What Can You Buy For Under $1.5 Million In Sydney’s Inner City And Inner West?

August 4th, 2023 - by Brad Gillespie

There are many great properties available for under $1.5 million in Sydney’s inner city and inner west.

And there are two key reasons we’ve chosen this price point.

First, $1.5 million is roughly the current Sydney median house price, so many buyers search for a property around this price point.

Second, a lot of first-home buyers have aimed to buy under the $1.5 million mark this year. That’s because, until recently, that was the cap for the state-based First Home Buyer Land Tax/Stamp Duty scheme. However, this has just been replaced with a new scheme (more on this later).

How realistic is it to find a property under $1.5 million in Sydney’s inner city and inner west?

As of July 2023, Sydney’s median dwelling price sits at just over a million dollars, or exactly $1,073,924, according to CoreLogic. However, that takes into account both apartments and houses. The median house will cost another half that again, with the median for houses now sitting at $1,538,017.

Here in the inner city and inner west, there are plenty of properties for sale under the $1.5 million mark. This includes great three-bedroom apartments and two-bedroom houses in many suburbs - and sometimes even more than this.

Here’s a breakdown of the median values for two-bedroom houses and three-bedroom apartments in some of the suburbs in Sydney’s inner city and inner west.

Suburb Median value two-bedroom house Median value three-bedroom apartment
Alexandria $1,515,000 $1,430,000
Waterloo n/a $1,297,500
Camperdown $1,512,500 n/a
Erskineville $1,397,500 n/a
Redfern $1,450,000 $1,460,000
Rosebery n/a $1,280,000
Newtown $1,445,000 n/a
Marrickville $1,485,000 $1,260,000

* Source: Domain and realestate.com.au suburb profiles, accessed 27 July 2023

Why $1.5 million has mattered to first home buyers

For much of this year, $1,500,000 was often the top of the budget for many local buyers. That’s because it was, from 16 January 2023 until 1 July 2023, the upper limit, or cap, for the stamp duty reform called First Home Buyer Choice, introduced by the Perrotet government last year. But not any more…

This short-lived policy allowed first-home buyers to pay an ongoing, annual smaller property tax on homes valued up to $1.5 million, avoiding having to save stamp duty upfront. The scheme was worth up to $66,000 - a saving that buyers could put towards a house deposit rather than stamp duty.

However, the new Minns government changed this scheme as of 1 July 2023.

Now, the property tax option will only remain for those who have already signed up, and continues only as long as they own that home.

Instead, today’s first home buyers receive a stamp duty exemption on properties worth up to $850,000 and a concessional rate for homes up to $1 million. And, unlike the First Home Owner Grant, this new First Home Buyer Assistance Scheme applies to both new and existing homes.

There’s little doubt that stamp duty is one of the biggest barriers for first-home buyers, and the previous scheme helped many onto the property ladder. However, the new government argues its changes will still mean five out of six first-home buyers in the state will still pay no stamp duty.

Unfortunately, those who receive no assistance will be those looking to purchase properties between $1 million and $1.5 million.

What impact this policy change will have on properties between the new cap of $1 million, and the $1.5 million mark, remains to be seen. However, it will certainly reduce the variety and range of properties available to first home buyers looking to reduce upfront stamp duty costs.

You can read more at the website for the First Home Buyers Assistance Scheme (FHBAS).

Read more about buying your first home in 2023.

Other buyers interested in homes under $1.5 million

While first-home buyers have been attracted to the land tax benefits of buying property valued under $1.5 million, many other demographics are interested in this price point too.

This includes investors who see the value in being in such a great location with good rental appeal and capital growth. It also includes downsizers, growing families, professionals, and others attracted to low-maintenance living in smaller houses and large apartments in such close proximity to the city.

In fact, downsizers, many of whom have bought a home in regional NSW and a small house or apartment close to the city, are one of the most important - and fastest-growing - buyer groups in our part of the world. We’ve also seen a growing number of families upsizing from one apartment to another, rather than buying a more expensive house.

Which Sydney inner west suburbs are best for buyers under $1.5 million?

Buyers will be able to find properties under $1.5 million in every suburb across the inner city and inner west. But buyers under $1.5 million won’t always be restricted to apartments. In some suburbs, there is also a wide range of houses to choose from too.

In Waterloo, for instance, the median house price is $1.47 million. In Chippendale, it’s $1.45 million; and, even in Redfern, it is $1.527 million.

What can you buy in Sydney’s inner west for under $1.5 million?

There are some great properties for sale at this price point right now in Sydney’s inner city and inner west.

95 Wyndham St Alexandria This family-friendly three-bedroom park-side semi goes to auction on 19 August with a price guide of $1.4 million.

171 Victoria St Beaconsfield A two-bedroom semi-detached house with character features close to Green Square goes to auction on 12 August with a guide of $1.4 million.

20 Anderson St Alexandria We expect to see strong competition for this one-bedroom house in a coveted street that has potential for further improvement and parking (STCA) when it goes to auction on 12 August with a guide of $1 million.

Sold listings

62 Old Canterbury Rd Lewisham This two-bedroom semi is within walking distance to Lewisham Station and retains charming original features. It sold for $1.3 million in June 2023

17 Kensington Street, Waterloo sold for $1,370,000 in November 2022. Beautifully enhanced with clever upgrades, this brilliant two-bedroom terrace assures a high measure of comfort in an ultra-convenient location.

42 Amy St Erskineville This renovated two-bedroom house in a great location, just off King Street and walking distance to St Peter’s Station sold for $1.3 million in May 2023.

Looking for a home under $1.5 million in Sydney’s inner city or inner west?

Get in touch with me today to find a property that suits your needs.