Property buyers swap Sydney harbor views for city river views

BUYERS who once longed for a property with harbor views are now turning their aspirations to Parramatta and its outstanding choice of apartment living.

You can swap a harbor view for a river view and save yourself literally millions of dollars.

Recent auctions this year show everything from one bedroom “starters” to luxury penthouses and even a three storey ‘mansion in the sky’ have been available to cashed up bidders in the Parramatta area.

I reckon you can still find a bargain, although the market is constantly changing as Sydney undergoes another property boom.

A two-bedroom apartment in O’Reilly St recently sold for $452,000 while a two bedder in Harold St went for $570,000.

In Cowper St a two bed, two bath went for $465,000 and a similar property in Charles St fetched $620,000.

So, if you can manager $500,00 to $600,000 you will buy yourself a nice apartment in a good building with at least one car space.

Three-bedroom properties are available around the $770,000 plus mark.

In North Parra’s Albert St one went for $740,000 with two bedrooms and two carparks and another very well-presented apartment in Bellevue St went for $705,000.

A good option

North Parramatta is in fact a good option, being within walking distance of the CBD, restaurants, the footy stadium and light rail.

One of the positive features of newer apartments in Parramatta compared to older areas of the inner city are the generous balconies which provide the opportunity for quality outdoor living. I discovered  plenty of properties with great balconies in my research.

If you are an outdoors type person but love privacy, look for an apartment with views to the north or east if possible to avoid southerlies or the western sun.

However, if a free-standing cottage is more your idea of a great home, expect to pay a lot more. Even quite basic three bedders are going for around the $1.5m mark. However, if you are spending that sort of money, get your bank to extend another $100,000 plus for a quality reno.

As free-standing cottages become rarer, their value will increase more in the long run, especially they are a heritage style design.

If you are new to the auction game, may I recommend that you attend a few auctions beforehand. It will give you an idea what you can buy in your price range at this exact moment in time.

While there are still agents who frame auction price expectations way lower than what the property eventually sells for, authorities are cracking down on this unscrupulous process. There have been a number of infringement fines for underquoting in NSW this year.

Inspectors attended 33 auctions and issued 14 infringement notices, so hopefully some agents will start to do the right thing and quote realistically.

By Dallas Sherringham

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