Shellie’s Blog Spot
Don’t Expect Sydney House Prices To Fall Anytime Soon
The meteoric rise in Sydney’s housing prices is now slowing down, but don’t expect Sydney house prices to fall – at least not in the next six months.
Chinese investors are continuing to buy in this market and the weakening Australian dollar means prices here are becoming relatively cheaper than they were when the dollar was above US$1.00. So to a Chinese buyer that makes Sydney homes very attractive.
And with the oil price now under US$50 a barrel, inflation in Australia should remain steady – a great climate to keep interest rates on hold. The low interest rates we are experiencing provide a very attractive environment for homebuyers.
While the pessimists have stepped up to the plate in the past week, I don’t think the conviction of the pessimism is warranted.
By pessimism I mean the report this week by Research house AllianceBernstein which said a housing correction is possible in the Australian market some time in the next year.
While I agree the rate of growth in prices will slow, I don’t think the impact in the Sydney market will be as substantial as you will see in other capital cities.
And this is why:
Sydney remains the third most popular destination for Chinese investors to buy property. In 2013 almost $6 billion worth of cash flowed in from China into Australian property and that’s continuing to grow as the Chinese middle-class is increasingly able to access wealth.
AllianceBernstein notes that the uptick of housing prices in Australia, where Sydney house prices have risen 30 percent in two years, will be hurt by the downturn in mining and commodity prices.
But if you remember, it’s Western Australia and Queensland that dominate when it comes to digging up and shipping off Australia’s minerals and energy. So while their housing markets are set for a big correction, I don’t see the same in Sydney, particularly in well sought-after locations (including Bundeena).
Sydney Market Underpinned
The Sydney market is being underpinned by continued demand from offshore buyers, a low interest rate climate and despite misery in the mining sector, unemployment was stable at 6.1 per cent in December 2014.
The crazy growth in Sydney house prices was never sustainable. But the evidence is there that prices in Sydney will remain stable despite the crumbling conditions in other states.
Sutherland Shire One of the State’s Safest Areas
The Sutherland Shire is one of the safest places to live in New South Wales.It’s a fact of which most Sydneysider’s are unaware, with the area suffering a reputation hangover from the Cronulla race riots more than a decade ago.
Latest government statistics show that the Sutherland Shire has some of the State’s lowest crime rates across all. It is now 10 years since the Cronulla Riots occurred and it was an aberration that most of us living in this area would rather forget.
Safe Affluent Place. It is now time the Sutherland Shire was seen for what it is – a safe, affluent place to live in one of the most beautiful corners of the earth. If you need evidence of just how safe the area is then look no further than the latest statistics from the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research (BOSCAR).. If you look at serious crimes the Sutherland Shire local government area had the lowest murder rate per head of population together with Lake Macquarie.
If we compare ourselves to the rest of the State on murder rate, sex assaults, car theft, and break and enters the figures around half or often less than half the State average. And when it comes to gun crimes, we have the lowest level of robbery with a firearm in the State.
In the last two years in this area there has only been 1 murder (one murder too many) out of the State’s 162 murders, compared to 4 in Canterbury and Gosford, and 8 in Penrith.
There were 580 break and enters of a house in the 12 months to September 2014. That was significantly lower than places like the Inner West (1979) and South West Sydney (2244).
Why Low Crime?
The low crime rates in this area reflect a connected community which I wrote about last weeks blog. Neighbours who speak to one another, and who know one another are far less likely to commit crimes against one another.
The area is also relatively affluent and without disadvantage crime usually is lower. The latest Census showed that in 2011 the average weekly income in Sutherland Shire was $781 and that’s about 25% higher than the national median income.
The relative safety of the Sutherland Shire means that Bundeena and Maianbar residents are among those enjoying an existence untouched by crime.
Our area is a great place to bring up children, for the elderly to feel safe in their homes, and for people to have peace of mind that they can live freely without harm.
And when we see so much dissent in the world on our TV screens that’s something we all want.
A Close Community: Why it’s Important
What happened to the time when kids played in the streets or rode their bikes to school? What happened to the time when we all knew our neighbours? And when we met face-to-face to chat instead of online?
We lost sight of community.
To me community is about having a true sense of belonging, it means knowing your neighbours and greeting them in the street. It means people knowing one another, connecting with, and caring about each other.
As we all know suicide rates and the prevalence of mental illness is growing in Australia and in some part it can’t help that in many places people seem to have lost sight of community.
There’s a lot of benefits to having a close-knit community:
- Everybody knows you – to some that might seem like a downside, but I guarantee it’s a plus. It’s nice to walk your dog and be able to have a chat with your neighbour who’s also out walking their dog. It’s not a bad thing for others in town to know you if you are the local café owner/dog washer/accountant/or like me the real estate agent. Then they’ll support you in your work and your personal life.
- Safety – When everyone knows each other there’s likely to be crimes like theft, or vandalism because anyone even thinking about it just can’t get away with it! And if your kids like to play outside there’s always someone around who knows them and who can help keep an eye on them.
- Help When In Need – If you have some major crisis, like a death in the family or a medical emergency a close-knit community will wrap you up and help you through. They might bring dinners to the doorstep, or even just offer a shoulder to cry on. But they’re always there for you.
- People spend time together – Barbecues are bigger in close knit communities. One of the favourite spots frequented by Bundeena and Maianbar locals is the beautiful Bonnie Vale beach and there’s almost always a game of beach cricket going on.
- There are an Abundance of Babysitters – you’ll never have a problem finding a friend to help out with baby-sitting duties if you need a night out.
Living in a close-knit community is one of the biggest benefits of living in Bundeena and Maianbar. Being in this special part of the world not only puts you in the middle of one Australia’s most beautiful national parks, it is also a place where you can reconnect with community and all the bonuses that has to offer.