PHOTO: Recent buyer Melissa Steckler said price guides were “laughable” as she quickly realised she was regularly underquoted. Photo: Peter Rae. Photo: Peter Rae

Desperate Sydney buyers are facing the near-impossible task of finding homes they can afford as increasingly inaccurate price guides are throwing many off course in the hottest market the city has seen in years.

A fire has been lit beneath the real estate market since the beginning of the year as cashed-up buyers with record savings and cheap credit face fierce buyer competition amid a shortage of properties.

It has left prices soaring and those buying at auction completely frustrated by advertised price guides that are routinely being outpaced by the actual sale price.

Recent eastern suburbs buyer Melissa Steckler watched on in dismay at a number of auctions before realising she would have to add an extra $300,000 to $600,000 to every price guide for a semi-detached home in the eastern suburbs that she was after.

“I found it pretty outrageous. It’s confusing and it’s also laughable,” Ms Steckler said. “Anyone who has been in the market for a few weeks would see that what the agents were quoting wasn’t even close to the probable sale amount.

“The gaps between the quotes and reality was obvious. I just felt like you were getting fake information,” she said, adding that she eventually had to increase her budget into the next price bracket to secure a home.