Values in more than 80 per cent of suburbs in the Central Coast, Northern Beaches, outer south-west and outer west and Blue Mountains at least doubled over the decade, as did values in all 11 analysed suburbs in the Baulkham Hills and Hawkesbury region. Only suburbs with at least 20 sales in the past year were included.
Owen said the Central Coast had attracted demand from younger buyers, which accelerated through the pandemic as Sydneysiders made sea changes.
Suburbs like Shalvey and Tregear were coming off a lower price point, while neighbourhoods like Burwood benefited from their proximity to the CBD and good transport links. Many top-growth areas had fewer units and less new housing supply.
Owen said such growth was not a given, and slower price rises would be expected in the years ahead, due to affordability constraints and higher interest rates. The analysis excluded apartments, which largely have more modest growth than houses.
ANZ senior economist Felicity Emmett said declining interest rates and strong population growth had been key drivers of price growth. Limited new housing supply was also a factor, as was the pandemic-era flight to lifestyle regions, and to more affordable regions when prices soared.
She has forecast Sydney prices to fall 20 per cent, before lifting 6 per cent in 2024, assuming the cash rate falls. However, growth over the next decade would likely be more subdued.
“We’re not going to have that longer-term tailwind of lower rates coming through. Rates will go up and down from here … and we’re not likely to see these big long-term gains that we’ve seen,” she said.
Central Coast agent Ian Willis, a partner at Wilsons Estate Agency, said the region, once considered a place to retire, had increasingly drawn interest from younger families priced out of metropolitan Sydney. The trend was accelerated by remote working, but demand — particularly from out of area buyers — has now eased.
“Prices have probably dropped back 10 per cent,” he said.
“[Still] a three-bedroom brick home, say built in the ’60s or ’70s, that would once be listed at $390,000 … is now $1 million.”
Burwood local John Arraj, 66, put his family’s four-bedroom house on the market last week with a preliminary price guide of $3.25 million. He hopes to downsize in the area, and was not surprised to hear it had seen some of the highest growth in Sydney.
“It’s a fantastic suburb. I appreciate it doesn’t have water frontage or anything like that but if you like good, well-established homes, great services and the ability to get around Sydney very, very easily, it would be one of my preferred suburbs,” he said.
In Burwood, a mix of factors like desirable school catchment zones, good public transport links, solid block sizes and an influx of new restaurants had contributed to price growth, said his selling agent Joe Kanaan, of Devine Real Estate Drummoyne. However, low interest rates were the biggest factor.
Now rates are rising, buyers and sellers had become more cautious, Kanaan said. However, most hitting the market knew that while they would sell for less, they would also buy for less.