September 2021

This is the 38th in a series of articles summarising monthly news and happenings in Sydney real estate, and more broadly.


With the end of the Sydney lockdown imminent, we thought it worth sharing that over the last 14 weeks of the Sydney lockdown, the Scerri Auctions clearance rate has remained above the average, at a stellar 83%. Clearly, Sydneysiders enthusiasm for buying property is unrelenting. The end of the world may come but by jingos I got a good deal on that inner city unit!

The Australian asks whether a ‘mass exodus’ out of Sydney may be contributing to this 5 year high 75% average in clearance rates from the end of June, till the end of August.

Eliza Owen, Core Logic’s head of research, is quoted as saying, “The fact more sellers are coming onto the market through an extensive lockdown suggests more people may be looking to move to the regions or to Queensland.”

For this older style duplex in Randwick, there were 29 Registered buyers for the online auction, and it ultimately sold for $2,910,000 – an incredible $910,000 over its reserve!

APRA crackdown to come?

After what might be described as a slow start, The ABC says it seems like the federal treasurer is moving towards a home loan crackdown. Josh Freydenburg noted that “There are a range of tools available to APRA to deliver this outcome.”

The article goes on to note that analysts including Core Logic’s head of research Eliza Owen predict that different macroprudential controls will be tweaked than those made in both 2012 ans 2017 as the context is different. Investor numbers are not fuelling the rampant uptick in housing prices as they were then.

“Given investors still proportionally make up a low proportion of housing finance (29.1 per cent, below the decade average of 35.1 per cent), it makes sense that the nature of macroprudential regulation through the current cycle would be different to what was observed through the previous cycle of 2012-2017, when investor participation peaked at 45.2 per cent,” she told ABC News.

Felicity Emmett, ANZ senior economist, said, “I think it is likely we get something before the end of the year.”

NSW Building Commissioner

Domain featured a short piece on the NSW building commissioner, David Chandler, who recently celebrated 2 years in the job of checking for shoddy apartment construction. Although opinions about him may differ depending on whether you are a buyer, or builder, he says he would, “… rather be regarded as something of a mentor for developers to put better standards in place.”

A second story in Domain also mentions the work of the commissioner, with apartment buyers soon able to claim warranty work up to 10 year after completion. Apart from anything else, the hope is of course that this would go some way to restoring consumer confidence in apartment blocks, especially after the Opal and Mascot towers debacles.

Don’t miss out on FOMO news

Domain talks about the downsides of FOMO (fear of missing out) might be to rush in to buying a place that doesn’t necessarily tick all the right boxes, in any number of ways. Especially with prices rising so rapidly, fears might include: “what if I can’t afford even this next month”, “is this the best I can do”, “I need to just find any place”. The article is written with Melbourne in mind, but in Sydney, with the median price in Manly now breaching $4 million, and with the median having climbed by over $1 million in the space of a year (as reported in this article in, FOMO is currently the new normal.

Restoration work on the Opal Tower, from 2018