Scott Thornton Market Report Summer 2018/2019



Welcome to my market snapshot, which gives you an overview of how the Lower North Shore property market fared last year, together with my insights into 2019.

Despite a Sydney-wide slowdown, the Lower North Shore property market has been holding up. There’s no denying that there has been a change in the overall market. It is generally less intense, and the process of buying and selling is being conducted on a more level playing field than we’ve seen in some time.

However, there is still strong demand in the Lower North Shore property market, particularly in houses. Here, low stock levels and strong buyer confidence means we’re still seeing very good results being achieved - in particular, the prestige end. This is clear from the record number of sales last year in excess of $10 million. In the apartment market, many buyers have become more circumspect due to homeowners and investors often finding it harder to obtain finance as a result of tighter lending requirements.

In fact, we believe buyers and sellers should take heart. These are excellent conditions in which to make a property move whether that’s upsizing, downsizing or simply relocating. That’s because there is now more time to properly consider a sale or purchase and there is more chance you’ll find a property that matches your requirements. Property owners also need to keep the current market in perspective. While Sydney’s average property price may be down slightly from its mid-2017 peak, it is still roughly double what it was 10 years ago.

We are also fortunate to live in an area that has shown remarkable growth over the past few decades and one that will always be in demand. As recently as 2012, the median Mosman house price was $2,151,000. Less than seven years later it is $3,725,000 - an increase of more than 73 per cent.

If you’re considering selling, it’s more important than ever before to have an experienced local agent who can achieve the best price for your property. So if you’d like to know more about anything you read in this market report or want to book a free market appraisal, please get in touch.

Kind regards,

Scott Thornton


While there have been some positive signs for the domestic economy with lower unemployment and more first home buyers coming back into the market, it seems a safe bet that the Reserve Bank of Australia will remain on the interest rate fence well into next year and possibly beyond. The RBA has kept its cash rate at 1.5 per cent since August 2016 and hasn’t lifted official rates for eight years, which means many mortgage holders have never experienced a cash rate increase. In the meantime, lenders have been increasing their rates out-of-cycle. So there has been no need for the RBA to do anything, particularly given uncertain household consumption, the continued fallout from the Hayne Royal Commission and the looming federal election.

Borrowers still face a challenging lending environment with banks toughening their lending criteria and conducting detailed examination of borrowers’ expenses and all forms of income used to service their repayments. This is making it more difficult for consumers to navigate and comprehend the minefield of more than 3,000 products and different servicing criteria of all the banks and non-bank lenders. But there is also strong competition between lenders for your business, particularly if you have encountered rate rises over the last 12 months. My message to mortgage holders is ‘never be complacent’. You should always be looking for the best home loan deal. Contact a mortgage broker to make sure you are getting the best terms possible and, most importantly, save money.

John Kolenda
Managing Director of 1300HomeLoans
Managing Director of Finsure Finance & Insurance


We take a look at what the style makers and interior design gurus predict will be the next big trends to hit home interiors in the year ahead.

Hello metallics, goodbye millennial pink

Millennial pink – and its accompanying hues of blush and rose – may finally have had its moment. Likewise, copper, which has also been everywhere in recent years, is seeing its popularity wane. According to style predictors, brass, silver and gold are the metallics of the moment that will be big in 2019. Warm gold tones and muted apricot and peach shades are also tipped to make an impact on the world of home interiors.

Matte black is the new black

Matte black has been super trendy for some time now in fashion, beauty, homewares and packaging of high-end goods. The trend is increasingly creeping into home interiors, with matte black kitchens, bathrooms, flooring and paintwork capable of creating intense drama and a bold sense of style in homes. Matte black pairs perfectly with pops of bright colour and, if you’re not ready to fully commit, is easy to incorporate through your selection of homewares, soft furnishings or individual pieces of statement furniture.

Wabi sabi style

If 2018 was the year of plush, cosy Hygge comfort, then 2019 is the year of wabi sabi simplicity. An aesthetic philosophy with roots in Zen Buddhism and the Japanese tea ceremony – in which the most prized bowls are those that are handmade and irregularly shaped – wabi sabi is all about seeing beauty in the imperfection of the natural world. In practice, this translates to a calming, natural look, which may incorporate items that have a patina of age, crackling effects, or are weathered or oxidised. The overall aesthetic is streamlined, uncluttered and tranquil.

Mindful minimalism

Right in line with wabi sabi is the growing trend of “mindful minimalism”, where less is definitely more. The style is light, airy and pared back, rather than being too harsh or austere. Ways to achieve it can include incorporating mid-tones that are visually warm, along with soothing neutrals and pastels, such as the year’s popular pale apricots and peaches or stonewashed blues and sage green. Naturally, it’s also all about decluttering and getting rid of what you don’t need to create more space in your home both physically and mentally.

Reconnecting with nature 

Given these moves toward minimalism, it’s unsurprising that sustainable, organic homewares and traditional handcrafts are also increasingly desirable. A new aesthetic of earthen luxury is influencing interior design from home materials to homewares. The look is all about earthy tones and dark woods, such as rosewood or walnut, with charred, blackened surfaces. It’s a striking move away from the huge popularity of Scandinavian style in recent years, with its all-white interiors and blonde woods.


Speaking of earthy, the move toward sustainable design in home construction has well and truly filtered down into styling and homewares. If you haven’t already, it’s time to embrace sustainable fabrics and ethical products, such as vegan leather and furniture produced using reclaimed and recycled timbers.

The wellness kitchen

The global trend toward wellness in how we live and eat is having a big impact on kitchen design, with kitchens being reinvented to better reflect healthy eating trends. The concept puts fresh food front and centre, with a focus on hygienic and transparent materials that showcase chilled, fresh produce. Smart fridges, freezers and pantries that feature temperature and humidity controls will become increasingly popular. It’s not just about eating either but also about nurturing healthy relationships in the home, with kitchen design focusing more on creating spaces in which families can come together and connect.

If you need advice about renovating your home contact Scott Thornton today.