If you’re stuck in a rental rut, it could be worth looking more widely to find a home you can afford to buy.
Getting value for money in the housing market is a whole lot easier if you move to a part of the country that represents top value.
While the cost of housing in some state capitals such as Sydney and Melbourne continues to climb to $ 1 million and beyond due to the inherent shortage of land, some regional towns and smaller cities offer more value and may be worth considering.
Broken Hill, New South Wales
This isolated mining city in the far west of outback New South Wales is located near the border with South Australia. Surrounded by semi-desert conditions, it is certainly hot, though most of the properties in the area are houses and have a median price of $117,500, according to CoreLogic RP Data.
The West Coast township of Queenstown has some of the cheapest real estate in Australia. With a rich mining history, it boasts some charming workers’ cottages, a grand pub and is set in a dramatic landscape. At the time of writing, Domain had several three bedroom, two bathroom homes listed for under $150,000.
This lovely regional area is 58kms north of Ballarat, with median house values at $200,000. Consider looking beyond traditional listing sites if you’re keen on the area. Gumtree has a period weatherboard home with a separate granny flat (with its own lounge area!) for sale in Maryborough at $199,000 negotiable.
There are million dollar homes in metropolitan Queensland, but if you look beyond the city limits, there are still suburbs where the cost of real estate is far more affordable. The average home loan in Queensland is $319,328, compared with New South Wales ($422,179) and Victoria ($365,265), according to the ABS.
It’s worth looking at the suburb of Rocklea, just 9kms south of the CBD. It has good transport links and is home to the well-known Brisbane Markets which sells fresh fruit, vegetables and flowers. If you’re happy to go a little further out, Gailes and Woodridge both have average house prices under $300,000.
Brahma Lodge, South Australia
Adelaide is the most affordable mainland capital city. Have a look at up-and-coming Brahma Lodge for a house, with a median price of $255,824, according to CoreLogic RP Data. The suburb has several new developments, plenty of local amenities and is less than 20kms from the city centre.
Koongamia, Western Australia
The Perth suburb of Koongamia, 22kms from the CBD, has the city’s lowest median house price of $375,562, while the lowest median unit price ($291,463) is in the nearby suburb of Midvale, according to CoreLogic RP Data. Both were developed for public housing in the 1950s and are popular with families looking for more affordable alternatives.
Charnwood, Australian Capital Territory
The ACT has maintained its position as the most affordable state or territory in Australia to buy a property, according to a housing affordability report issued by the Real Estate Institute of Australia late last year. Charnwood is Canberra’s most affordable suburb for a detached home, with a median price of $409,500, according to CoreLogic RP Data. Built on an estate design with houses facing common parkland, Charnwood would appeal to families.
Moulden, Northern Territory
Units can be purchased in suburban Darwin for under $360,000, or houses for under $555,000. The suburb of Moulden is worth a look, with houses here listed for sale at $471,240, according to research published by realestate.com.au from CoreLogic RP Data.
Have you moved town to find an affordable home? Tell us where to in the comments below.