An increasing demand for affordable homes is creating a boom in new suburbs springing up on city fringes around Australia.
New suburbs on Australia’s city fringes are some of the fastest growing communities in the country. They are driven by a demand for affordable homes, flexible working conditions, and the need for state governments to house their growing population. But before you decide to pack up and move, it’s worth weighing up the pros and cons before considering a move to the edge of town.
Get the lifestyle you want at a price you can afford
The increasing demand for new homes and the limited supply of inner city space has pushed government planners to find sites for development on new land. Detached homes are still popular so finding the space to build means heading further out.
“A segment of the population wants a detached house, and new land is the best place to build it”, says Angie Zigomanis, a researcher with property specialists BIS Shrapnel.
For young families looking for a bigger, affordable home, new suburbs could be a practical option.
New suburbs can offer substantial savings
It’s easy to see the appeal of moving to a new suburb, as those on city fringes offer comparatively more affordable family homes.
A four-bedroom home in Cobbitty, 70km south west of Sydney, will set you back $745,000 compared to the western Sydney suburb of Kellyville, some 30km closer, where it will cost you a cool $1.1million.
In Cranbourne East, just over 50km from Melbourne, a new four-bedroom home costs on average just over $490,000, whereas a similar home in Sunshine West, less than 15km from the city centre, carries a price tag of $575,000.
If you’re a first home buyer choosing to buy further out, it could mean getting a foot in the door a lot sooner.
Homes that suit modern living
Affordability isn’t the only reason first home buyers and young families move to the suburbs.
New suburbs offer the opportunity to build a community with other families at a similar stage in their life, plus the homes are designed for modern living. “New houses have evolved the way people’s lifestyles have evolved”’ says Zigomanis. “So that means theatre rooms and rumpus rooms.”
A modern, affordable home can come at the cost of space, and lot sizes have shrunk over the last 15 years, say Zigomanis. While communal facilities such as parks, tennis courts, and recreation areas for the kids may be replacing the traditional backyard, it’s all part of the appeal of community living in a new suburb.
New communities take time to develop
There are a few things you need to think about if you are considering a move to a new suburb.
If you’re one of the first to move in, planned facilities such as shopping centres, schools, parks, and sports grounds could be a long way from being complete, and you might find yourself living in a construction zone for the first few years.
“If it’s a new area you could be dealing with the inconvenience of ongoing construction for a long period of time”, says Zigomanis, “and infrastructure can take a little while to catch up, whether its roads, schools or other community facilities.”
And if planned transport links are still under construction then getting to and from a job in the city could be more of a challenge if you live on the outskirts. But thanks to technology and the option to work from home, at least for some, getting to work isn’t always a long, costly commute to the office.
Enjoy upfront cash benefits and long term growth
Moving to the suburbs could save you money. A new house usually needs less maintenance, and a more affordable home means lower rates. Plus there are stamp duty concessions and grants in each state and territory for first time home buyers.
But you’ll need to patient if you’re looking for the kind of capital gains seen by homes in more established suburbs.
“Short to medium term growth is usually below the market”, says Zigomanis, “and you are always competing against the next new house being built until the area gets built out”.
Finding the right home is like finding the right mortgage, it needs to fit your personal circumstances. Talk to an Aussie broker today about your next move.
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