A vintage copy of a Sydney real estate guide from 50 years ago shows staggering prices that would make any real estate investor long for a time machine.
An entry from the 1972 edition of The Realtor posted to Reddit is a three-bedroom Newtown patio for $10,000 in “fair condition” that “needs a coat of paint.”
Another listing advertised a redecorated two-bedroom semi-room in Leichhardt that would have set you back $16,000.
The median house price in Newtown in 2021 is $1,735 million, while in Leichhardt it is $1,815 million.
Vintage ads from a 1972 Sydney property guide are enough to get any modern real estate investor trying to build a time machine — one had a three-bedroom Newtown patio for sale for just $10,000
Suburbs to the west of the city, such as Leichhardt and Newtown, had smaller working-class cottages in 1972, while prices rose the further west you went
Money is of course not worth what it was in 1972, but even correction for inflation shows the astronomical growth of property values in Sydney.
According to the Reserve Bank of Australia inflation calculator, $10,000 in 1972 is the equivalent of $105,545 in 2020, while $16,000 is just $168,872.
Most of the entries in the 1972 guide to now popular locations in the west of the country, such as Newtown, Leichhardt, and Annandale, were well below $20,000, suggesting that it was realistic to have a home 15 minutes’ drive from the city at an incredible bargain.
While those suburbs tended towards working-class cottages at the time, prices were slightly higher in inland locations with larger homes — such as Strathfield, Croydon, Burwood, and Drummoyne.
You could score a ‘beautiful mansion’ in Strathfield in 1972 for just $46,500
Anyone interested in property on Sydney’s Northern Beaches knows how expensive and elusive it will be in 2021, so the 1972 prices are enough to make us wish for the good old days
But it was still possible to score a large house in those suburbs in 1972 for less than $30,000.
Top prices in 1972 were in then-affluent Strathfield, in the high $40,000 for a “beautiful mansion” or an “exclusive home.”
Strathfield and Burwood, while not fashionable suburbs, are among Sydney’s most expensive suburbs today, not counting the Eastern Suburbs, which lead the way in terms of prices.
The median home price in Burwood today is $2.31 million, while that in Strathfield is $2.984 million.
The guide classifies the inner suburbs from Newtown to Strathfield—all just a short drive into town—in the “western suburbs” section.
The 1972 broker also showed astoundingly low prices on the northern beaches.
The 1972 realtor also listed some astoundingly low prices for homes in French’s Forest, Beacon Hill, Allambie Heights, Belrose, and Wheeler Heights
It was possible to get a two bedroom unit with a golf course view at Manly Vale for under $18,000 or at Dee Why for $16,500.
Dee Why’s current median home price is $2.295 million, while it’s now $3.05 million for Manly Vale.
A three-bedroom apartment near Collaroy Beach cost a whopping $19,000 in 1972, while today it would cost between $1.5 million and $2 million.
If you went further north towards the peninsula, you could have bought a family home in 1972 in Avalon Beach for $21,250 or Newport for $28,500 – with ocean views.
Homes in those suburbs are worth at least $2.5 million today.
The guide also showed 1972 listings for Belrose, Narrabeen and Harbord on the beaches, and French’s Forest, Beacon Hill, Allambie Heights, Belrose and Wheeler Heights also in Sydney’s north side.