A recent media article suggested that affordability is not the issue preventing first home buyers stepping onto the property ladder in Sydney, but rather they are too fussy to compromise on location and consider more affordable places like Western Sydney.
Houses can be still purchased for well under $400,000 to 500,000, on large blocks of land, but the distance and poor transport network can put people off. In fact John Symond, described the transport infrastructure as “moribund” though also counselled first home buyers to look at their options:
“If first home buyers want a home, they need to head west where prices are more affordable,” he said
The writer of this article (a resident of North Western Sydney) agrees wholeheartedly with the state of transport, travelling up to two hours a day each way into town, and disliking every minute of the journey.
However there are some definite upsides that should not be overlooked as well, and if you are a first home buyer, these features may well appeal and would not be affordable for many years in the big smoke.
- The average block size in many areas is more than 1000m², which means there is plenty of room to have a pool, or even some chooks in a good sized yard. In the inner suburbs, these features on big blocks are rarely affordable to the first home buyer.
- For a higher spend in the $600,000s, you can have acreage, and get a horse or two as well
- While inner suburb prices have remained soft, Western Sydney has seen some good growth in terms of house value; and for those not ready to buy just yet, or looking for an investment property, it has much cheaper rents and higher rental yields.
- House and land releases in Western Sydney often means buyers can have all the mod cons – brand new kitchens and appliances, a home theatre and modern community facilities such as parks, cycleways on estates and community halls. The same amount of money closer to town can leave buyers looking only at “renovators’ delights”
- Similarly you get more bang for your buck in an established house, with more mod cons and space, if new build estates are not your thing.
- Professionally, there are employment opportunities in some of the bigger towns and cities outside of the CBD such as Parramatta, Penrith, Campbelltown and industrial areas and business estates like Norwest or Wetherill Park
- These same larger centres of Western Sydney have ample shopping and entertainment facilities such as cinemas, theatres and sporting venues.
- Some pockets of Western Sydney have high populations of immigrants or their descendants which means a wonderful fusion of cultures, shopping experiences and food which equals some fabulous restaurants at well below the price of Sydney’s inner suburbs.
- There is the same demographic variety in Western Sydney as in the inner city, a mix of ages, professions, singles and families – forget the stereotypes. They don’t exist anymore.
- And finally….Off street parking is the norm in Western Sydney.