2023 In Review: Insights for Property Developers

In the dynamic world of Sydney’s real estate development, 2023 has been a year of challenges and triumphs. Despite facing obstacles such as elections, interest rate increases, and regulatory hurdles, the development market has witnessed notable successes. Upstate, a leading player in the industry, reflects on its achievements and shares valuable insights from the realestate.com.au Developer Market Outlook Luncheon, seasonal trends, rising square meter rates, enquiry trends, competitor stock analysis, commercial sales and leasing, and looking ahead to 2024.


Upstate Projects Highlights:

Upstate proudly launched two of the largest projects in 2023 on the Northern Beaches – Casa Delmar in Dee Why and the sold-out Hamptons by Rose in Dee Why. Both projects have contributed to elevating the standard of off-the-plan property development, setting record-breaking square meter rates, and emphasising the increasing demand for quality and luxury in the area.

Casa Delmar

Hamptons by Rose

Upstate Projects

Enquiry Trends:

Since June 2023, there has been a notable and consistent upswing in off-the-plan enquiry trends. Post June-2023, the market has experienced a remarkable resurgence in project enquiry, with both warm and hot buyers re-entering the market and suggesting a shift. The latest data from Upstate shows a compelling picture of this escalating trend. If we dive further into the data, we note a steady increase in average square meter rates that point toward demand for more expansive floorplans as further explored in the next point.

Here at Upstate, we achieved a record number of off-the-plan sales for the year in the month of November with 19 apartments sold at a total value of $29 million.

Upstate Projects

Rising Average SQM Rates:

As construction costs and site values surge, the demand for increased square meter rates follows suit. In Northern Sydney, downsizers emerge as a significant market, willing to pay a premium for quality designs and superior features. While location remains crucial, floorplan size now takes precedence in their decision-making. Downsizers are eager to invest more for additional square meters, emphasising their pursuit of a downsized yet upgraded lifestyle. Explore our summary of top square meter rates, highlighting the discernible trend of buyers valuing and investing in expanded living spaces.

Upstate Square meter rates

Upstate Projects

Competitor Stock Analysis:

While there have been some significant development applications submitted over the past year which will assist in supply moving forward, the number of new apartment projects coming to market has been critically low. Supply has been one of the leading contributors to the success in the off-the-plan apartment market for the majority of 2023.

With 24 projects and 766 lots on offer across Sydney’s Northern Beaches, Upstate boasts an impressive 83% market share of these lots. This substantial share, coupled with a database of over 130,000 prospective buyers and tenants, positions Upstate as a key player with unparalleled market knowledge for strategic project development launches. Our project market share allows us to know what’s on the property horizon in 2024 and, therefore, create a tailored property development strategy so that you don’t cross over with your competitors.


Commercial Sales and Leasing:

In light of notable shifts in the Northern Beaches commercial sales and leasing market, transaction complexities have heightened due to persistent challenges such as elevated inflation rates, rising interest rates, and global economic uncertainties. Yet the Northern Beaches is showing real signs of improvement as we head into the new year, and with a projected population growth of 10% over the next five years, it makes the region increasingly attractive for local and overseas investors alike. Despite hurdles, Upstate Commercial has demonstrated resilience and expertise, showcasing a substantial increase in market share, achieving a 23% share in leasing and a 50% share in sales, as reflected in REA Group’s data.


Clients are increasingly seeking the guidance of experienced operators who can navigate the intricate details of transactions, facilitating informed business decisions. The year 2023 witnessed the introduction of compelling shop top and industrial developments, eliciting robust buyer interest. Looking ahead to 2024, we remain optimistic and committed to unveiling new off-the-plan leasing and buying opportunities across the Northern Beaches, anticipating a year of continued growth and success.


Market Insights from Realestate.com.au

Developer Market Outlook Luncheon:

The luncheon provided crucial information on various aspects of the development market, including building activity, challenges in turning enquiries into sales, the impact of reduced borrowing capacity, and surprising resilience in Sydney home prices. The data shared allows developers to anticipate trends and make informed decisions.

Below are some of the insights that helped give us a better understanding of the development market.

Building Activity; Glimmers of Recovery after Decade Low Base

Seasonal Trends:

Examining the statistics, it’s clear that the developer audience remains active even during the summer months. Buyers tend to browse listings in December, with a surge in enquiries in January. Upstate is capitalising on this trend by implementing Christmas marketing campaigns to engage potential buyers over the summer period.

Seasonal trends and buyer behaviour

Developer Visits Peak in January

Looking Ahead to 2024:

As the housing market witnesses an increase in pricing, there is a discernible shift towards apartments as a viable alternative for a diverse demographic, including young professionals, young families, and established households. The success of the off-the-plan apartment market in 2023 can be attributed significantly to the sustained supply. Notably, Sydney unit values are on an upward trajectory, reaching new highs, as indicated by CoreLogic’s recent national Home Value Index, which reflects consistent growth in both apartments and townhouses.

As Upstate plans the launch of three new development projects in the first quarter of 2024 and engages in significant planning and design consultations across Sydney, we invite property developers to collaborate for a successful year ahead. With a consistent history of delivering results, Upstate Projects stands as the go-to team for developers aiming for success in every step of their project, from conception to settlement.


Why Upstate Projects?

Upstate Projects

Upstate’s dominance in the market stems from its comprehensive suite of services, covering everything from interior design consultation, unit allocation mix and floorplan optimisation, development planning and construction consults, and project marketing, sales, leasing and management. The team’s expertise and proven track record make them a reliable partner for developers looking to navigate the complex landscape of Sydney’s real estate market.


If you’re looking to partner with Upstate in 2024, contact the team today

Upstate Projects


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