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    Main | Yellow pops out »
    Tuesday
    Aug132013

    When just enough money is not enough

    Anita Senaratna talks to one sector of society doing quite nicely, thank you - local real estate agents ... Residential market is "ridiculous" as buyers, renters and investors compete ... Commercial market is dead ... Poets and prostitutes out ... Professional types in

    Demand is strongest it has been for a long, long time (pic: Y. Miller)

    THE starving artists, poets and bohemians have fled all but fled, replaced by professional types and the recently monied.  

    Currently, the median price of an apartment in Potts Point is over $420,000; while a house could set a buyer back nearly $3 million.

    According to local real estate agents, that won't change any time soon.

    "The demand at the moment is the strongest ever if not the strongest I've seen in a long, long time," says Richardson and Wrench's Nicholas Tsaoucis, who says people attracted to the area because they want the "apartment lifestyle."

    "[In the past] apartments were seen as a stepping stone and then you went and bought a house. It's now something people have really embraced. 

    They want to live in a densely populated area, with every race and lifestyle, everything on their doorstep, not having their own car, using car-sharing."

    About 99 percent of Potts Point residents live in high-density dwellings - apartments or terrace houses.

    There are also good opportunities for investors looking for rental properties.

    Investors and corporate buyers are the target market of Sydney Links Real Estate, which shares its Macleay St headquarters with coffee shop Palate Espresso.  

    "This area is more than 60 percent rented now," says Nathan Alexander, a sales executive at Sydney Links.

    "It's where investors come to invest and people rent and so the prices are ridiculously high for one bedroom studios in particular. The buyers are just outbidding themselves without having to go to an auction."

    Although the area is still a melting pot for people from all walks of life, Alexander says he would categorise "young professionals" as being the main demographic.

    He points to the recently-refurbished Bourbon and the City of Sydney council's planned Fitzroy Gardens upgrade as examples of "gentrification" that have taken place.

    "A lot of young professionals want to be close to the city because they can walk there, then you've got the nightlife right here. They've got good jobs in the city because the rent in Potts Point is more expensive, and we're slowly starting to see a few families around there."

    "A lot of prostitutes and drug addicts are out of here" (pic: Y. Miller)

    Ben Ramsay of Ramsay Real Estate has been a long-time resident of Potts Point and a real estate agent for over 30 years. He has seen the area transform dramatically in that time, but thinks it has become "a bit sterile".

    "A lot of the prostitutes and drug addicts are out of here because it's getting expensive," says Ramsay.

    "Before, nothing ever happened. Challis Avenue didn't have any shops; it was just a dead area. Macleay St? Dead. You couldn't find people walking along the streets, you never saw a child, you never saw a dog - the only pregnant person you'd find with a kid was probably a prostitute hanging around trying to buy some smack." 

    Ramsay says that while the residential market is "absolutely booming," the commercial market is "dead".

    "Business confidence is down, no one's renting shops, there are vacant shops all over the place. We were lucky for too long." 

    Ramsay's advice for anyone thinking about buying or renting in or near Potts Point is this:

    "If you're coming over here with just enough money, just enough money is not enough when you're in competition. If you've just got enough you're going to get pipped at the post by someone with enough." 

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