Buyers returning to Sydney's prestige market

Prices in Sydney’s waterfront property markets look likely to rise this year as buyers return, according to a senior economist.

Dr Andrew Wilson, senior economist at Australian Property Monitors (APM), told Real Estate Business that property prices had been flatlining in the past 12 months due to low confidence and a risk-averse market.

“It’s been quite cold and that’s what happens when there is no capital growth going on and equity markets are going down," he said.

“We are now starting to see that turn around. I think that we will see Sydney bottom [out] in terms of confidence in the real estate markets.” 

Top selling LJ Hooker Double Bay agent and licensee Bill Malouf said his agency had received stronger enquiry levels for waterfront properties this February than they did in the last three months of 2012.

“Does that mean that I think properties are going to go through the roof? No, I don’t but I think people are realising that the market is not going to go down at all," he said.

“It’s holding steady and people are now making commitments on properties.”

Jason Boon, director and agent at Richardson & Wrench Elizabeth Bay/Potts Point, also in Sydney's eastern suburbs, who was ranked 10th in Real Estate Business' Top 100 Agents list last year, said he was also seeing an increasing number of buyers in the marketplace.

“I had a penthouse in Onslow Avenue in Potts Point open in September last year, which was worth $5.5 million. I had six people through it initially," he said. “We re-marketed it in February and we had 17 people through it on the last weekend, so it’s almost three times the amount.”

Mr Boon said he immediately noticed an improvement in buyer interest last month.

“Even the emails are coming in more. It’s just a matter of time before people start to spend again.”

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