In Sydney, it’s fairly safe to say that the closer to the Harbour Bridge you live – the higher your property is likely to be worth.
But new figures are turning the great property divide upside down with the wealthy Eastern Suburbs suffering a 15 per cent slump in property prices, while values in the west continue to rise.
Property analyst Jason Anderson of MacroPlan Australia believes the east could face another 5 per cent drop in the next quarter if sentiment failed to turn around.
This fall would take the market correction to beyond 20 per cent from the inflated peaks reached last year, erasing the majority of gains the area recorded in the mini post-GFC property boom.
But over in the city’s west – property owners are smiling.
RP Data figures for the year to February found house values in inner western Sydney surged 10.4 per cent, with 6.4 per cent gains recorded in central western Sydney.
In Blacktown, property values jumped 5 per cent in the past year.
And, while the majority of Sydney suburbs suffered a decline from September’s peak, its values failed to move an inch down and remain at record highs.
Whether the strength in such markets as Blacktown, Merrylands and Auburn can withstand the overall downward trend remains to be seen.
First homebuyers are yet to rejoin the fray and with strong signals the Reserve Bank may move interest rates upwards, this could keep them out of the market for much longer.
Some economists predicting the Reserve Bank may move as early as June and raise a further three times this year. This would cause sentiment across the board to fall – meaning a property slowdown in Australia’s biggest market.