Sydney is a young city in comparison to others, with the oldest structures in the city a mere 200 or so years old. There has been plenty of development in recent years, mostly in apartment dwellings. The CBD surrounds, North Shore, and almost anywhere along a train line have seen many ultra-modern apartment blocks surface to meet the demands of a rising population. Particularly around the Waterloo area in the city, there are large apartment blocks lining the streets.
Further out from Sydney, older style 1960s, 1970s buildings dominate, but in the city and close surrounds there is a real mix of all types of accommodation. In older areas around the harbor and the city CBD, there are old sandstone cottages, converted warehouses, terraces, modern apartments, and freestanding houses – styles and sizes to suit everyone’s needs. In other areas, there is a mixture of apartments and houses.
It can take time to find somewhere to live in Sydney. Many ex-pats choose to live in serviced apartments while they look for a permanent home. The rental market is extremely tight and in popular Sydney suburbs, you will find 10-20 people visiting the same properties during open viewing. Real estate agents tend to work more in the owners’ interest, not the renters’. Therefore, you will receive little assistance from standard real estate agents. Using a boutique agency to help you look is one option. Nonetheless, to actually secure the property from other people looking can be quite challenging.
Accommodation is expensive, and the closer to the harbor and transport, the greater the price range. As with any housing, the more features you add the more expensive it becomes. Lock-up garages, views, and multiple bathrooms (for example), all add an extra dollar amount to the rental or sale price.
Prices are going up and the rental market continues to tighten due to a 1) increasing population and 2) lack of suitable properties for rent.