While the price of property seems to go ever upward, buyers can still find a home for $250,000 if they are realistic about what to expect.
If you’re in the hunt for a bargain property, it’s undoubtedly harder than it used to be. According to research company CoreLogic RP Data, sales below $400,000 were at a record low in the year to June 30, 2015 with just 37.4 per cent of all sales nationally falling into this price bracket.
But don’t despair. If you’re prepared to hunt around, as little as $250,000 can still buy a piece of real estate in many parts of Australia – though you may have to renovate your new abode, or consider a tree change.
Even in Sydney where the median house price has topped $1 million according to one estimate (the Domain House Price Report), studio apartments are still available for less than $250,000 in the student accommodation areas of Ultimo and in redevelopments in parts of the western suburbs. Studio apartments in a building on Station Road, Auburn, with a swimming pool have been listed for $230,000+. Within walking distance of the train station, the units even have their own carparks.
In Melbourne, $250,000 stretches a little further, especially for units. Recent listings include a two-bedroom unit at family-friendly Noble Park for $220,000+, a studio in the heart of the CBD on Latrobe Street for $195,000, a three-bedroom townhouse in Melton West for $259,000 and units in Carlton’s College Square precinct for about $240,000.
Tasmania is still a destination for bargain hunters. Aussie’s free Most Affordable Suburbs Report lists several areas within 10 and 20kms of Hobart (and other cities) where the median price of houses and units are below the $250,000 mark, including Glenorchy and Moonah.
Regionally, the former mining township of Zeehan, set amidst rainforest and rugged hills on the west coast, (population: 728) is an absolute bargain with three-bedroom houses selling for as little as $55,000. Or the more adventurous buyer may prefer to renovate an old church in the east coast town of St Marys, listed for $120,000.
A quarter of a million dollars can still find a choice of one-bedroom units near the city in Brisbane, though if you’re after a house you’ll have to look further out. Caboolture, a commuter town about an hour north of the CBD, has a selection of houses priced at less than $250,000, while Kingston and similar suburbs to the south also offer attractive prices.
With a laneway culture that now rivals Melbourne, Adelaide’s CBD is also a good hunting ground for buyers seeking an inner-city unit for less than $250,000. Some of the cheapest houses in Adelaide are around Elizabeth and other northern suburbs.
For those who don’t need to live in a major city, the options are much wider. Even in NSW, realestate.com recently listed about 500 properties for sale for less than $100,000, while attractive regional centres such as Orange, Albury and Armidale/Tamworth all had properties for sale for less than $250,000.
With a rich gold mining history Ballarat, an hour west of Melbourne, has character-filled old wooden houses (in good condition) for about $250,000. And, if you fancy moving to warmer climes by the sea, several big Queensland regional centres, including the Sunshine Coast, Gold Coast, Townsville and Cairns have properties in this price range. We even uncovered a $120,000 unit in the high-end resort town of Port Douglas! Who said property was unaffordable?
Do you know where you can buy a property for $250,000 or less? Tell us about it in the comments below.