Who’s Buying Property In The Inner West And Inner City?

June 17th, 2022 - by Brad Gillespie

How much do you know about the people buying property here in the inner west and inner-city?

We find out what they’re looking for in a home, where they live now and how they approach purchasing a property.

What do today’s home buyers want?

You can tell a lot about buyers’ wants and needs from their internet search habits.

So, what are today's buyers looking for in a home? Exclusive keyword data supplied by Domain reveals the most popular search terms amongst buyers. Interestingly, the search term 'study' has risen to the top of Domain's list in recent years. The importance of having a home study or workspace has undoubtedly been amplified by the increase in remote working since 2020. Extended lockdowns and buyers' subsequent desire for outdoor space are likely behind the popularity of searches for 'balcony' and 'courtyard', with the latter jumping from seventh place in 2020 to fourth place in 2021 and 2022. And the architectural styles of the inner west and inner city are perennially popular, with 'warehouse', 'penthouse' and 'terrace' all consistently appearing in Domain's top 10 keyword lists.

Additional research from NAB released earlier this year sets out to identify the most important factors for Australian home buyers right now. It reveals that 62 per cent of buyers highly value easy access to shops, restaurants and other services. Of course, this is something our area offers in spades, with one of the best parts of living in the inner west or inner-city having a vast range of lifestyle and cultural amenities like bars, eateries, galleries and boutiques at your doorstep.

Profiling inner west and inner-city home buyers

What do we know about people looking to buy property in the inner west and inner-city?

The exclusive data from Domain paints a picture of today’s typical home buyers and how they tackle the property purchasing process. Today’s buyers tend to do their house-hunting or call an agent on Saturdays.

And where are the buyers looking to purchase a home in the inner west or inner-city coming from? Take Alexandria buyers, for example. Many of them already live locally or in the neighbouring areas, with Domain’s figures showing that in 2022, buyers sending email enquiries about properties in Alexandria tend to come from the eastern suburbs (45.2%), the inner west (21.1%), Sydney city (14.8%) or the lower north shore (6.6%).

What’s the latest on the inner west and inner-city property market?

Balanced conditions have returned to the Sydney market after 18 months of astronomical growth. April, which saw Sydney house prices fall 0.2%, marked the third consecutive month of slight declines in housing values, according to CoreLogic. This marks the first quarter of softening property values in Sydney since 2020.

Nevertheless, Sydney homeowners are still benefiting from exceptional price growth, with CoreLogic reporting that house values are up 17.2% over the past year, while units have risen by 8.9%. And some inner west and inner-city suburbs have even outperformed these strong citywide averages. House prices in Redfern, for example, have increased by a huge 36.8% over the last year, according to realestate.com.au, while in Erskineville, they jumped by 22.8%. The median house price in Waterloo and Beaconsfield is up too, by 20.9% and 19.4%, respectively. Unit values in Zetland have also outperformed the Sydney average, increasing by 11.9% over the last twelve months.

What about auction clearance rates?

While much has been written about declining auction clearance rates lately, the results in the inner west and inner city are either keeping pace with the rest of Sydney or exceeding it. CoreLogic reports that the Sydney-wide auction clearance rate for the week ending 14 May was 61.1%, while in the city and inner south, it was 58.8%, and in the inner west, it was 68.5%. To put those figures into context, an auction clearance rate of 60% indicates a balanced market, while clearance rates of 70% roughly correlate with price growth of around 10%.

So, while last year’s non-stop price rises and tooth-and-nail competition amongst buyers are now behind us, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Buyers can take comfort in the fact that the market has changed, and with more stock on the market, they have more choices. Vendors, meanwhile, only need to look at the numbers to see that they are still well ahead.

If you’re thinking of buying or selling in Sydney’s vibrant and dynamic inner west or inner city, get in touch with our team today.