IN THE NEWS

Sydneysiders flee to the Blue Mountains, the region with a median price of $680,250

Article by: Sue Williams | Domain

Property Blue Mountains

With properties in the Blue Mountains priced considerably lower than similar homes in inner-city Sydney, many buyers are contemplating a tree-change. Photo: Supplied

It used to take Maria Liversidge 10 minutes to commute from her home in Croydon in Sydney’s inner west to her job in Strathfield. Now after moving house to the Blue Mountains, she travels for an hour-and-a-half each way.

But she couldn’t be happier. “I absolutely love living here,” says school administration worker Maria, 62, who moved to Wentworth Falls two years ago. “I fell in love with this house, I’ve got a great view and a wonderful climate and lots of little villages around.

“I’ve also got lots of space. I have three grown-up children who’ve started having babies and my little semi in Croydon wasn’t big enough to have all the family around. This one does, and you can’t compare the prices!”

Blue Mountain Property

This semi sold for $1.31 million last year in Croydon, a Sydney suburb that now has a median price of $1,552,500. Photo: Sarah Keayes

Of course that’s precisely what more Sydneysiders are doing. A house in Croydon now has a median price of $1,552,500 and one in Wentworth Falls $715,000. For the Blue Mountains, overall, the house median sits at $680,250‚ just over half Sydney’s median of $1,178,859, on Domain Group figures.

That price differential is driving increasing numbers every week to swap city living for a country idyll. “Affordability is a key issue,” LJ Hooker head of research Mathew Tiller says. “Then people are looking for houses with more room and also a more relaxed lifestyle.

It used to be retirees coming here but now it’s also families and young professional couples all looking for a better quality of life and to get more for their money.

Catriona Swan Belle Property Leura

“The market in the mountains is also performing well with prices in Katoomba, for instance, going up 22 per cent in the past year, and 87 per cent in the last five, but still with a median of just $610,000.”

Blue Mountains

Top home in the area: Design lure in Leura

The lower reaches of the mountains, where most commuters might find the commuting easier, is also showing strong price growth.

Blaxland, with a median of $750,000, has risen 72 per cent in the past five years, and Springwood, 60 per cent during the same period to $680,000.

Related: The new Southern Highlands favourite
Related: Buyers head for the Hills
Related: What’s letting Sydney down

Catriona Swan, with Belle Property Leura, where the median is $765,000, has been selling in the Blue Mountains for 20 years and says she’s noticed “dramatic” change.

“It used to be retirees coming here but now it’s also families and young professional couples all looking for a better quality of life and to get more for their money,” she says.

“Western Sydney now has so much more employment, the transport infrastructure is so much better and technology means people are much more flexible in the way they work and might work from home a couple of days a week now.

“We’re seeing people coming from semis in the inner west and apartments in the eastern suburbs and lower north shore and getting a three to four-bedroom house on a large block for the same money,” Swan says.

The roads are so much better, Century 21 Combined Springwood principal Gary Bardwell says, with improvements to the Great Western Highway, the prospects of a faster run into the city with the WestConnex and continuing rail upgrades.

A Transport for NSW spokesperson says there have been express rail services added between the CBD and the Blue Mountains, and a new fleet of state-of-the-art trains will start on the tracks next year.

Blue Mountain Property

19 Everglades Avenue, Leura NSW. Photo: Supplied

The increasing flow of people into the Blue Mountains means there’s a lot more demand for a wider range of homes, from cheap fibro weekender cottages to imaginative, no-expense-spared transformations of older heritage houses.

Christie’s International Real Estate agent Darren Curtis says it’s the perfect example of the best the market can these days offer.

Blue Mountain Property

Photo: Supplied

He and co-agent Brenden Purcell of Purcell Property are currently shopping around this four-bedder at 19 Everglades Avenue, Leura.

“Here, we’ve had a young and sympathetic builder who’s been able to restore and refurbish a 1910 cottage, with additions, to offer the best of both the old and new,” he says. “He’s retained all the traditional features of the property but managed to combine them with the kind of modern living everyone loves.”

Blue Mountain Property

Photo: Supplied

He and co-agent Brenden Purcell of Purcell Property are currently shopping around this four-bedder at 19 Everglades Avenue, Leura.

“Here, we’ve had a young and sympathetic builder who’s been able to restore and refurbish a 1910 cottage, with additions, to offer the best of both the old and new,” he says. “He’s retained all the traditional features of the property but managed to combine them with the kind of modern living everyone loves.”