2011-04-15

Finding housing near Pyrmont, Sydney

Let's start looking at finding an appropriate housing when working in Sydney. I would want to rent as I am not familiar with Sydney/Australia real estate yet, and also there is perception that housing prices in Australia are overvalued. I'll spend much time in finding a good place to ensure it's comfortable (considering that half of one's time is spent in a house), convenient, and affordable. Also, efforts spent here can help in buying an ideal home later.

The median weekly rent in Sydney seems to be around $450 (1, 2), up from $250 in 2006! It seems the rent near my office (Pyrmont) is even more than that for just a small unit, which is not too surprising as it's next to the city center.

There seems to be several websites that lists places to rent, such as:
  • Domain -- likes its feature selection is easy to use, and can specify if the feature is important or nice to have;
  • *Nestoria -- likes its Ajax UI that allows very intuitive and responsive selections;
  • realestate.com.au -- claims to be the biggest address in property (not sure what that means); though I don't like its selection (such as bedrooms) is only single selection;
  • property.com.au -- claims to be the largest list of properties; the site strangely has the same interface as realestate.com.au;
  • homehound --  seems okay, but there's bug in UI (overlapping text);
  • LJ Hooker -- available units for rent seems sparse near Pyrmont, and photo gallery for each unit also seems sparse; 
  • Real Estate First National Australia -- few units around Pyrmont, search interface hard to use;
  • Just Rent Sydney -- even fewer units near Pyrmont.
Let me focus on the first four sites for the moment, and also come up with my criteria for a good place to rent in the following posts.

*Updated on 4/21 -- thanks to Kat for pointing out the Nestoria (Australia) site.
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