‘The market’s much more upbeat’: Marrickville apartment with $450k price guide to be hot this spring


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Ricky and Jessica Germain with their children Remy, six months, and Elodie, 2, outside their apartment at 18/30 Ewart Street, Marrickville, with a $450,000 price guide. Picture: John Appleyard

Home seekers have been gifted a prime opportunity to snag their dream home for less in housing market conditions experts describe as the quiet before the storm.

Leading inner west agent Adrian Tsavalas, of McGrath, is optimistic that an entry-level Marrickville apartment he has just listed with a $450,000 price guide will quickly find a buyer.

“The market’s much more upbeat than it was at the start of last spring,” Mr Tsavalas said.

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The living room at 18/30 Ewart St, Marrickville

“Buyers are out in force and there’s healthy competition for homes that are listed.”

It’s likely that the apartment owned by coffee salesman Ricky Germain and his HR consultant wife, Jessica, at 18/30 Ewart St will appeal to a first homebuyer or investor.

Mr Germain said: “There’s been a stabilisation in the market, things have picked up … so it’s not such a gamble to sell your property.”

Experts such as realestate.com.au chief economist Nerida Conisbee say prices have bottomed out after falling for two years and are poised to grow again.

The bedroom at 18/30 Ewart St, Marrickville, is bright and breezy.

Prices are starting to rise for the first time since 2017 albeit modestly: 0.1 per cent in June and 0.2 per cent in July according to CoreLogic.

Ms Conisbee expects prices to surge due to a potent mix of lower interest rates, increased buyer demand and a record drought in new listings.

“There’s about 40 per cent more buyers than this time last year, but it will be a quieter spring for sellers than normal,” Ms Conisbee said.

The facade of the Ewart St apartment block.

CoreLogic research showed only about 4000 new homes were listed across Sydney in July — the lowest for the mid-year period since records began in 2007.

A similar environment of low supply, high demand sparked an unprecedented run of price growth five years ago, she said.

“Sellers will be in a very strong position and can name their prices while they have the market to themselves … there’s a situation where buyers who wait too long may miss the chance to get a lower price.”

Real estate guru and auctioneer Tom Panos said sellers with plans to upgrade to a larger home could make a similar mistake if they waited too long.

The family are planning to renovate their home so they’re selling one of their apartments. Picture: John Appleyard

This was because pricier homes were going up in value faster than those at the lower end of the market, he said.

“Some may be hoping they can get a higher price if they wait, but it’s risky if you have to buy and sell in the same market,” he said.

“You might get a better price on your existing home but you’ll pay even more for your new, bigger home because it’s gone up in value by more than your first property, so you’re actually worse off.”

The Germains have owned the Marrickville apartment for a decade.

“We took advantage of the first homebuyer’s grant to buy that in 2009,” Mr Germain said.

“We lived there for a few years through the boom and the family started growing.”

They’ve since used the equity in that and another apartment they bought to buy a house, which they’re now planning to renovate hence the plan to sell one of their apartments.

“Couples that renovate together, stay together” Mr Germain joked.

Like every other agent, Mr Tsavalas says there’s a listing shortage.

“Right now there is less choice for buyers due to listing levels being quite low,” he said.

“So vendors who are preparing to list their home should be pleased with the end result due to a healthy connection from buyers.”

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