Affordable Australian suburbs for first home buyers
By Kirsten Jelinek and SSB
Finding an affordable property close to the city can be a hard request, but new data gives a glimmer of hope.
Bargain house hunters across Australia have been urged to consider buying outside the city centre to break into the fast-paced housing market.
Instead, suburbs an hour from each state and territory’s central business district are being hailed for their amenities, lifestyle and affordability.
South Australia was the most affordable state for buyers looking to purchase a home or unit less than 40km from the city, according to data from PropTrack.
In the suburb of Elizabeth South, located 21km from the capital of Adelaide, buyers can score a home with a median sale price of only $221,068.
Alternatively in nearby Elizabeth Vale, the median sale price for a unit – also 21km from the CBD – will put buyers back only $146,173.
Single mother Kellie Walduck, 34, recently bought a home in Elizabeth Vale, South Australia, for around $340,000 after renting with her toddler.
“For 12 months I’ve been looking for either other rentals or to buy, but with the cost of rentals it makes more sense to just buy and pay your own mortgage,” she said.
The account manager couldn’t be happier with her decision to move to Elizabeth Vale, claiming “you couldn’t pay me enough to live in the city”.
“The reason I’m in this area is because of affordability,” she said.
“My house is also 15 to 20 minutes to work and it’s about 20 minutes to where my little one lives with my ex [partner]. So I needed to be somewhat close, as I was using a tank or two tanks of fuel a week just to travel [when renting].”
Ms Walduck said she hasn’t sacrificed anything by moving away from the city, as her home is close by to shopping centres, a cinema, schools and ample public transport.
“We have a huge backyard space, decent bedroom sizes and a lock up garage so it’s safe, especially being a single mum with a little one,” she said.
Mortgage Choice Mortgage Broker Caroline Jean-Baptiste said when looking to buy a property, if the area doesn’t tick every box “it still may be a desirable suburb for other factors”.
“Maybe it’s got a great shopping centre there, or maybe it’s got a good school, or it’s a new suburb, or it’s affordable,” she said.
“But not every suburb is always going to meet this list of criteria, because the ones that tick every single box, they’re probably unaffordable.”
Ms Jean-Baptiste said buyers need to be realistic when buying their first home, as it’s not necessarily a “forever decision”.
“Your first home is a stepping stone into the property market and once you’re in the market, it becomes easier to upgrade to your dream home,” she said.
“It’s really easy to get discouraged because the property market is going crazy, but if you give up now, you’ll never get in so it just means you have to adjust your expectations.”
For buyers looking to purchase their first home, Western Australia offers homes less than 33kms away from the inner city for under $300,000.
Medina, where the median sale price is $279,338, Armadale ($283,982), and Castillo ($294,611) were in the top affordable suburbs an hour from Perth.
Meanwhile in Tasmania, house hunters can score a home with a median sale price of $334,660 in Gagebrook, only 16km from Hobart.
Further out in Herdsmans Cove, the median sale price is $359,608 and while Risdon is only 9km from the CBD, house prices rise slightly to an average of $409,105.
News South Wales has the highest median sale price of $709,508 for a house in Hebersham, 38km away from Sydney. Alternatively for a unit 13km from the city, buyers can purchase in Lakemba for a median sale price of $394,005.
Victoria has the second highest median sale price of $514,18 for a house in Kurunjian, 38km from Melbourne. The following suburbs Bangholme ($448,835), Melton ($472,114) and Melton South ($507,444) came out as the next affordable suburbs an hour from Melbourne.
In the Northern Territory, the suburbs Moulden, Gray, Woodroffe, Driver and Berry Springs offers buyers the lowest median sale price for a home less than an hour from Alice Springs
In Queensland the suburbs of Stapylton, Riverview, One Mile alongside Lamb and Macleay Island landed in the state’s top 5 most affordable within 40km of the city.
Director Economic Research at PropTrack Cameron Kusher, said a lot of first home buyers are moving out to areas an hour from each state’s CBDs “because the price is lower.”
“Investors also look in these markets, because you do tend to find rental yields on the outskirts of cities tend to be much greater than they are closer into the city centre.”
“Covid has also driven some people who already own homes to move to these areas, if they are looking for that lifestyle, but also don’t need to go back into the office as regularly as they used to.”
Mr Kushner said demand has pushed prices higher in these outer suburbs over the last five years.
“They have increased in popularity and since the onset of the pandemic we have seen more affordable suburbs in most cities outperform, in terms of price growth, in the areas closer into the city,” he said.
When it comes to searching for your next property, Mortgage Choice Mortgage Broker Caroline Jean-Baptiste said buyers should check with their mortgage broker every six to 12 months.
“You need to continually check in with your mortgage broker to see if you qualify for any more recent grants and make sure that you’re not missing anything.”
“The market is changing all the time, lending is always changing, the incentives are always changing and staying on top of what you’re entitled to.”
Cheapest suburbs an hour from CBDs for houses and units
New South Wales – Houses
Bidwill – $567,472
Emerton – $641,267
Blackett – $644,448
Whalan – $668,022
Hebersham – $709,508
New South Wales – Units
Stanhope Gardens – $327,275
Chullora – $330,695
Carramarr – $340,620
Fairfield East – $370,278
Lakemba – $394,005
Northern Territory – Houses
Moulden – $383,943
Gray – $423,336
Woodroffe – $455,205
Driver – $457,674
Berry Springs – $486,106
Northern Territory – Units
Woodroffe – $223,895
Wagaman – $240,936
Gray – $246,517
Moulden – $252,120
Malak – $260,352
Queensland – Houses
Stapylton – $226,259
Lamb Island – $302, 155
Riverview – $302,164
Macleay Island – $312, 484
One Mile – $319,602
Queensland – Units
Woodridge – $203,459
Logan Central – $208,574
Eastern Heights – $209,841
Riverview – $211,217
One Mile – $222,048
South Australia – Houses
Elizabeth South – $221,068
Elizabeth North – $243,045
Davoren Park – $250,568
Smithfield Plains – $261,293
Gawler West – $275,377
South Australia – Units
Elizabeth Vale – $146,173
Elizabeth – $164,476
Hillier – $179,252
Elizabeth South – $185,763
Ingle Farm – $201,183
Tasmania – Houses
Gagebrook – $334,660
Herdmans Cove – $359,608
Risdon Vale – $409,105
Bridgewater – $411,239
New Norfolk – $403,991
Tasmania – Units
Bridgewater – $332,278
New Norfolk – $415,548
Brighton – $451,407
Claremont – $454,096
Huonville – $457,835
Victoria – Houses
Bangholme – $448,835
Melton – $472,114
Melton South – $507,444
Coolaroo – $507,501
Kurunjang – $514,184
Victoria – Units
Albion – $297,792
Melton South – $348,363
Caulfield East – $348,386
Melton – $362,780
Travancore – $371,431
Western Australia – Houses
Medina – $279,338
Armadale – $283,982
Camillo – $294,611
Calista – $297,702
Orelia – $303,463
Western Australia – Units
Orelia – $162,521
Wanneroo – $162,881
Parmelia – $174,993
Calista – $194,264
East Rockingham – $210,892
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