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Returning ex-pats renew interest in Paddington housing market

People returning to Paddington during COVID-19 has increased property value in the Eastern Suburbs. Photo:


Returning ex-pats have fuelled the rising demand in Sydney’s eastern suburbs real estate.

Following a recent surge in the property market, ANZ has raised its Sydney house price growth forecast to over 20 per cent, a stark difference from the average capital growth of 7.4 per cent over the past 40 years.

Property sales agent and Gracie George Director Catherine Dixon has seen about a 30 per cent increase in the Paddington property market alone.

“The government’s saying that there were a million ex-pats coming from overseas back into Australia since COVID started, a good proportion of those would go to the eastern suburbs in Sydney, and then a proportion of those would go to Paddington,” Dixon told City Hub.

“You’ve got double the amount of buyers you normally have.”

Local view

A consistent trend in recent years is that properties in high demand result in a sale prior to auction.

Dixon points to a recent sale on Elfred Street, which increased by $1.15 million in 18 months.

With building restrictions on Paddington to conserve the heritage of the area, there is increased pressure on supply.

Woollahra Councillor Matthew Robertson has lived in Paddington for ten years. He says the liveability and heritage of Paddington is a treasured characteristic of the neighbourhood.

“Paddington is a very special area. The fact that you can walk down to the shops and bump into your neighbours on the way. It’s a wonderful community to be in and that heritage layout of the whole suburb is really what gives rise to that,” Clr Robertson told City Hub.

“It’s not a dynamic that you find replicated in other suburbs further afield in Sydney.”

The Oxford Street and Paddington Place Plan highlights Woollahra Council’s two key objectives for the area: to create a destination for Oxford Street’s infamous boutique retail and the high activity local areas, such as Five Ways.

“In terms of Five Ways, we want to say we want to see a thriving set of local businesses that are serving local residents,” Clr Robertson said.

A retail and residence space located in Paddington’s Five Ways, currently occupied by Zoit Hair, recently sold for $3.29 million, $1.04 million above its reserve.

The hair salon has tenanted the space for roughly five years and has become a staple in the Five Ways precinct.

Raine and Horne Double Bay real-estate agent that sold the property, Paul Langsam, says over 80 groups privately viewed the property.

“I think the main drawcard is the charm of a terrace … the opportunity to have a dual-income of residential as well as commercial. And then also just the location, the village atmosphere is highly appealing,” Langsam told City Hub.

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