the mcgrath report s p r i ng 20 13, sydn ey
message from the ceo
Last year we predicted that 2013 would be the turnaround year for the residential market and the beginning of the next growth cycle. It’s looking like that’s the case as we report and amazing what a difference a year can make. There are several factors driving the market recovery. Changes we are experiencing include: ▪▪ Interest rates are now well under 5% vs last year when they were around 6% ▪▪ The sharemarket was around 4,400 & as we go to print is now around 5,200 ▪▪ Auction clearance rates have shifted from around 55% to above 75% ▪▪ Chinese buyers have arrived in force & are seeking quality properties in all price ranges ▪▪ SMSFs have increased their investment into residential property by 10.4% in the past year ▪▪ Sydney has had two of its highest house sales recorded at $52M & $33.5M ▪▪ We have just had a new Government anointed with a landslide victory ▪▪ The key performance indicators are as healthy as I’ve seen them for many years In this report we will seek to analyse this new emerging market & determine what are the key
drivers going forward. As well as looking into the future again to see what’s ahead. I’m not saying the recovery phase will be without hitch or the occasional dark cloud, but it’s a much more pleasurable experience writing this year’s report as I stare out at a far clearer horizon than last year. My major predictions for the year ahead are: ▪▪ Continued residential property recovery Australia wide with several cities surging in demand & prices in 2014 ▪▪ Sydney leading the way but South-East Queensland the overall strongest growth market in Australia over the next 3 years ▪▪ Increasing demand from Chinese buyers ▪▪ House prices to outperform unit values over the next 3 years ▪▪ Interest rates to bottom around these levels for the remainder of the year but start to rise in the second half of 2014 I hope you enjoy this report and it assists you with your future property decisions. John McGrath CEO, McGrath Estate Agents
The McGrath Report Spring 2013 | 03
greater sydney demographics
448 BAULKHAM HILLS
MOST ACTIVE SUBURBS FY13
Apartments Median price
(RP Data June 30, 2013)
greater sydney snapshot
1.4% 4.29M Average annual Population Growth Rate of 1.4% Sydney’s population grew at 1.4%, the third slowest rate in Australia ahead of only Adelaide & Hobart. Fastest was Perth at 3.5%, followed by Brisbane at 2.1%.
population increase of 59,717 To reach projected growth of 570,000 households by 2032, Greater Sydney needs to build 28,500 new homes each year. 4.29M as at 30 June 2012, up approx. 59,717 people during the year.
40.1% GREATER SYDNEY STATISTICS Median age: 36 Most popular second language: Arabic % of residence born overseas: 40.1 Average household size: 2.7 people Apartments count for 25.8% of occupied private dwellings White collar workers: 55% Average motor vehicles per dwelling: 1.6 (ABS Census)
(HIA & ABS)
Mean Household Income 2006
(ABS as at Aug 16, 2013)
Audi Benchmark Suburbs with the most Audi owners Follow the smart money.
Baulkham Hills Bondi Beach
The McGrath Report Spring 2013 | 05
this year’s big themes
1. chinese buyers hit the market
9,768 9,768 Foreign investment approvals for residential real estate purchases or development in Australia in FY12 – more than a 207% increase than that of three years ago. NSW experienced the highest rate of growth in foreign investment up 45% in FY12. (FIRB)
China is Australia’s No 1 source of international students with 110,120 students enrolled, representing almost 30% of our international student population. China is our No 2 source of migrants, with 25,509 entering Australia in FY12. (Australian Education International YTD May 2013, ABS & Immigration Dept)
The first ‘significant investor visa’ requiring $5M of investment in exchange for fasttracked residency was granted to a Chinese family. Since the visa’s launch in November 2012, over 300 applications have been lodged but only ten have been granted due to lengthy processing. Over 90% of the applicants have been lodged from China & 38% have indicated they wish to reside here.
Chinese buyers are Australia’s third largest real estate investors at $4.2B in FY12 behind the US ($8.2B) & Singapore ($5.7B). Chinese investment is up 75% in just two years from $2.4B in FY10. (FIRB)
2. Self-managed super funds love property
$17B Approximately 1 in 25 Australians have a SMSF today. $117B contributed to super in FY12, second biggest on record since 2007 when a one-off contribution of up to $1M was allowed under the Howard Government. (Estimate based on FY12 growth rate (APRA, ABS))
There has been a 23% increase in the amount of money invested in residential property via SMSFs over the past two years to March 2013. Young people have emerged as the new drivers of SMSFs. 67% of new SMSFs opened in the March 2013 quarter were aged 25-54 compared to 31% aged over 55. (ATO)
Approximately $17B in residential property was held by SMSFs as at March 2013. 74% of SMSF members earn less than $100,000 per year. (ATO)
51 The average age of SMSF members is 51. There is a record 509,362 SMSFs in Australia today with 963,852 members. Over 35,276 new SMSFs were created in FY12, just below the FY07 high of 41,054. (APRA)
3. why rent when you can buy for less?
4.3% First home buying retracted to just 4% of the NSW market, well off the long term average of 15%, after the $7,000 grant was removed. This should return to normal over the next two years as historically low interest rates, rising rents & increasing home values draw FHBs back into the market.
Most Savings Sydney now has 73 suburbs where it is cheaper to buy than rent. Up from 48 in Dec 2012.
Sydney suburbs offering the greatest saving from rent to purchase. SUBURB
1 Winston Hills
Australia has 692 suburbs where it is cheaper to buy than rent. Up from 179 in Dec 2012.
(5.4% P & I variable)
(RP Data, based on 5.4% P & I variable loan)
4. Sydneysiders flying solo
GenY The City of Sydney LGA is becoming a haven for apartment living, attracting an increasing number of young professional singles & couples without children. The number of new apartments being built has surged to its highest level in two decades. This is off the back of GenY’s preference for a home close to action & an increasing number of international students, professionals & downsizers choosing a cosmopolitan CBD lifestyle over the ‘burbs.
City of Sydney LGA is Sydney’s premier apartment precinct.
Key drivers of inner city apartment demand & rising prices:
34% of households are lone person households.
1. Increasing number of overseas university students
95% of dwellings are medium or high density, compared to 40% in Greater Sydney & 25% nationally. 1% of households 7 have no children. (profile.id, ABS Census)
2. Increasing number of overseas professionals working in CBD 3. C hanging lifestyle & dwelling preferences, particularly among GenY
GenY loves city living Case study: Pyrmont ver 50% of Pyrmont O apartment owners are 20-34 year old professionals. 20% of Pyrmont apartments were owneroccupied in 1996. 36% were owneroccupied in 2011. (ABS, BIS Shrapnel)
4. A ffordability of new apartments compared to houses in Sydney LGA (BIS Shrapnel)
The McGrath Report Spring 2013 | 07
The average price for Greater Sydney metro apartments is $500,000 Sydney is most expensive ahead of Melbourne & Darwin, with Perth now at number four, replacing ACT. $270K
AVE CAPITAL CITIES
INNER SYDNEY STILL has AFFORDABLE options 56 suburbs in Greater Sydney have apartments with median prices under $350K, down from 93 last year. Below are six Sydney LGAs with apartments sub $500K
RUSHCUTTERS BAY ELIZABETH BAY
Median house & apartment prices $270K
SYDNEY $0K (RP Data)
AVE CAPITAL CITIES
The McGrath Report Spring 2013 | 09
5 major demographic movements within sydney The five key trends emerging in terms of demographic movements within Sydney are: 1. Eastern Suburbs to City & Inner South 2. City & Inner South to Inner West 3. City & Inner South to Eastern Suburbs 4. City & Inner South to Inner South West 5. Parramatta to Blacktown The demographic profile groups below are the biggest movers within Sydney:
same sex COUPLES
60-79 years, typically married, income from savings & financial investments. They value their health, lifestyle & financial well-being.
30-59 years. Likely to be legally wed rather than de facto. Career focused, working longer hours. Value lifestyle, travel & financial well-being.
29-59 years, SINKS are career-driven & value their lifestyle, travel, entertainment & freedom/ independence.
20-99 years, all employment types, higher than average disposable income. Highly tech savvy, love travel & value financial wellbeing & independence.
From: North Shore To: Northern Beaches
From: Eastern Suburbs/ North Shore To: City & Inner South
From: Eastern Suburbs To: City & Inner South
From: Eastern Suburbs To: City & Inner South
Moving here for lifestyle & being closer to work
Moving for urbane lifestyle, access to city
DINKS are the second largest emerging group in this area behind lone persons. Potentially not planning to have kids. Majority earn >$2K+ pw.
Lone persons are the largest emerging group in this area ahead of DINKS. Lone persons account for 5,571 households. Majority earning >$2K+ pw.
Over 51% of all the same sex male couple households live here, with 341 households earning $5K+ pw.
From: City & Inner South To: Inner West
From: City & Inner South To: North shore
Moving for more space, build home, to have kids
Moving here for space, lifestyle & being closer to work
Moving for the seaside lifestyle but many still working 45% still in the workforce. Income earning varies: majority earn enough for a conservative lifestyle, but high numbers also earning enough to provide a very comfortable lifestyle in retirement. From: North Shore To: Central Coast Moving for the seaside lifestyle Most are not working with only 20% still in the workforce. Earning enough to allow for a modest lifestyle. ($400-$599 pw) From: Eastern Suburbs To: City & Inner South Moving to downsize & enjoy city living 47% are still in the workforce. Moving to this area to enjoy the city lifestyle (as well as being closer to work). Variable income levels allow for a modest lifestyle.
Moving closer to enjoy city living & be closer to work
DINKS are the second largest emerging group in this area behind couples with children. Not wanting to forfeit short work commute times. Majority earn <$3.5K pw. From: City & Inner South/Inner West To: Parramatta Moving for more space, affordable home, to have kids DINKS are the largest emerging group in this area followed by couples with children. New DINKS nesting site. Earning less $2.5K pw, so looking for affordable first time home.
Lone person households now account for 4,733 households. Prosperous SINKS can afford to live here. Majority earning <$3.5K pw. From: City & Inner South To: Eastern Suburbs Moving here for space, lifestyle & being closer to work Lone person households account for 3,887 households. DINKS being the largest emerging group. Prosperous SINKS can afford to live here & like the proximity to work & transport hubs. Majority earning >$2K+ pw.
Access to cafes & cultural diversity are drivers. From: City & Inner South To: Eastern Suburbs Lifestyle, space & access to city Second most popular place to live. Generally more affluent, again lifestyle is driver. 90 households earning $5K+ pw. From: City & Inner South To: Inner West Older couples looking for space & lifestyle Looking for space. Slowing down and looking to spend time with family & friends. 47 households earn $5K+ pw.
BAULKHAM HILLS & HAWKESBURY
OUTER WEST & BLUE MOUNTAINS NORTHERN BEACHES NORTH SHore BLACKTOWN RYDE PARRAMATTA INNER WEST CITY & INNER SOUTH EASTERN SUBURBS INNER SOUTH WEST SOUTH WEST
SUTHERLAND OUTER SOUTH WEST
The McGrath Report Spring 2013 | 11
prices will increase as infrastructure changes New infrastructure will be a major catalyst for price growth in pockets of Sydney. Here we profile the five projects that we believe are the most significant for Sydney & most likely to increase property values.
CBD & South East light rail
North West train line
WestConnex is the largest urban transport project in NSW history. It involves a 33km link between Sydney’s far west, the airport & the Port Botany precinct.
The CBD & South East light rail will extend from Circular Quay along George Street to Central Station, then on to Kingsford via Anzac Parade & Randwick via Alison Road.
This 23km heavy train line will run from Epping through to the Hills & North West regions, with eight stations.
The 22 hectare former container port on the Harbourside at the western edge of Sydney CBD will house 800 stylish apartments; three commercial towers; a mixed retail & café precinct; & a 5.7 hectare waterfront park.
The project includes widening existing roads including the M4 & M5 East. It will also free up Parramatta Road for local traffic & public transport.
There will be stations at Moore Park, NSW uni, Prince of Wales Hospital & Randwick Racecourse. The design is being finalised with work to commence in 2014.
12 trains will run per hour during peak periods. This Australian first will be a fullyautomated rapid transit system – incorporating driverless trains.
The site will include a landmark 350 room hotel, with a VIP casino creating 6,000 jobs in the area.
The light rail system will provide greater capacity than buses & should ease traffic congestion.
The line will transform the Hills & North West, where modern four bedroom homes currently trade from the $700,000s in Kellyville & $600,000s in Rouse Hill.
▪ ▪ Save 35 mins Parramatta-Airport
▪ ▪ L ight rail capacity of 300 people per trip
▪ ▪ Save 20 mins Penrith-CBD, Strathfield-Airport
▪ ▪ 220 fewer buses entering CBD in AM peak
▪ ▪ 27,400 new homes near stations
▪ ▪ Australia’s first large-scale carbon neutral community
▪ ▪ 49,500 new jobs near stations
▪▪ Harbour water cooling, 6,000 sqm of solar panels
Completion 2015 onwards
Inner West South-West St George Western Sydney
Kensington Kingsford Randwick Surry Hills
Baulkham Hills Bella Vista Castle Hill Cherrybrook Kellyville Rouse Hill
CBD Millers Point Pyrmont Walsh Bay
Sydney’s East & West will be directly linked for the first time, bypassing 50 sets of traffic lights. Construction will begin in 2015.
The first release of 159 residential apartments offered for sale, sold in under 6½ hours.
Inner West light rail extension The Inner West light rail currently runs from Central Station to Lilyfield. The 5.6km expansion has nine stations at Leichhardt North, Hawthorne Canal,Marion Street, Taverners Hill, Lewisham West, Waratah Mills, Arlington Street, Dulwich Grove & Dulwich Hill Interchange.
North West train line
Construction began in 2012 & all platforms are now in place. We expect significant new demand for property in the immediate vicinity of the stations. transport.nsw.gov.au Fast facts â€˘ 5.6km extension of lightrail from Lilyfield to Dulwich Hill
â€˘ Nine new stops within the expansion Completion 2015
Inner West light rail extension CBD & South East light rail
Beneficiaries Dulwich Hill Haberfield Leichhardt Lewisham Marrickville WestConnex motorway price impact
The McGrath Report Spring 2013 | 13
around the WORLD There is renewed demand for quality property throughout many of the world’s international business hubs with little or no restrictions on foreign ownership. Driven by new money from mainland China, oil rich Gulf States & cashed up Eastern Europeans, all looking for safe havens & good investments.
London is a strong market with no foreign ownership restrictions attracting wealthy overseas investors looking for a stable safe haven.
▪ ▪ London is the fastest-growing city in Europe & is expected to grow by one million people in the next decade ▪ ▪ London prices jumped 0.9%. Demand in the capital has surged 15% in the past six months, while supply has fallen 0.6% ▪ ▪ Central London prices are up 5% (Belgravia, Chelsea, Knightsbridge, City Fringe) ▪ ▪ An increase of 10% elsewhere (Fulham, Clapham, Battersea) in first half 2013 ▪ ▪ Reduced sales above £2M due to higher stamp duties & company tax ▪ ▪ £5M+ strong, fuelled by foreign interest (Bloomberg, Marsh & Parsons)
With hefty new taxes & waning consumer confidence, the housing market has declined but wealthy foreigners of Chinese & Middle Eastern origin are still buying.
Limited supply, low interest rates & confidence in the city as an international haven is fuelling strong demand for property investment.
Hong Kong remains one of the most expensive property markets in the world but transactions are on a downward trend due to new taxes. Hong Kong is failing to attract foreigners.
With no restrictions on foreign ownership, Tokyo was the fourth most popular place in the world for real estate investment in 2012.
▪ ▪ S ales volume down 40% in the last 12 months
▪ ▪ Rising international demand, buyers from Latin America, Asia, Middle East & Europe (upsurge from Greece)
▪ ▪ New 15% tax on foreign purchasers & extra tax on companies & nonresidents
▪ ▪ Investors are chasing much higher & more stable yields compared to Hong Kong, Singapore & other Asian countries
▪ ▪ I nstability among owners about a constantly evolving regulatory environment ▪ ▪ One-off levy for households with assets above €1.3M has hurt the market. In 2012, 8,000+ households’ tax bills exceeded their total income ▪ ▪ Overseas buyers include Lebanese, Russians, Chinese ▪ ▪ French working abroad in London are buying in Paris from banking & IT sector ▪ ▪ Strengthening is the sub - €1.3M
▪ ▪ Highest sales volume in Q2 2013 since GFC hit ▪ ▪ Average price per square foot at highest level since Q1 2009 ▪ ▪ New development median price increased in the last 12 months 44% ▪ ▪ Majority of new developments in Downtown precinct (Corcoran Report)
▪ ▪ Stamp duty doubled on HK$2M+ sales ▪ ▪ Foreign buyers expected to hesitate, correction in the luxury market likely ▪ ▪ Mainland Chinese accounted for 18% of new luxury sales in Q1 2013 – the lowest level in four years & down from 43% in Q3 2012 ▪ ▪ Kowloon in particular has been a popular area for investment by mainland Chinese (Centaline Property Agency)
▪ ▪ B uyer activity from throughout Asia – Taiwan, Singapore, China & Malaysia ▪ ▪ Steep devaluation of the Yen has made Tokyo property cheaper & yields healthier for foreigners ▪ ▪ Tokyo’s large & growing population, as well as trend towards smaller household sizes, is expected to underpin rental levels (Jones Lang LaSalle, Savills)
The McGrath Report Spring 2013 | 15
sydney commentary John McGrath’s Top Area Picks Camperdown/Newtown/Erskineville - On the doorstep of the CBD. University community will benefit from the strong Chinese buyer demand. Home to the coolest retail strip in Sydney at King Street. Kensington/Randwick - Will also benefit from the demand to be close to University campus. Great upside from the new light rail planned to start soon. Undervalued parkside village only 7 minutes to the CBD. Willoughby/Artarmon - One of my favourites over the past few years. Leafy. Safe. Family friendly & far less expensive than their Lower North Shore neighbours. Marrickville/Dulwich Hill/Petersham/Enmore - This is the sweetspot for young families & professional couples. The ones who like what the Paddington buyers want at half the price. Brighton-Le-Sands/Sans Souci/Dolls Point - Still close to the CBD & airport, but without the larger Inner City price tags, these bayside suburbs offer a convenient, family-friendly environment. Castle Hill/Kellyville/Rouse Hill - For those looking for some more room than the uber trendy inner city suburbs offer, this is the area young families should look to secure these larger blocks.
Let’s talk about the bubble The new growth cycle has arrived. Or in Sydney’s instance, it started about 6 months ago. So let’s have a quick look at the detail behind this & investigate the rumours of the persistent Australian real estate bubble & whether it could rain on our parade. First the bubble. I have no doubt that the designers of this conspiracy have data & spreadsheets to back up their theories. But I can share with you that after 30 years in real estate I have heard these theories since I’ve been operating in this space. The first time I heard them I actually thought about changing careers. Why be in an industry that is overpriced & about to collapse? The next time I had a similar amount of fear but hung in there. As we now hear the doomsayers for the fifth or sixth time round, I’m ok. I have made up my mind that their spreadsheets are wrong & life goes on. After all when I was selling 2 bedroom Paddington terraces in prime locations for $100,000 these theories were as strong as ever. What are these worth today? (Hard to secure one for less than $1.2M.) I’m sure their formulae have substance. There’s no doubt that most of them are far better educated & also better credentialed than me to advocate such models. But the simple fact is that it hasn’t happened & it won’t happen. There is no bubble. Sydney properties are not overvalued. They are at fair market value & heading up. Sydney is a huge international city. It is the preferred destination for a large number of people within Australia as well as the emerging China & Asian markets. It is the New York of Australia. The simple fact is that the weight of demand from many of the influential & wealthy buyers seeking to secure a part of Sydney is in certain pockets. The inner suburbs as an example. Yes, it’s fair to say that it will get harder for Sydneysiders, young first home buyers & couples, to own their dream property in their dream suburb, but certainly not impossible. As you can see within this report you 16
can still buy within a number of inner city suburbs for under $500,000. And when that becomes harder the market will discover or create new destinations, new trendy villages, new desirous pockets. It’s all part of the evolution of a big city. It drives creativity. Remember Paddington was once a slum suburb, as was Notting Hill in London. The world changes. People seek new answers & create their destiny. Plus not everyone wants to or needs to live in the bustling inner city. Many amazing lifestyle choices & suburbs that lay just beyond the inner city ring & new infrastructure will unlock these pockets. Some will even take another option & seek other opportunities in great cities like Brisbane & the Gold Coast. I have no doubt that these two cities represent the best growth opportunities in Australia over the next 3 years. So as did their forefathers, many will consider picking up & chasing their dreams in any number of other great cities in the lucky country. So, no bubble, no collapse, simply healthy growth in a world-class city. Here are a few things that I’m thinking about the market. A few ideas to leave you with as a high level summary of this report: ▪▪ There is no bubble. The new cycle has begun. ▪ ▪ Investors are back in force & looking to seek & secure bricks & mortar assets ahead of the next growth phase, both personally & through their self-managed superannuation funds. ▪▪ Sydney will be the stellar performer over the next 12 months but South East Queensland will be the strongest corridor over the next 3-5 years. ▪▪ Interest rates will remain low for about a year but return to more normal long term levels thereafter. Consider locking in these rates for 3-5 years. @johnmcgrath100 mcgrathestateagents
The McGrath Report Spring 2013 | 17
nsw regional commentary There has been a noticeable upswing in activity among local buyers across key regional markets, with low interest rates, strong demand & better sale prices inspiring residents to upgrade or downsize their homes & buy investment properties for the future. John McGrath’s Top Picks ▪▪ Kiama ▪▪ Shelly Beach ▪▪ Wentworth Falls
Buying through self-managed super is a growing trend, with locals in the Blue Mountains, Port Macquarie, Ballina, Byron Bay & Tweed Heads buying future retirement homes while younger buyers in Kiama, Newcastle & the Central Coast buy purely for investment. Sydney buyers are still active in regional NSW markets, although more are buying for owner-occupation rather than investment. This might be due to historically low interest rates enabling unusually high yields on properties closer to home. An increasing number of retirees from Sydney & Canberra are heading to the Southern Highlands, where the market is the most buoyant it has been in several years with new activity right up to the $2.5M mark & plenty of interest in new over-55s developments.
medicos who are purchasing houses above $900,000 in areas such as Lighthouse Beach, where older residents are selling up to buy new apartments at Town Beach. Newcastle remains an exciting market with even more promise following the state government’s announcement of the long-term lease of Newcastle Port, with much of the proceeds to be invested locally in infrastructure projects that will rejuvenate the tired CBD. An interesting new trend is mining workers relocating to Newcastle from the Hunter Valley. As the mining industry slows down, some workers are losing their jobs & see nearby Newcastle as a logical choice for re-settlement & a place to invest in real estate.
Executives are still buying in the Blue Mountains for their commute to Sydney; while other Sydneysiders are buying $1M homes on the Central Coast for future retirement.
As the state’s second largest city, Newcastle has plenty of appeal as it is close to the mines & Sydney; offers a variety of jobs; has great schooling including a university ranked in the world’s top 3%*; & provides a wonderful coastal lifestyle.
Further north, a major upgrade to the Port Macquarie Base Hospital is attracting Sydney & Melbourne
*Newcastle University, Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2012 & QS World University Rankings 2012
Lowest days on market
ALBION PARK RAIL
BARRACK HEIGHTS BAR BEACH
Highest number of Sales
Highest Rental Yield
(RP Data June 30, 2013)
lower north shore commentary We asked our team at Mosman, Neutral Bay and Northbridge for an update on what they are seeing across the lower north shore.
Historically low interest rates, combined with increased confidence has seen buyer demand at record highs, with strong competition across all segments of the market. Since July this year the team has seen an increase of over 46% in the number of sales made compared to the same period last year as well as 2,000 buyers a week inspecting properties. There is still a significant shortage of property available to keep up with the increased demand and this has lead to unprecedented auction clearance success and low average days on market. Since July our team has seen days on market sit around 11 days with the market average at 33.
urgency injected back into that buyer group as well as a resurgence of the property investor. This has lead to a significant increase in prices, particularly in the apartment market, which is only being further fuelled by buyer demand. Many apartment owners are recognising now is a great time to sell and upsize into a larger apartment or home which has lead to a flow-on of activity in higher price segments. Prestige Property is also benefiting from these buoyant conditions and showing strength and signs of recovery. Between January and September this year the team has sold as many properties over the $2.5M mark as they did throughout the entirety of 2012. There have also been over ten $4.5M sales madea significant indicator that this market is back on track in the region.
Since the State Government axed the First Home Owners Grant in September last year interest in the first home buyers market has declined but we are now seeing a sense of Highest growth
Lowest days on market
LANE COVE WEST
Highest number of Sales
Highest Rental Yield
The McGrath Report Spring 2013 | 19
e x p e c t e x t raordinar y