What Buyers And Sellers On The Upper Northern Beaches Can Learn From The 1st Quarter Of 2021

By Jonathan Fletcher

Well, here we are, Easter is around the corner and the April school holidays are on the horizon, 2021 is in full swing! Despite being a stunted start to the year with the COVID lockdowns, the property market has since ramped up and it has been a very busy quarter.

With the property market being a hot topic right now for most Australians and locals alike, I thought it would be interesting to take a look at how we have performed this 1st quarter on the Upper Northern Beaches. There are many different ways to analyse the real estate market however the three key indicators I will observe today are – auction clearance rates; days on market; and median house values. 

Here is a snapshot of these three indicators in Sydney’s Upper Northern Beaches for the 1st Quarter of 2021.

Auction Clearance Rates 

According to CoreLogic’s Market Indicator Summary, Auction clearance rates are up by huge numbers in capital cities across Australia.

The Northern Beaches – 

  • Last week clearance rate was 100%, the week prior was 94.7%
  • Was host to 72 auctions this week, increasing from 44 over the previous week
  • Northern Beaches average clearance rate has hovered above 90% since the first week of January this year.

Sydney – 

  • 87.5% this week, similar to the previous week’s 84.3%. This time last year, 58.8 per cent of reported auctions were successful.  
  • was host to 1,048 auctions this week, increasing from 806 over the previous week, and 946 this time last year. 
  • Sydney’s auction clearance rate has held above 80% for the past 6 weeks and this week is likely to be no different once final results are collected.

Sydney’s auction success rate, on the whole, is up, with the Northern Beaches clearly performing well. Of those properties going to auction many are selling well above the reserve. Demand from buyers, especially from out of the area, is currently creating a very competitive environment at auction.

Median House Prices

According to Domain, median house prices are increasing Sydney wide. Sydney’s median house price sits at $1,211,488 and according to the same report the Northern Beaches sits well above that at $2,050,000.

Here is a closer look at the suburbs on the Upper Northern Beaches via the median house values on CoreLogic’s Valuation Model.

SuburbMedian house value (4thQ 2020)March Median house value (1stQ 2021)Change Median Unit value (4th Q 2020)Median Unit Value (1stQ 2021)Change
Mona Vale $1,820,000$2,140,00017.6%$1,190,000$1,200,0001.19%
Bayview $2,300,000$2,580,00012.2%
Avalon Beach$2,200,000$2,490,00013.2%$1,040,000$1,060,0002.08%
Bilgola Plateau$1,940,000$2,150,00010.8%
Whale Beach$3,050,000$3,640,00019.3%
Palm Beach$3,160,000$3,730,00018.0%


Some of the reason for the sharp rise to the median house price has to do with prestige property transacting more readily with more than usual transactions at the $7 million and above level which can skew the median price data up (especially in Whale and Palm Beach).

Units in Mona Vale, Newport and Avalon Beach are telling a slightly different story… they increased dramatically in the 4th quarter of 2020 (up to 20%) and have now seen smaller increases in the 1st Quarter of 2021 as you can see in the data above.

Houses are outperforming units as buyers are generally looking for more space and a sea change for their families. This is having an impact on buyers who are borrowing more due to the low-interest rates and competing hard for a home in the Pittwater region and beyond the bends.

Days On Market 

When the average days on market reduces, this indicates a more competitive market.

In our office this quarter, we have experienced the ‘days on market’ for our listings generally going down. Many of our auction marketing campaigns have been reduced from four weeks to three weeks simply because buyers are ready to purchase on week one and don’t want to wait. In short, stock is selling, it’s not hanging around.

If I look at the data from CoreLogic it tells me the median days on market in our Northern Beaches suburbs have generally plateaued at 30-40 days which is low in comparison to this time last year which was 60-70 days.

Sydney wide days on market are also down by 2-3% with the average days on market for houses being 25 and for units being 34 days according to CoreLogic.

In Conclusion… 

We are in a strong market right now as we are seeing the Northern Beaches being a very popular place for people to move into. Sellers are benefiting from the strong prices and competition at auctions. For buyers, there is a level of anxiety, some with FOMO, but the good news is we are anticipating more property coming onto the market over the coming months.

If you are looking to buy, I would say be on the front foot in every way, by having your finances ready to go, knowing the market, making yourself known to the agent and put your best offers forward whether before or at auction. You can access my top tips for buyers, especially in this current market here.

If you are thinking of selling, now is a great opportunity to take advantage of the competition and popularity of the market in the Upper Northern Beaches. Here is an article if you would like to know more on whether now is the right time to sell for you.

If you are thinking of selling in 2021, time is of the essence. You can call me direct on 0424 053 355 or email me here.

If you’d like to track the value of your home, compare recent sales and find out how much your property is worth in the current market, you can get your free estimate here.