Simon Cohen's guide to buying prestige Sydney real estate
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Simon Cohen’s guide to buying prestige Sydney real estate

The Luxe Listings star on the best way to manage a prestige real estate portfolio in uncertain times

Tue, May 16, 2023 8:34amGrey Clock 3 min

Since bursting onto our screens with Amazon Prime’s Luxe Listings Sydney, prestige buyer’s agent Simon Cohen has become a household name. The co-founder of agents Cohen Handler and brand ambassador for H&R Block has been selling some of Sydney’s priciest properties for more than a decade now and  is now considered the highest grossing real estate agent in the country.

He spoke to Kanebridge News about the challenges and triumphs of working in the Sydney market.

What in your view is the best real estate market to invest in right now?

Without question, Sydney. It’s the market that increases the most and has the least drop when things go bad.

What is the best way to manage a luxury property portfolio in a market where both prices and interest rates are increasing?

Don’t freak out! Always know that if you’re in the right city, the right suburb and in a blue-chip location, that your property and investment will always be safe. Stay strong, stay believing in your asset and ride the wave.


Simon Cohen attends the premiere of Luxe Listings Sydney Season 2 on March 31, 2022 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Saverio Marfia/WireImage)

How realistic is Luxe listings? What has surprised you about working on the show?

It’s certainly a reality TV show, so it’s very realistic. All the deals and properties are real. What surprised me the most, is how much love and enjoyment people and viewers have got out of it from all around the world.

Where does an agent with your reputation and experience choose to live?

I currently live in Elizabeth Bay and I’m currently building one suburb away, in Potts Point.

What services can a buyer’s agent provide?

Sourcing every property that exists out in the marketplace, doing the due diligence and valuations and being able to help negotiate the lowest price possible for the purchaser.

Simon Cohen has specialised in selling in Sydney’s eastern suburbs

What’s your advice for people looking to make their first investment in the residential property market?

“First time property investment can be complex and overwhelming, so seeking advice from experts. (Look for) a team that can provide the guidance and work with you every step of the way to advise on what tax deductions to consider (i.e. stamp duty, capital gains, and land tax) when considering your first investment property. Don’t get emotional. Buy where (you are) going to have the best capital growth and the greatest yield. Look for properties in the best blue-chip locations as you can afford and as close to major cities as you can afford, because they are always the ones that are going to have the best return.

How can a buyer’s agent assist overseas buyers interested in the Australian market?

A buyer’s agent is especially useful for overseas buyers because we’re giving them the in-depth understanding of what’s happening in the marketplace in which they are looking to buy in. We’re able to give them access to off-market properties and also point out things that they’re not able to see such as the warts, the problems  the things that the shiny, beautiful photos might not show. Investing in an overseas property can be a lucrative opportunity for many buyers, but it can also come with its own set of challenges and complexities, especially when it comes to navigating the tax implications of such a purchase. This is where partnering with a H&R Block tax experts can be extremely valuable.”


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Ray White’s chief economist outlines her predictions for housing market trends in 2024

By Bronwyn Allen
Tue, Nov 28, 2023 2 min

Ray White’s chief economist, Nerida Conisbee says property price growth will continue next year and mortgage holders will need to “survive until 2025” amid expectations of higher interest rates for longer.

Ms Conisbee said strong population growth and a housing supply shortage combatted the impact of rising interest rates in 2023, leading to unusually strong price growth during a rate hiking cycle. The latest CoreLogic data shows home values have increased by more than 10 percent in the year to date in Sydney, Brisbane and Perth. Among the regional markets, price growth has been strongest in regional South Australia with 8.6 percent growth and regional Queensland at 6.9 percent growth.

“As interest rates head close to peak, it is expected that price growth will continue. At this point, housing supply remains extremely low and many people that would be new home buyers are being pushed into the established market,” Ms Conisbee said. “Big jumps in rents are pushing more first home buyers into the market and population growth is continuing to be strong.”

Ms Conisbee said interest rates will be higher for longer due to sticky inflation. “… we are unlikely to see a rate cut until late 2024 or early 2025. This means mortgage holders need to survive until 2025, paying far more on their home loans than they did two years ago.”

Buyers in coastal areas currently have a window of opportunity to take advantage of softer prices, Ms Conisbee said. “Look out for beach house bargains over summer but you need to move quick. In many beachside holiday destinations, we saw a sharp rise in properties for sale and a corresponding fall in prices. This was driven by many pandemic driven holiday home purchases coming back on to the market.”

3 key housing market trends for 2024

Here are three of Ms Conisbee’s predictions for the key housing market trends of 2024.

Luxury apartment market to soar

Ms Conisbee said the types of apartments being built have changed dramatically amid more people choosing to live in apartments longer-term and Australia’s ageing population downsizing. “Demand is increasing for much larger, higher quality, more expensive developments. This has resulted in the most expensive apartments in Australia seeing price increases more than double those of an average priced apartment. This year, fewer apartments being built, growing population and a desire to live in some of Australia’s most sought-after inner urban areas will lead to a boom in luxury apartment demand.”

Homes to become even greener

The rising costs of energy and the health impacts of heat are two new factors driving interest in green homes, Ms Conisbee said. “Having a greener home utilising solar and batteries makes it cheaper to run air conditioning, heaters and pool pumps. We are heading into a particularly hot summer and having homes that are difficult to cool down makes them far more dangerous for the elderly and very young.”

More people living alone

For some time now, long-term social changes such as delayed marriage and an ageing population have led to more people living alone. However, Ms Conisbee points out that the pandemic also showed that many people prefer to live alone for lifestyle reasons. “Shorter term, the pandemic has shown that given the chance, many people prefer to live alone with a record increase in single-person households during the time. This trend may influence housing preferences, with a potential rise in demand for smaller dwellings and properties catering to individuals rather than traditional family units.”


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