AusFinance Gazette

What each million buys you in Sydney

$1 million is the median house in Sydney, but what do you get for it? What upgrade does $2 million provide? And $3 million?

Judging by how much you paid for that bacon and egg roll this morning, you’re probably thinking $1 million can’t buy you much more than a decent breakfast in this city.

The truth is that waiter saw you coming from a mile away—no free range pig is worth what you just forked over. If only you’d set yourself a realistic budget and known what to look for and where, much like you would when buying a house, you’d have a much clearer idea of what to expect. With those principals in mind, let’s take a look at what $1, $2, and $3 million can buy you on the property market right now.

Eastern Suburbs

These days, the median property price for the city and east region combined is $2,177,500 for houses and $900,000 for units. With that in mind, if you’re looking to buy something between Paddington and Bondi for $1 million, you can find a spacious one-bedroom apartment or a standard two-bedroom in this price range. Doubling your budget to $2 million really opens up the prize pool, with two to three-bedroom terrace houses now within your reach. Similar yet slightly more spacious offerings are also available around Randwick and Centennial Park, whilst toward Botany you can score a freestanding four-bedroom house for the same price tag. At $3 million, parking perks become available in the inner-city, along with renovated three-bedroom terraces or unrenovated terraces on bigger blocks on land. If you’re hoping to land somewhere closer to the beach, $3 million in Coogee could buy you a freestanding brick house pretty close to the water.

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Inner West

Right now, the median house price in the inner west sits at $1.39 million and the apartment median at $725,000. In the $1 million range, the best value is in Newtown, where you can find two-bedroom renovated cottages, sans parking. If owning a designated spot to house your wheels is a must, head to Annandale, where you can find well-presented two-bedders with parking in the same price range. Meanwhile, un-renovated semis are going for around the $1 million mark in Summer Hill, but you have to be lucky. In Balmain East, $2 million can buy you units with harbour and CBD views, whereas for the same price you can find three-bedroom houses in Annandale, four-bedders in need of some TLC in Haberfield and Summer Hill, and modern four-bedroom homes in Newtown. Up your budget to $3 million in the inner west and renovated three-bedders in Balmain East enter the chat, as do prize offerings in Haberfield and Summer Hill, including pools.

Lower north shore & Upper north shore

As you might expect, homes in these two exclusive areas of Sydney don’t come cheap. Here, the median house price in the lower north shore is $2.2 million and $887,500 for an apartment. If you’re hoping to find something on the lower end of that, your best bet is Gladesville, with a median of $700,000. In the lower north shore $1 million restricts you to the apartment market, namely around Neutral Bay. At $2 million, small freestanding and semi-detached homes mark themselves present, namely in suburbs like Mosman, Cremorne and Cammeray. Finally, at $3 million, you’re looking at luxury apartments in Mosman, family homes with pools in Cammeray and Cremorne, or bigger family homes in Artarmon.

If you’re looking to buy in the upper north shore in the $1 million range, your best bet is to set your sights on Hornsby, where you can find houses on moderate blocks, as opposed to more expensive suburbs like Chatswood and Gordon where you’re more likely to afford another luxe bacon and egg roll. Back in Hornsby, $2 million can buy you a beautiful multi-bedroom home, but you have to be diligent in your search because opportunities don’t come along often. Options closer to the city begin to reveal themselves at the $3 million mark, including new builds and period classics close to public transport hubs.

South

For a house-sized slice of what locals like to call ‘God’s Country’, $1 million can buy you a lot more space (and parking) than your suburban city counterparts. Close to the coast in Cronulla, high-end two-bedroom apartments or standard three bedders come in at this price point, whilst further west and away from the beach you can find townhouses and multi-level family homes. In Cronulla, the median house price is $2.1 million. If you want to get the best value for money at this price, head a little further back toward neighbouring suburbs like Caringbah, where you can buy a five bedder for around the same amount. If you’re more interested in buying big elsewhere in the Sutherland Shire and have a cool $3 million to spare, Gymea, Miranda, and Grays Point all offer waterfront deals at that price.

Western Suburbs

In the Parramatta area, $1 million can go a long way. The average house price in Rydalmere is just over $1 million, while options in suburbs such as Toongabbie ($770k) and Granville ($700k) provide flexibility. You can buy a freestanding home with 3-5 bedrooms on approximately 500 sqm in this price range. You can find older, less renovated properties on larger blocks or newly renovated more modern options on slightly smaller blocks in this price range, but you will likely have to compromise on one of these things.

With $2 million to spend, you now have the architecturally designed estates available to you, particularly in the prestige suburb of Oatlands.

If you have $3 million in Western Sydney, you can get yourself much closer to the city, with the best offerings of Inner West hugging suburbs such as Strathfield or glorious views of the Parramatta River from large homes in Putney or Mortlake. In fact, there’s not many properties on Greater Western Sydney that would be out of your price range with this budget.

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