‘New kid on the block’ now one of city’s most liveable

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The most liveable suburb in Sydney’s city and east has been under lock and key until recently, when the government began selling off its public housing.

Residents are now shunning the likes of Paddington in favour of large terraces in Millers Point – with access to employment hubs, harbour views and access to transport and retail as good as it gets in Sydney, the Domain Liveable Sydney 2016 study authored by Tract Consultants and Deloitte Access Economics shows.

Home buyers have flocked to the inner-city hub in the past two years as properties became available during the sell-off of public houses by the NSW government, Albion Avenue buyer’s agent Shelley Horton said.

“In many respects Millers Point is to Sydney what, say, Tribeca is to Manhattan or Kensington is to London,” Ms Horton said.

“It truly represents the absolute best of fringe inner city living in Sydney … there is no other suburb that offers the mix of modern apartment living and historic houses so close to the harbour but only footsteps from the Sydney CBD.”

Professional couples, inner-city upgraders, empty nesters and retirees are looking in the area where the median house price is now $2,470,500.

“It’s the new kid on the inner-city block in many respects. Before the recent government public housing sell-off Millers Point as a suburb you could buy into consisted of a few apartment buildings on the northern fringe of the CBD,” Ms Horton said.

And with an entry-level price “approaching $1 million” for a one-bedroom apartment without views, those looking to buy in the area need to be prepared to pay a hefty sum.

“In some of the blue ribbon apartment buildings such as Observatory Tower on Kent Street you will pay in the low $2 millions for a two-bedroom apartment with a harbour view and high $2 millions for a three-bedroom apartment,” she said.

For the area’s most coveted properties, its heritage terraces, buyers are paying $1.5 million-plus for two-bedrooms, with three- to four-bedroom homes selling for about $3 million.

And that’s before a required heritage-friendly renovation that could cost upwards of $500,000, Di Jones sales agent Elodie Fabre said.

“???Most of the people who have recently purchased are short-term investors who intend to move into the property down the track when the renovations are done,” Ms Fabre said.

This includes people who are retiring in the next five or six years who are renting the homes to executives in the meantime.

“It’s a village in the middle of the city and it’s the only place you get that feel … it’s very special,” she said.

Local resident Mary Sutton lives in the Millers Point/Dawes Point area and loves that everything is right on their doorstep.

“The accessibility to the city, the variety of delicious food from all over the world, galleries to visit and the wonderful parks, everything we do is nearby so we barely use our car,” Ms Sutton said.

Part of her enjoyment of the suburb comes from the heritage overlay, providing an opportunity for astute home buyers to “conserve a historical” precinct.

“In most of the great cities of the world such areas are nurtured and it’s right Sydney takes its place with these leaders,” she said.

Having sold the majority of the government’s heritage properties in the past 24 months, McGrath Estate Agents’ Richard Shalhoub said terraces and sizeable estates in the CBD hadn’t been readily available before the latest sell-off.

This included the “crown jewel” of Millers Point, the $7.7 million Darling House on Trinity Avenue.

“Millers Point is certainly becoming one of Sydney’s most sought after locations due to the unique nature of the homes and its surrounding lifestyle and leisure facilities,” Mr Shalhoub said.

“Additional lifestyle elements offered from precincts such as Barangaroo, the Walsh Bay arts precinct and the historic Rocks area add to the appeal of living in this harbour-front suburb.”

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