Bizarre 'ghost' detail in $2.9 million Sydney property listing

The Sydney property market has undeniably been a seller's market for the past few years.

An unlikely pandemic boom saw stimulus and higher savings rates fuel real estate prices to eye-watering new heights with vendors barely having to lift a finger to sell their home.

One Sydney property currently on the market has drawn attention online for its lackadaisical approach, despite a "non-negotiable" $2.9 million price tag.

The owner says he won't negotiate on the $2.9 million price tag. Source: AllHomes
The owner says he won't negotiate on the $2.9 million price tag. Source: AllHomes

While some vendors go to great lengths to style and present their properties, this home in the northern Sydney suburb of Cheltenham has gone with a decidedly more blasé, "take it or leave it" approach.

In the photos included in the listing potential buyers can see the arm of a person holding a broom standing next to a dirty window, while in another the faint silhouette an old man can be made out lurking in the shadows.

"Not getting the $2.9m price for your property...??? Throw in grandpa or a ghost as sweeteners..." one person joked online.

"[The] Ghost of affordability?" another commented.

Can you see him? Source: AllHomes
Can you see him? Source: AllHomes

According to the listing, the home is a "full brick house in beautful [sic] setting with large back yard and walk to station close to Cheltenham Girls High School and Epping Heights primary school."

Yahoo News Australia understands it is a private sale with the home languishing on the market for more than a year.

"They’re old photos but nothing has changed," the octogenarian owner said. "I could take some new ones but nothing is materially different ... There's been some painting done since these pictures."

Bit of spring cleaning. Source: AllHomes
Bit of spring cleaning. Source: AllHomes

The owner says he only wants to sell if absolutely necessary.

"I’m not negotiating on price," he said. "I don’t really want to sell it if I don’t have to. While I’ve still got the money in the bank I don’t want to sell it."

"I’m not negotiating and I don’t care."

While he believes "property keeps going up" he admits "the economy is not going in the direction I hoped it would".

Rate rises dampen home lending

With inflation surging, average real wages going down and interest rates rising, the uncertainty is cooling the housing market.

According to research director Sally Tindall, vendors looking to sell might nee to put in a bit more effort than during the recent boom.

"Real estate agents will tell you that they've seen a big drop in people coming to open homes," she told Yahoo News Australia. "But you can also see it in the data.

"We've seen a continued drop in the new owner-occupier loans being written (down 7.3 per cent month-on-month) as well as new investor loans which are down 4.8 per cent," she said.

Sellers and buyers simply don't know what is going to happen for the next 12 to 18 months, she said.

But rising interest rate will certainly take the heat out of hot spots like Sydney and Melbourne where prices are elevated and more borrowers need to "borrow at capacity or near capacity".

"More people might be borrowing at capacity in Sydney, so it makes sense that property prices would be predicted to go down further," she said.

New research from found a family of four, where one parent works full-time and the other part-time at half the wage, on a combined annual income of $150,000 before tax, will be able to borrow an estimated $66,000 less as a result of the May and June RBA hikes. This assumes they have no other debts and minimal expenses.

However, by April next year, if the cash rate rises to 2.35 per cent as forecast by Westpac and others, the maximum the family would be able to borrow from the bank would be approximately $163,500 less than a year ago, before the hikes began.

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