- Canterbury offers home buyers the cheapest price per square metre of land within 10 kilometres of Sydney’s CBD.
- Arncliffe and East Ryde are the next-best value options.
- All suburbs within 10 kilometres of the city centre have higher prices per square metre than the Sydney-wide median.
Sydney house hunters pay a premium to purchase close to the city centre, but there are pockets where buyers can get better bang for their buck, even by moving just one suburb over.
Homebuyers looking to maximise their budget, while remaining relatively close to the CBD, could turn to often overlooked suburbs like Canterbury, Arncliffe and East Ryde, which have the lowest house prices per square metre within 10 kilometres of the city centre.
Homes in Canterbury, 9.9 kilometres south-west of the CBD as the crow flies, offer the best value for money within that radius, trading for a median price of $3,199 per square metre last year, and offering a median block size of 453 square metres.
Next was Arncliffe, where house hunters paid a median of $3,635 per square metre, then East Ryde ($3,645) and Middle Cove ($3,656), where homes are more expensive but sit on larger blocks.
When measured by sale price the cheapest suburb within the 10-kilometre radius was Sydenham, which has a median house price of $1.28 million, but a much higher rate per square metre, at $7,465, due to smaller block sizes.
Domain’s chief of research and economics Dr Nicola Powell said the per square metre price for properties peaked in inner-city suburbs, where land commanded the greatest premiums and the more limited number of houses sat on smaller blocks.
An auction in Earlwood. House prices here are among the cheapest per square metre in inner Sydney, but higher than neighbouring Canterbury.Credit:James Alcock
“It largely follows the rule of thumb that the further away you go the cheaper it becomes because land comes at less of a premium … but this [data] allows you to identify those areas that are maybe lower priced [per square metre] than neighbouring suburbs,” she said.
The median price per square metre in Canterbury for instance, is about 18 per cent lower than for properties in neighbouring Earlwood ($3,894). Prices in Earlwood are about 46 per cent lower than prices in neighbouring Marrickville ($7,186), where buyers pay higher prices for houses on smaller blocks. Marrickville prices in turn, are 20 per cent lower than in neighbouring St Peters ($9018).
All suburbs within 10 kilometres of the city centre, were well above the Sydney wide median of $2466 per square metre — which increased about 140 per cent over the decade.
Buyers’ agent Hamada Alameddine of BuyerX was increasingly seeing inner west clients, particularly young families, turn to suburbs like Ashbury, Ashfield, Arncliffe, Earlwood and Canterbury to get better value for their money.
“A lot of people are moving further west … they want more space because they’re looking to start a family or have young kids,” he said.
“In that $1.5 million to $2 million range in those suburbs, we’re talking about them getting a three to four-bedroom house on 350 to 500 square metres.”
While buyers were getting more space, the compromise was often a longer commute time to work, shops and other amenities. But some suburbs struck a good balance.
“You’re always going to make compromises [when on a budget], you’re going to give up one thing to get something better.”
Canterbury local Sonia Battistini is selling her three-bedroom home, but hopes her family can stay in the area.
Sonia Battistini outside her Canterbury property. Credit:Brook Mitchell
She praises the suburb for its local shopping, cafés, pool, ice rink, access to the Cooks River walking track and greenery, as well as its proximity to inner west suburbs such as Marrickville, Dulwich Hill and Summer Hill.
The train line offers an easy commute to the city, and Canterbury station will be part of the metro upgrade project.
“What’s great is you’ve got the inner west lifestyle, but you don’t have the inner west price tag,” she said.“From an affordability perspective that’s a great positive, but it definitely is on the rise.”
She has watched the neighbourhood grow and flourish since moving in seven years ago, and believes it’s a suburb to watch.
“We really enjoy the area. It’s a bit of a hidden gem,” she said.
Her agent, Ray White Drummoyne’s Mario Carbone, said Canterbury is only one suburb from the inner west but is often associated with Bankstown because it sits in the local government area of Canterbury-Bankstown.
“Bankstown is a lot further away than what Canterbury is. People tend to overlook it for that reason,” he said.
“Now we’re finding that people are getting priced out of Hurlstone Park, Earlwood, Marrickville, Petersham, Dulwich Hill – it’s essentially the next suburb and people are starting to see the value in it.”
He said there has been little consistency in sale prices lately, which can vary depending on the pocket of Canterbury, but stock levels are very low and the area is tightly held.
“I wouldn’t be surprised if in the next couple of years we start to see it really take off,” he said.
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