Brigitte Blackman’s outlook for Surry Hills

Brigitte Blackman, Principal of Cobden & Hayson Surry Hills, has been an integral part of the Eastern Suburbs and Inner City property landscape for two decades. Brigitte knows the market intimately, having experienced its many changes and fluctuations over the years. She’s seen working class suburbs transformed into fashionable urban addresses along with significant demographic and cultural shifts. She discusses how the current climate is impacting the local real estate market, where Surry Hills is headed and her visions for the agency.


How long have you worked in the area?

I started my career 22 years ago in Double Bay before moving into the Inner City market. A year ago I was looking for a way to strategically align my agency with a boutique brand that was more in tune with my ethos and approach to business. I chose to rebrand to Cobden & Hayson, shifted my offices to Crown Street, Surry Hills, and haven’t looked back. It’s been an extremely positive move.

How have you seen the local property landscape change?

It’s changed dramatically. Only a few decades back Surry Hills was essentially a slum. Now it’s one of Sydney’s trendiest suburbs which means there’s always a strong demand for property. People’s lifestyles have changed significantly and the way they choose to live their lives is markedly different to past generations. Buyers these days want to be part of an area that’s vibing, diverse and interesting. They want to be able to walk everywhere and be close to great local restaurants, café culture and pubs. Of course, the Surry Hills area offers all that and more, so it’s always going to be sought after.

What partnerships or sponsorships are you aligned with?

We’re extremely proud sponsors of Team Sydney, a gay and lesbian overarching sports body which recently sent a team to the Gay Games in Paris. We’ve also started to align ourselves with a local school, Bourke Street Public, which is about to launch its big annual fete which we’re going to be promoting in our shop window. It’s planned for Sunday October 28 so make sure you get down there and support a really worthy cause – it’s always a great family day out.


How do you think the current market is affecting the area and what opportunities do you see?

I think the current market affects all areas. I don’t think Surry Hills is immune but I also believe it’s a safe suburb when the market turns. You’re unlikely to see the significant price drops experienced in other areas because as mentioned it’s an area that people always want to live in. There’s inherent strength in a market where there’s constant demand, meaning it will hold up well in a downturn.

There are still strong selling opportunities in this climate. However these depend largely on vendors’ expectations, their reasons for selling and where they’re going to pitch their property to the market. In a downturning environment it’s more important than ever to meet market expectations on price and if vendors don’t do this, properties just don’t sell.

Where do you see Surry Hills heading in the next 10 years?

I think onwards and upwards! We’re already considered one of the hottest places to buy in Sydney and I think that’s only going to get better. As our population grows there will be even more demand purely because of our location, our proximity to the city and all of the great lifestyle assets we’re so fortunate to have. We’ve also got the Light Rail opening next year which is going to add even more value to homes as accessibility to the CBD and UNSW is further enhanced.

What’s next for you and Cobden & Hayson Surry Hills?

I’m really invested in building our brand further in the area. We’re only a relatively new brand in the Surry Hills market and we’ve enjoyed such positive success and client engagement so far – I’m just keen to expand our presence and solidify our unique brand identity as part of the Cobden & Hayson network. We’ll be getting out and about and seen in the community more, sponsoring more great initiatives and events. There will also be a focus on building up a really strong sales team of professionals who are well-known identities in the local area and can bring something unique and enhancing to the team and to our clients.


Posted in Community, General, Surry Hills on 2nd October, 2018