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What a year that was, and with 2024 just around the corner, I wanted to share and reflect on the past 12 months, our thoughts on the property market for 2024, our clients this year and some unbelievable achievements by the Sp. Property Buyers team.

I wish to start with my thanks to our team, with special thanks to Jeremy Martin and William Carroll. These are two of the finest gentlemen in our industry, you will be hard pressed to find better representation from a Buyers Agent. Their client dedication is admirable and the results for our clients have spoken for themselves. In many cases this year, we have been able to demonstrate saving our clients hundreds of thousands of dollars each, and in one case, literally millions of dollars (I’ll get to this later!). All of our trusted advisors and our contractors too, without them, none of this could have happened.

Next I would like to thank all of our wonderful clients who entrusted us with their Real Estate dreams. In most cases it is Primary Residences we are hunting and securing, it’s always the most valuable asset, a fact that is never lost on us. The responsibility is huge and our determination to buy well is always at the forefront of our minds. The same applies to our Investor clients. What a great year it’s been for investment purchasing too. A big thank you to our Co-Director Rowena Walton for caring for our Investors post purchase. With her amazing dedication to 1st class Property Management services.Finally, thank you to all of the selling agents who continually put up with our daily phone calls! Thank you for sharing addresses and off market opportunities for our clients. On many occasions we’ve been the only Buyers Agency to know of these homes which has been so very helpful.

So, how has the Real Estate market performed from our experience this past year

This graph represents our purchase activity across the course of 2023.

From the ebbs and flows of the year, there’s been little in the way of surprise, with the exception of August. We didn’t purchase a single property in January, and this isn’t uncommon as Solicitors are closed for the main part, Real Estate Agents down tools and many people are on holidays. It’s not until after Australia Day and school holidays finish up before the Real Estate industry really gets back into gear. June is traditionally a quieter month being in the depths of Winter. Not many Sydneysiders enjoy preparing and moving in Winter.

Having said all that, if come Boxing Day this year you decide to jump on either or , you’ll see the early bird agents launching properties that day. However, you won’t be able to inspect them until the first ‘Open For Inspection’ in Mid January. Why do some agents do this? Simply to capture enquiries and an attempt to get a jump on their competitors. We already know about the properties coming next year, and if we are able to match a client to a quality off market property in December, and if the price is right, then we’ll take it out before it hits the market on Boxing Day.

Overall we experienced extremely low stock levels again and a steady and consistent rise in prices across all price points too, especially the downsizer market. Goodness me, some of the prices have been staggering.
Just a couple of examples:
2/39-41 Middle Head Road, Mosman, NSW 2088
This property sold under competition for $10,600,000.00. It last traded in September 2016, just 7 years 3 months ago for $5,400,000.00. We recall back in 2016 being gobsmacked at the price then!

4/30 Gouldsbury Street, Mosman, NSW 2088
This property was guiding $2,800,000.00 at the start of the campaign, and the owner was happy to take $3,000,000.00. However due to its proximity to Mosman village, positioned on the ground floor in a boutique development, it was ideal for a downsizer. Hotly contested to $3,800,000.00, $1,000,000.00 over the guide price, some 36%! We missed out on this property by walking away as we felt that the price was crazy. So instead we purchased this lovely boutique apartment below in Harrison Street Cremorne. Completely off market, without any other downsizer aware of its availability for just $2.950,000.00. A huge saving. We have so many stories from this year that are so similar to this.

4/19 Harrison Street Cremorne, NSW 2090

Looking back at all of the off market properties that we bought this year, it’s become very clear that they all represented super value compared to what buyers were paying for on market properties. The reason for this is simple and stems back to the highs of late 2021. When 2022 started, Vendors still wanted 2021 prices, however those days had gone and buyers were not prepared to pay those prices anymore. We see this cycle happen time and again, and it’s always about a 9 month process of Vendor acceptance. So by the time this year started, Vendors were very muched aligned on price. However, the on market properties started to perform better and reached increased prices, and prices continued to rise as the year progressed, whilst the off market properties were keen to take a deal.
For our investor and first home buyer clients, we have been seeing great opportunities arise with 1 and 2 bedroom apartments since mid year. We see this continuing into 2024.
Reason being:
For some, back in 2021 apartment owners decided to load up their mortgages, allowing them to purchase another property. However with interest rates jumping three fold in that time, it’s left some owners with a serviceability issue. These are always off market opportunities as the owner simply can’t afford to fund an advertising campaign or have the property sit vacant for 3 months either. We continue to monitor this sector of the market for the tell-tale signs of bargain buys.
Our Biggest Purchase This Year: 22 Kenneth Street Longueville. 
$19,250,000.00This was another huge off market success. The owner had no intention of selling this property, not for at least another 5 years anyway. Being a very private owner made accessing the property extremely difficult too, but we persisted and got our rewards. A private inspection was granted and our clients fell in love. After 3 weeks of complex negotiations we secured this residence for $19,250,000.00. Even though this set a new suburb record, we already knew that at this price, it was a remarkable result for our clients. Now, just a few months later, it is no longer the suburb record and there have been 4 prestigious homes sold in the suburb. We knew of all of these properties and had walked through all 4 of them prior to them becoming publicly available. In our opinion, in the opinion of the selling agents we’ve spoken with, and importantly our clients opinion, 22 Kenneth Street is better than all of them.
28 Lucretia Avenue, Longueville, NSW 2066
PRICE: Circa $21,000,000.00

 Lucretia Avenue, Longueville, NSW 2066

PRICE: Circa $18,250,000.00

52 Arabella Street, Longueville, NSW 2066
PRICE: Circa $22,000,000.00

4-6 Poole Street, Longueville, NSW 2066
PRICE: Circa $19,100,000.00

Another great example of quality buying, this time with two competing properties on the market.
A2/9 Daisy Street, Dee Why, NSW 2099
B. 2/44 Oliver Street, Freshwater, NSW 2096

Our client loved both of these properties, as did all many other buyers. However Daisy Street was going to Auction first and the selling agent was not taking any offers prior, and guiding $2,000,000.00. It was immediately obvious to us that this property was going to sell well above that guide price, and over our clients budget of $2,400,000.00. Now, our client wanted to wait for the Daisy Street Auction to conclude before making any signs of interest on Oliver Street. This is an incredibly common position to put oneself in, and we found out very quickly that no less than 4 other buyers were doing the same thing. We demonstrated to our client through sound Due Diligence that Daisy Street would exceed budget and we should lock down Oliver Street before the Daisy Street Auction took place. Our client listened to our advice and we proceeded to purchase Oliver Street FRESHWATER for $2,200,000.00. 

Then, a few days later the Auction for Daisy Street DEE WHY was on. Were we going to be correct, did our research align with reality? As the Auction time loomed ever closer, more and more people arrived, but how many were registered, was it going to reach the $2.65mil we thought it would?                                         

The Auctioneer opened with the usual enthusiastic preamble and then, with no delay the opening offer came forth…. 2.3MILLION was the shout from an eager buyer. It was the neighbour of the adjoining property and, coincidentally, a local real estate agent. Our Due Diligence had already uncovered this crucial information! A number of heads dropped with an opening bid of $300,000 over the guide price, however other buyers soon entered the fray. Like wild beasts they snarled competing bids back and forth, all the way to the eventual figure of $2,710,000.00!!! $710,000 over reserve, again 36% over the guide price. Our client was thrilled, as this sale alone immediately added value on Oliver Street, just in a matter of days. A clear demonstration of having a Buyer’s Agent in your corner to give you a clear perspective, it played out exactly as we thought, simply because we asked the right people the right questions, at the right time.

There are so many more success stories we could tell you from this year, see our web page here if interested to see other SP results

What’s to come in 2024?

Short answer is we simply do not really know. If a buyer’s agent, real estate agent, your accountant, your property guru Uncle Dave or neighbour try telling what’s coming, then I’d take it with a pinch of salt.
What we do know is the same as every year. Basically, whatever the feeling in the market is at the end of one year, that sentiment carries into the next. If you were to push us on the subject and it was ‘off the record’, then we’d most likely say;

We’ve seen virtually every interest rate rise in this cycle, there may be one or two more, but we’ve certainly broken the back of it. We continue to operate in Blue RIbbon, highly desirable suburbs, with limited stock and a healthy level of demand. Immigration policies dictate that the Australian Government announced that the planning level for the 2023–24 permanent Migration Program will be set at 190,000 places. LINK: Decades of evidence proves that the first three months of the year produce the largest intake of migrants. Current momentum is at an all time high too with circa half a million overseas migrants arriving in the last 12 months.

What I do know is that they are not building any more land around here, yet our population will continue to rapidly grow. Our local property market, like the Eastern Suburbs too, will feature heavily on the radar of these skilled migrants, pushing demand higher again. We’ve always taken a long term view on quality Real Estate, in symphony with the question…can I afford the repayments? This has served us well over the years, and from a long term perspective I believe it will continue to be a winning formula.  Even the major banks have published a positive outlook for 2024, the super conservative banks are as positive as I’ve ever known them to be:
CBA: +4%
NAB: +5%
ANZ:  +3% to +4%
WPC: +6%
MAC: +7% in asset values.
When people ask me when I think the best time will be to buy, I alway revert back to a wise old saying I was told many years ago “the best time to buy was this time last week, or even better, this time last year“. So long as you can afford the repayments, and you are taking a long term view, what are you waiting for?
If you, a family member, work colleague or friend are looking to enter/re-enter the local property market in 2024, please feel welcome to call/email or pass on my details on. We are always more than happy to offer a complimentary and confidential discussion on how we can help you. We will be raising our fees for 2024 (follow this link to our fees page ), however as a repeat client or friend of a past client we’ll be offering a 10% discount on our success fee for a very limited time.That’s a wrap, I must get back to the phones, uncovering those super off market properties with the team for our clients.

From the Sp. family to yours, I hope we get to catch up soon and I wish you and your family a safe and fun festive time over the holiday season.

Marcus Gould
Director & Senior Buyers Agent
M: 0402 239 660
Sp. Property Buyers.

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