A vintage copy of a Sydney real estate guide from 50 years ago shows staggering prices that would make any real estate investor dream of a time machine.
A 1972 Reddit ad from The Realtor is a three-bedroom Newtown patio for $ 10,000 in “fair condition” that “needs a lick of paint.”
Another ad was for a redecorated two-bedroom semi-trailer in Leichhardt that would have cost you $ 16,000.
The median price of homes in Newtown in 2021 is $ 1.735 million, while in Leichhardt it is $ 1.815 million.
Old listings from a 1972 Sydney real estate guide are enough to entice any modern property investor to try and build a time machine – one had a three-bedroom Newtown terrace for sale for just 10,000. $
Western suburbs close to the city like Leichhardt and Newtown had smaller worker cabins in 1972, while prices went up the further west you went.
Money is of course not worth what it was in 1972, but even the adjustment for inflation shows Sydney’s astronomical growth in property values.
According to the Reserve Bank of Australia’s inflation calculator, $ 10,000 in 1972 equals $ 105,545 in 2020, while $ 16,000 is only $ 168,872.
Most of the 1972 guidebook ads for now popular Midwest locations like Newtown, Leichhardt, and Annandale were well under $ 20,000, suggesting that it was realistic to get a house within a 15-minute drive of the city for an incredible deal.
While these suburbs favored workers’ cottages at the time, prices were a bit higher in midwestern locations with larger homes – like Strathfield, Croydon, Burwood, and Drummoyne.
You could get a “magnificent men’s residence” in Strathfield for only $ 46,500 in 1972
Anyone interested in property on Sydney’s North Beaches knows how expensive and elusive it is in 2021, so the prices in 1972 are enough to make all of us wish for the good old days.
But it was still possible to win a large house in these suburbs for less than $ 30,000 in 1972.
The highest prices in 1972 were in then affluent Strathfield, in the high $ 40,000 for a “magnificent men’s residence” or “exclusive residence”.
Strathfield and Burwood, while not trendy suburbs, are some of Sydney’s more expensive suburbs today, not to mention the eastern suburbs leading the way in price.
The median price of homes in Burwood today is $ 2.31 million, compared to $ 2.984 million in Strathfield.
The guide classifies the mid-west suburbs of Newtown to Strathfield – all located only a short drive from town – in its “western suburbs” section.
The 1972 real estate agent also showed incredibly low prices on the northern beaches.
The 1972 real estate agent also listed incredibly 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 view in Manly Vale for under $ 18,000 or at Dee Why for $ 16,500.
Dee Why’s current median house price is $ 2.295 million, while it is now $ 3.05 million for Manly Vale.
A three-bedroom unit near Collaroy Beach in 1972 cost $ 19,000, while today it would cost between $ 1.5 million and $ 2 million.
Heading further north to the peninsula in 1972, you could have bought a family home in Avalon Beach for $ 21,250 or Newport for $ 28,500 – which had ocean views.
Houses in these suburbs are now worth at least $ 2.5 million.
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 the northern part of Sydney.