Why you can't afford this modest house
Property hunters hoping to snap up a bargain in Sydney's suburbs have missed the boat as values surge across the city.
The typically blue collar Cabramatta is one surprising suburb riding the property recovery and has launched into the top 10 highest growth areas in Sydney, according to new data from realestate.com.au.
The humble suburb's median sale price rose 4 per cent to $849,000 year-on-year as the only suburb below $1 million on the list.
Sitting at the top was the harbourside Vaucluse, with a massive median price of $6.5 million, up 24 per cent in the 12 months to August.
Collaroy, Palm Beach, Rose Bay and the more modest inner-west suburb Summer Hill all had double-digit growth.
"Cabramatta is getting expensive," realestate.com.au chief economist Nerida Conisbee said. "I would have thought that would be one of Sydney's cheaper suburbs.
"It's going through a bit of a transition, though, and because it's quite cheap, I think it is attracting a lot of younger people."
The economist likened the western suburb to Newtown about a decade ago, which is now considered one of Sydney's premium areas.
"It (Cabramatta) does seem to be one of those suburbs that is slowly going through a bit of a change in who's living there and who is wanting to be there," Ms Conisbee said.
The surge in prices across the city is a dramatic turnaround from the downturn that wiped billions of dollars off the national market over the last two years.
"What's surprising is how quickly those suburbs have moved," Ms Conisbee told news.com.au.
"The recovery started in about May once the federal election result was announced. We're only a few months in but those suburbs have clearly turned around the quickest.
"Anyone who is trying to get a bargain in premium suburbs has left it too late.
"We are still in the very early stage of a recovery and if you look across Sydney we're still seeing price decline, so it's definitely not everywhere that is seeing these levels of growth.
"But I do think premium Sydney is getting very expensive very quickly."
House hunters hoping to get on the property ladder before prices become unreasonably expensive will have better luck in Australia's second and third biggest cities, where the price growth hasn't surged to the same extent.
"In Melbourne we're not seeing it and Brisbane we're not seeing it either," the property expert said.
But she says the search activity and auction results suggest a rise is coming.
"Brisbane isn't really an auction market, but Melbourne certainly is and is getting high clearance rates," Ms Conisbee said.RELATED: Australian house prices increased by 0.8% in August RELATED: Hipster suburbs in Melbourne, Sydney hit top of in demand list
"I'd say we're going to start to see a bit more price movement definitely in premium Melbourne and probably premium Brisbane.
"Gold Coast is interesting in that it was a very similar dynamic to Sydney, so that was quite surprising seeing a lot of the very expensive suburbs in Gold Coast doing quite well in terms of price growth."SUPER SATURDAY
Spring is typically the busy season for auctions, and considering the last two years have been in the grips of a downturn, this year is expected to be the busiest since 2016.
Property experts say homeowners held off selling while the prices were lower, which means there's fewer houses on the market.
But with prices rising, particularly in Sydney and Melbourne, it's expected to be a high number of potential buyers raising paddles.
The Victorian capital will have its Super Saturday this coming weekend and Sydney the weekend after, Ms Conisbee said.
"We'll definitely see high clearance rates," she said. "We're not seeing a recovery in stock on the market, so anyone who is going to sell this weekend will probably sell if they're going to auction.
"Many buyers will have to adjust their expectations. That will be the key this weekend.
"It should be better than last year, and if you look at the year before, that was when the downturn really began, so it's highly likely we'll see high volumes."Continue the conversation on Twitter @James_P_Hall or [email protected]
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If you wanted to find a bargain property in an expensive suburb, there's some bad news for you. According to realestate.com.au, it's probably too late to nab a high-end property in Sydney at