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Flexibility and greater affordability on offer for wise Sydney property buyers

The smart money is on this part of the nation’s most expensive capital as prices hold steady and yields continue to perform consistently

Tue, Mar 21, 2023 10:30amGrey Clock 3 min

Western Sydney is increasingly the smart choice for canny property investors, a new report suggests.

The Month in Review report for March 2023 by property valuation and advisory group Herron Todd White singled out the region as representing more varied and affordable options with consistently strong yields for both units and houses over the next few months as investors and owner-occupiers navigate a volatile property market.

“Western Sydney has always been a smart choice for investors and owner-occupiers alike and despite the weaker market, we consider this should continue throughout 2023,” the report said. “The high level of infrastructure investment in the region coupled with relatively lower median house prices and the shift to more people working from home has highlighted that more affordable and larger homes with backyards are still hot property and good long-term propositions. 

“The ever-popular house and granny flat is a staple for Western Sydney investors given the larger block sizes and versatile living arrangements for extended families or as a pure investment.”

While values have softened over the past 12 months, the falls have not been nearly as substantial as they have been in other parts of Sydney. The report points to areas such as Blacktown where median values dropped by just 1.2 percent over the past year to $870,000 while yields have increased by 7.5 percent to $457 a week over the same period. The results are even more significant in Penrith, where median rent for a two-bedroom unit now sits at $420 per week, an increase in yield of 4.1 percent. At the same time, the median price of a two-bedroom unit has risen by 11.4 percent to $532,500 over the past year. The report points to the area’s relative affordability and planned infrastructure to account for the rise.

Greater demand for more rental units around universities as students return to the Australian higher education market has been responsible for increased yields around Macquarie Park, the report said, as staff and students at Macquarie University seek accommodation. 

“There are only 110 units currently available for rent with an estimated 1500 renters actively looking for accommodation,” the report said. “Macquarie University is home to more than 44,000 students and 2000 staff members. The Australian Government predicts a further 40,000 international students are expected to arrive in Australia for first semester classes in 2023 commencing in March.” 

At the moment, the rental yield for Macquarie Park is 3.6 percent, while the average yield for the rest of Sydney sits at 2.7 percent.

National director of residential at Herron Todd White, Ben Esau, said that there is likely to be further volatility in the residential market in the coming months as more borrowers come off fixed interest rates. Estimates suggest that up to a third of mortgage holders are fixed on lower rates, with most expected to end this year. While it may provide opportunity for those looking to add to their portfolio or enter the market, as the RBA continues to lift rates, caution is advised to those chasing higher yields.

“Although the prospect of increasing rental values may seem attractive as an investor, it may not be so straightforward as landlords need to grapple with the process of potentially passing on increasing interest rates to struggling tenants,” Mr Esau said. 

“Of course, there are also investors who will be significantly impacted by the increasing costs to service an investment property, but where banks are generally well structured to deal with clients in financial distress, individual landlords may not have that capability and may need to navigate chasing increasing returns and the human impact of a fast-paced rental market.”


Chris Dixon, a partner who led the charge, says he has a ‘very long-term horizon’

Americans now think they need at least $1.25 million for retirement, a 20% increase from a year ago, according to a survey by Northwestern Mutual

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Philip Lowe’s comments come amid property industry concerns about pressures on mortgage holders and rising rents

Wed, Jun 7, 2023 2 min

Leaders in Australia’s property industry are calling on the RBA to hit the pause button on further interest rate rises following yesterday’s announcement to raise the cash rate to 4.1 percent.

CEO of the REINSW, Tim McKibbin, said it was time to let the 12 interest rate rises since May last year take effect.

“The REINSW would like to see the RBA hit pause and allow the 12 rate rises to date work their way through the economy. Property prices have rebounded because of supply and demand. I think that will continue with the rate rise,” said Mr McKibbin.  

The Real Estate Institute of Australia  today released its Housing Affordability Report for the March 2023 quarter which showed that in NSW, the proportion of family income required to meet the average loan repayments has risen to 55 percent, up from 44.5 percent a year ago.

Chief economist at Ray White, Nerida Conisbee, said while this latest increase would probably not push Australia into a recession, it had major implications for the housing market and the needs of ordinary Australians.

“As more countries head into recession, at this point, it does look like the RBA’s “narrow path” will get us through while taming inflation,” she said. 

“In the meantime however, it is creating a headache for renters, buyers and new housing supply that is going to take many years to resolve. 

“And every interest rate rise is extending that pain.”

In a speech to guests at Morgan Stanley’s Australia Summit released today, Governor Philip Lowe addressed the RBA board’s ‘narrow path’ approach, navigating continued economic growth while pushing inflation from its current level of 6.8 percent down to a more acceptable level of 2 to 3 percent.

“It is still possible to navigate this path and our ambition is to do so,” Mr Lowe said. “But it is a narrow path and likely to be a bumpy one, with risks on both sides.”

However, he said the alternative is persistent high inflation, which would do the national economy more damage in the longer term.

“If inflation stays high for too long, it will become ingrained in people’s expectations and high inflation will then be self-perpetuating,” he said. “As the historical experiences shows, the inevitable result of this would be even higher interest rates and, at some point, a larger increase in unemployment to get rid of the ingrained inflation. 

“The Board’s priority is to do what it can to avoid this.”

While acknowledging that another rate rise would adversely affect many households, Mr Lowe said it was unavoidable if inflation was to be tamed.

“It is certainly true that if the Board had not lifted interest rates as it has done, some households would have avoided, for a short period, the financial pressures that come with higher mortgage rates,” he said. 

“But this short-term gain would have been at a much higher medium-term cost. If we had not tightened monetary policy, the cost of living would be higher for longer. This would hurt all Australians and the functioning of our economy and would ultimately require even higher interest rates to bring inflation back down. 

“So, as difficult as it is, the rise in interest rates is necessary to bring inflation back to target in a reasonable timeframe.”


Chris Dixon, a partner who led the charge, says he has a ‘very long-term horizon’

Americans now think they need at least $1.25 million for retirement, a 20% increase from a year ago, according to a survey by Northwestern Mutual

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