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Sydney house prices trump London and New York
Released 26 October 2010

Sydney continues to outpace global capitals such as London and New York when it comes to median house prices.  

Recent figures show that the median price of a two- to three-bedroom house in Sydney is $651,000 compared with $462,000 in London and $460,000 in New York.

“High house prices are directly linked to the worsening housing shortage in Sydney,” says REINSW President Wayne Stewart.

“The result will be a decline in the number of home owners and an increase in Australians seeking rental accommodation, a trend that characterises New York and London. But we don’t want to go down this path, it will simply put the Australian dream of home ownership out of reach for many.”

The Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute agrees. “The country that promised limitless land, cheap housing and near-universal home ownership to all comers now has some of the most expensive housing in the world.

“High house prices act as a drag upon growth and competitiveness, have exaggerated inequities of wealth and intergenerational equity, and they will eventually increase the welfare burden on the community.”

Buyers should rent in their preferred location and buy an investment property in a more affordable up-and-coming suburb, says property expert and REINSW Board member Margaret Lomas.

“There are still opportunities for people to buy property and build substantial property portfolios by becoming a landlord rather than an owner-occupier.”

In Sydney, the median price of an apartment is $459,000, with an average size of 82sqm. But that’s nowhere near the leap required to purchase the average high-rise apartment in Manhattan, where the median value of condominium-style accommodation is just over $1m ($US868,000).

In cities where apartments make up the leading type of dwelling, Sydney is $32,000 behind Tokyo, where an average property costs the equivalent of $683,000. However, that will only buy a one-bedroom apartment of around 60sqm.

In Hong Kong, the median price for a 45sqm apartment is $340,000, which makes it less affordable than Sydney because people pay more than 10 times the median income of $32,600.