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SSC Newspaper : August 2013
When Strathfield’s newest apartment block officially went on the market two weeks ago, 35 had already been sold and only seven remained. The 10-storey block on Albert Road had one-bedroom flats for $550,000, two bedrooms for $700,000 and three bedrooms for $770,000. The realtor of JJ Apartments, Strathfield Partners’ Norman So, said the result was unprecedented. “It surprised us. We usually expect 40 per cent to be sold in presales and we’ve doubled that. It’s the first time I’ve seen it in Strathfield and the location on Albert Road is a big factor in that,” he said. Mr So said apartments in Strathfield had never sold so well. “ We’re getting very strong offers and people are buying before auctions. Most of our resales are breaking records for the building,” he said. Mr So said demand would continue to outstrip supply. “As you can see with the JJ Apartments, the supply was absorbed straight away. There’s heavy demand and there is only so much you can build in Strathfield,” he said. Mr So said the building attracted both investors and young families attracted to the area’s schools, parks and amenities. The demand for apartment living is not just being driven by new residents but also baby boomers who want to downsize from their larger properties in Strathfield but stay within the municipality. “ There’s a changing demographic and you can see it in the Boulevarde. There’s a mix of shops with Korean restaurants and Indian convenience stores. The amenities adapt to the market,” he said. He also said council was continuously making sure the municipality could cater for the extra people. “Council has plans for the local community to change it in a positive way.” 14 Strathfield Scene AUGUST 2013 LIFE WHY THE TOP END OF THE STRATHFIELD MARKET IS THE HOTTEST IN SYDNEY, BEATING VAUCLUSE, POINT PIPER AND DOUBLE BAY - SEE STEVE DEVINE ON PAGE 20 Sixty years ago, Leila McClenahan and her family bought a brand new three-bedroom home in Strathfield so her five-year-old daughter could go to school in the suburb renowned for quality education. Never did she imagine the Wallis Avenue house would sell for the $1.3 million it did last month. In a competitive auction between six registered bidders and four actually placing bids on the property, the price of the property rocketed well above the owner’s expectation. “ I ’m extremely happy with the result,” Mrs McClenahan said. Her agent, Chris Virgona of Richardson and Wrench, said about 60 groups of people had inspected the property and eight to 10 of them had asked for the contract. Mrs McClenahan’s daughter attended Santa Sabina from kindergarten to year 12, but it was more than the schools that the family fell in love with. “ It’s an attractive suburb. It is central to everywhere and my husband and I were members of the golf club,” she said. But with her family grown up and her husband deceased it became difficult for the 92-year-old to live alone in her Strathfield home. She now lives in the Cotswold Retirement Village in North Turramurra. Veluppillai Sivasuprananiam and his wife were intent on buying a home close to their daughter and her young family. The couple immediately felt the “good vibe” from the Wallis Avenue house. But they weren’t the only ones. In a four-person bidding war it was evident the home was in high demand. The Sivasuprananiams opened the bidding at $950,000 . Thirty-five bids later they secured the property for $1.3 million. “ We love this place. There are trees in front of it and it is opposite a reserve,” he said. The grandparents had already sold their Pennant Hills home and were temporarily living in Homebush. They had been looking for a property in Strathfield for more than two months and in that time they had seriously looked at five homes and bid on two before successfully buying this property. “ We look forward to moving in,” Mr Sivasuprananiam said. GOING, GOING, GONE STRATHFIELD’S THE BLOCK: 14 DAYS, 28 APARTMENTS AND $16M IN SALES SELLER BUYER MISSED OUT Badri Gomadam and his wife Nandini have been going to inspections in Strathfield for two years now. The couple works in Strathfield and their two children go to school in Strathfield. They used to live in Casula but two months ago, fed up with the daily commute and desperate to live in Strathfield, the family decided to rent a home on Berina Street while they continued to search for a house. But Mr Gomadam says competition keeps getting tougher. “ I ’ve been looking for a long time but prices keep skyrocketing. My budget keeps getting bigger but the prices go up too.” Even with a million dollar budget the Gomadam’s are finding it hard to get a foot in the market. They estimate they’ve looked at 40 houses and seriously considered five of them but keep missing out. And to Mr Gomadam there doesn’t seem to be an end to the ever-increasing prices in Strathfield. “ In the past two months I’ve noticed a big rush to buy. It was quieter six months ago,” he said. “ It’s too expensive.” AN ARTIST’S IMPRESSION OF THE NEW DEVELOPMENT CONTINUED FROM PAGE 13 On the Saturday of Strathfield’s busiest weekend, Mr Virgona auctioned an apartment, a townhouse and a house. All three sold well above expectations. “Apartments and townhouses continue to sell well. They sell well to first home buyers and investors,” he said. But Mr Virgona said it’s the same demographic buying into Strathfield. Whether it is a unit or house, families are looking to enjoy the schools and amenities Strathfield offers. “It is largely the same, a house is just a bigger step,” he said. Recently, Strathfield Partners offered a block of one, two and three-bedroom apartments opposite Raw Square. They were gone in just a week. And while this could provide temporary relief to buyers interested in apartments, Steve Devine, the director of Devine Real Estate, has told the Scene that prices will continue to go up in the long run. “Demand will outstrip supply,” he said. Greg Emerton, also from Devine Real Estate, who has been selling houses in Strathfield for 12 years, agrees. “Large apartment blocks attract a completely different market to houses and even low-density walk-ups in Russell Street,” he said. He attributes the exceptional housing demand in Strathfield to its family friendly amenities and central location. “It’s got great private schools, a big railway station and it’s thirty minutes to everywhere in Sydney. Strathfield is highly sought after and demand keeps increasing,” he said. THE PRIME LOCATION IS A BIG SELLING POINT
SS July 2013