
On auction day Mr Smythe said the vendors were tempted to pull their home from auction earlier in the week because they had a plum pre-auction offer but had to be encouraged to “trust the auction process”.
“Auctions are still the best way to sell if it’s a popular home,” Mr Smythe said. “That was made pretty clear today.”
Mr Ossitt said a number of factors had kept the lower north shore resilient.
One was the “run to quality” often seen in market downturns, when good homes were more affordable.
“These suburbs are in a prime location and offer exceptional housing, so they’re attracting premium buyers,” he said.
Mr Ossitt said high-end buyers have in general been able to secure finance, or in many cases were not reliant in finance, particularly for downsizers.
The location of lower north shore suburbs was also insulating them against massive price drops — in fact some suburbs are even seeing moderate growth.
“They’re close to the city, well represented by lifestyle drivers and attractive to middle-ring buyers who were looking to upgrade a year or two back and can now afford to come closer,” he said.
One of the big challenges for the market was low stock, and while levels were higher than they were at Christmas, they were still not quite keeping pace with the demand in some areas.
“A strong auction clearance rate against a backdrop of more choice for buyers reinforces the fact that demand is holding up in these areas,” Mr Ossitt said.
“For those looking to secure a holding, there’s an opportunity to seize a great property at the bottom of this cycle and enjoy the long-term value upsides.”
Putting faith in the auction process paid off for the owner of an elegant home overlooking Balmoral Beach.
Three bidders registered for the April 13 auction of 11 Mulbring St, Mosman, two of whom had only seen it for the first time that day.
Priscilla Schonell, of Di Jones Mosman, said the other registered bidder had been looking at the resort-style property, located just 800m from Mosman village shops, for about two weeks before the auction.
Two of the three bidders participated in the auction, and the property eventually sold under the hammer for $3,975,000, according to CoreLogic.
This was well over the auction guide of $3,800,000, and was the highest reported auction result for the lower north shore for the weekend.
Ms Schonell said she had been asked not to disclose or discuss the sale price, but said it was a good result. She said the buyer was a local young family.
“It shows that it’s always good to run an auction,” she said.
The sale was a conjunction with Michael Coombs, of LJ Hooker Avnu.