Gen X drive up cost of inner city

City LIving

More Generation X parents are rejecting the suburban dream to raise their family closer to the city, fueling steep housing price rises.

The trading-up market is already seen as one of the strongest in Sydney’s property market, particularly among four-bedroom houses in inner-ring suburbs, according to the Australian Property Monitors economist Matthew Bell. “Most of those housing upgrades have been selling into what has been a strong first-home buyers market in previous years and the ripple effect of that is flowing upwards.”

That market has also been boosted by a lack of stock.

APM figures show the median price for four-bedroom houses in inner-ring suburbs has increased 12.4 per cent in the year to June (to $1,595,000), compared with only 6.3 per cent (to $520,000) for similarly sized houses in the outer ring.

Inner suburbs well stocked with four-bedroom properties showed among the best median price growth in the past year, such as Longueville (up 43.75 per cent), Lane Cove (35.3 per cent), Randwick (31.25 per cent), Queens Park (21.2 per cent), South Coogee (36.9 per cent), Haberfield (10.9 per cent) and Marrickville (19.2 per cent).

The figures reflect comments by the demographer Bernard Salt about Generation X, aged in their 30s and early 40s, forming a “critical mass” of parents choosing to remain close to the city rather than move to fringes.

“Gen X are very lifestyle driven,” research director of RP Data, Tim Lawless said. ”They tend to want to work and play in the same area … the city usually. Gen X don’t want a yard to maintain. They want a short commute, with friends and retail nearby.”

The demand for larger houses in inner areas is heightened by a trend among emptynesters to hold onto family homes for longer to sell in a hopefully stronger market as a quasi superannuation fund, the chief executive of Raine & Horne, Angus Raine, said.

(By: Lucy Macken, July 24, 2010)