Seaside home the best value in real estate

The latest edition of the McGrath Home Price Guide pinpoints the best performing Sydney suburbs over the past year and also lists the suburbs expected to increase in price over the next 12 months. Cronulla and Manly top both lists for houses as well as units. Other suburbs listed to grow significantly are Coogee, Leichhardt, Lilyfield, Willoughby, Cremorne, Mosman, Dee Why, Avalon and Newport. Coastal areas and inner city suburbs experienced the strongest growth during the past year, according to the report.

McGrath Real Estate Agents and Australian Property Monitors analysed retail figures and used anecdotal evidence to support their predictions. However, the list is radically different from the one released by the Real Estate Institute of NSW in February, which claimed that Sydney's Western suburbs offer the fastest property value growth. Mr McGrath says that the West has good growth figures but there's lots of land. And he doesn't see wealthy homebuyers wanting to live there. The inner city's lack of land means it will always outstrip the West – which will remain popular, however, as it's affordable and demand is strong.

The McGrath report's publishers believe there will be a small rise in interest rates in June but this won't have an effect on house prices. They give two projections: one assuming no rate rise and one with a 0.25 per cent increase. We don't believe there'll be an adverse affect on the property market even if there's a rise, says APM's Louis Christopher.

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