Although it might appear that the Balmain property market is undergoing drastic changes, it isn’t what we’ve experienced first hand. People need to buy and sell homes for many reasons that are independent of a financial crisis or a pandemic.

Of course, in these uncertain times, it’s virtually impossible to predict with any certainty exactly what’s going to happen over the next few months. So in this article, we examine what’s happening now, and longer-term trends that the pandemic has amplified.

Insights into Balmain property migration patterns

Across Sydney, we’re seeing an increased desire by many to move out of Sydney’s Inner City to Inner Western suburbs with larger block sizes. This trend has been amplified with the need for more space now many of us are at home for longer each day.

Now employers, having seen the productivity gains with staff working from home, are reassuring their staff that flexible working will continue even after the current pressing need. Homeowners and renters are therefore encouraged to seek greener pastures.

In Balmain, we see a predictable circuit that is young families moving from the Eastern Suburbs to Balmain, moving further afield across the Inner West or alternatively to the North Shore as their children get older.

But what’s also interesting is that we also see a trend in empty nesters moving back to Balmain from suburban Sydney, to take advantage of a different style of community living, and having entertainment and medical facilities on their doorstep.

Many growing families are considering selling this year, to take advantage of the record low interest rates to upgrade. They are choosing to make their move now, many to other parts of the Inner West while prices are stable and before the economy starts to slide as is predicted.

There’s also a noticeable trend to move to regional areas, such as the NSW Central Coast, which has been apparent as an option for people leaving Balmain for several decades, but more so in recent years among downsizers and those in transition to retirement.

What’s happening in the Balmain rental market?

In Sydney’s Inner City, two key factors are affecting the rental market. The first is that many younger renters (especially those working in tourism and hospitality) moved back to the family home once they realised their jobs were in doubt.

While we’ve been observing this trend for some time as young couples, often called ‘Generation Boomerang’, struggle to save for their first home, this trend has been exacerbated by the pandemic.

Other younger renters in older properties have chosen to move a bit further out from the city (now they don’t have a commute) to gain more outdoor space. The trend towards growing our own food has intensified now more of us are home and feel the need to be productive.

Second, many young migrants, students and backpackers from overseas are precluded from coming to Australia, which means more rental properties on the market. For Balmain landlords, however, there’s good news. Good-sized properties with a balcony or a back yard are in demand by renters and still achieving good rental rates.

What’s happening with sales in Balmain?

From what we’ve observed first hand across the Balmain Peninsula, and has been verified through real estate data reports, is that auction clearance rates across Sydney had been sitting at around 50% for some weeks.

Now that the peak selling season has arrived, we’ve seen clearance rates closer to 60% and properties selling above the reserve, indicating increased positivity in the market. However, we’re also noting that many properties are selling off market or prior to auction.

Economists and property industry analysts are painting a gloomy picture for house prices and sales over the longer term; however, we aren’t seeing too many negatives at present. People are still selling and buying in Balmain. We’re finding Balmain, Balmain East, Birchgrove, Rozelle and Lilyfield homeowners are choosing to make their move now while prices are stable and before the economy starts to slide as is predicted.

And while broader social trends might affect many suburbs, Balmain remains relatively stable. It’s a highly desirable area that offers a diversity of homes from apartments and cottages to modern reimagined terraces so there’s something to suit just about everyone.

Thinking about selling your Balmain home?

With decades of experience on the Balmain Peninsula, we’ve experienced many different property cycles so we can give you the best advice on selling your home, or renting your investment property. We can also advise on how to present your house or apartment to its best advantage.

Please feel free to give us a call. Whatever your questions, we’re here to help.

Reach out for real estate advice

Specific to Balmain, Birchgrove, Rozelle, Lilyfield and surrounds.

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