We investigate how far $1 million stretches in our capital cities.
In today’s housing market, not every wad of million dollars is created equal. The same $1 million that might buy a small terrace in need of renovation in inner city Sydney (if you’re lucky) could also buy a veritable mansion elsewhere.
We looked at recent sales in the major capital city markets as a guide to what $1 million will buy right now.
Here’s the good news. If you’re prepared to look, you can still buy a house for under $1 million in some of the more in demand inner-city suburbs of Sydney and Melbourne. But chances are you’ll be trading off space and luxury extras for that café lifestyle.
In October, 24 West Street in Sydney’s trendy Paddington was sold by private treaty for $983,000. At 65 square metres, it’s not Paddington’s largest terrace, but as the real estate blurb said, it had plenty of potential.
82 Smith Street, a cute as a button renovated Victorian two-bedroom cottage in South Melbourne, sold in September for $985,000 while the equally lovely, freestanding 119 Albert Street in Port Melbourne sold at auction for $930,000 in August.
Outside the inner city, $1 million will buy you a lot more. Asquith, on Sydney’s north shore, for example, is fertile hunting ground. In September, a three-bedroom home needing renovation at 31 Hazelmead Road sold for $970,000. In Melbourne, a number of recent sales in fashionable Williamstown have been made between $900,000 and $1 million. Larger homes have included a renovated Federation home at 97 Donne Street, Coburg, which sold at auction in October for $907,500 and a three-bedroom clinker brick home at 577 High Street, Kew which sold for $970,000.
But if you really want more house for your buck, it might be worth looking outside of Sydney and Melbourne.
In November, an original Queenslander at 117 Crosby Road, in Brisbane’s fashionable Ascot, with stunning city views sold for $975,000 – though when they say “original Queenslander” the buyer would need spare cash for renovations. Another Queenslander, 65 Winchester Street, Hamilton, sold for $915,000 in July, fully renovated with four bedrooms, an in-ground pool, modern kitchen and three-car garage.
In Perth, a fully-renovated four-bedroom home at 153 Melville Parade, Como sold in October for just $869,000 (though the agent did admit it was “noisy outside”), while family homes such as 44A Kintail Road in leafy Applecross can still be picked up for less than $1 million.
But it’s in the less expensive capitals that $1 million can buy seriously desirable homes. In Adelaide, 205 Gover Street North Adelaide – a three-bedroom modern stone residence just a stone’s throw from the O’Connell Street cafés – sold in July for $950,000. And in beachside Glenelg North, 12 Shannon Avenue – a modern three-bedroom home with a room that could be an office or a separate retreat for teenagers – sold in August for $812,000.
In Hobart, a six-bedroom architect-designed beachfront home at 6 Balook Street, Lauderdale sold in September for $805,000. Closer in to the city, a 1920s Arts and Crafts home at 111 Princes Street in swanky Sandy Bay, complete with four bedrooms, wine cellar and a state-of-the-art kitchen with built-in King Billy pine table and seating, sold in October for $810,000.
So $1 million can buy you something small and well-positioned – or large and palatial a little further away. It just depends what you’re looking for. If you’re interested in the other end of the scale, $250,000 homes are also still a possibility.
Have you recently bought a property for $1 million? What did you get for your money? Tell us in the comments below.