Suburbs where prices are still booming
Keen first home buyers and expanding infrastructure have reignited a housing boom in Western Sydney's fringe areas, sending prices skyrocketing by up to $220,000 in a year.
The runaway growth defied the wider housing slump in the rest of the city, where the median price of homes has fallen 8.6 per cent since banks began applying restrictions on lending last year.
The biggest price surges were in pockets of the Hawkesbury region, Blue Mountains and the Macarthur area in Sydney's southwest, newly published sales data showed.
The Hawkesbury suburb of Kurrajong led the growth with a median price rise of 23.2 per cent over the year to August, pushing up the typical value of a local home from $950,000 last year to the current $1.17 million.
Other suburbs where prices grew by more than 15 per cent included Silverdale and Wilton in the southwest and Glenbrook in the Blue Mountains, according to the research from CoreLogic.
Macarthur enclave Thirlmere and the suburb of Marsden Park, 15km northwest of Blacktown, recorded growth of more than 10 per cent.
Housing experts said these suburbs more than 55km from the CBD recorded strong growth because the lower price of homes relative to the rest of Sydney made them more popular with buyers, particularly first home buyers.
The first-timers were drawn to the opportunity to access government stamp duty discounts available for homes priced under $800,000, but increased competition from others with the same strategy meant they had to outbid each other to get the homes they wanted.
Western homes were also becoming more appealing to families who had their borrowing capacity scaled back by banks, forcing them to move their housing searches from middle-ring suburbs to Sydney's cheaper outer ring.
Realestate.com.au chief economist Nerida Conisbee said Western Sydney prices were getting an added boost from a raft of infrastructure projects, including high speed rail and the new airport.
"It's continued investment across multiple projects that is really having an effect," Ms Conisbee said.
"It's made it more appealing living further out and means there are more people, more first home buyers, interested in taking advantage of the lower property prices."
Ms Conisbee added that many of the forces dragging down prices in other parts of the city weren't as present out west.
"One of the biggest challenges buyers have at the moment is getting finance," she said.
"That's really impacted the middle and upper ends of the market, those homes (priced) around $1.5-$1.7 million, because there are less people who can afford them. A lot more buyers can still afford to buy in Western Sydney."
Silverdale residents Jake and Nickala Mortimer, who are selling their four-bedroom home at 4 Margaret Terrace through Property Central, said their suburb's increased popularity was becoming apparent.
"There have been lots of smaller subdivisions and new families moving in from out of town," Mr Mortimer said.
"It's quite different from when we moved here three years ago.
"Prices were low but now all this infrastructure is getting built and industry is booming. Everyone here's been driving off of that."
Property Central's Paul Wallace said sentiment among buyers out west was changing.
"There's a feeling they can buy with more confidence," he said. "Stamp duty changes (for first home buyers) have helped with that. They appear to be working."