Housing affordability is complex. It’s not just a matter of house prices being low enough for buyers to afford a deposit – they also need to be able to pay the mortgage once they’re in there.
There are many markets across Australia where house prices are jaw-droppingly low – the north-west coast of Tasmania and rural New South Wales immediately spring to mind. However, with jobs hard to come by and a lack of infrastructure to support growth and development in these areas, many of these suburbs and towns are realistically no more affordable to locals than the prime suburbs of Melbourne or Sydney.
To help cut to the core of some of the genuinely affordable suburbs Australia-wide, we’ve had a look at the median income data, as well as house prices and rent figures, to compile this list of the most affordable housing markets in Australia in 2018.
These are areas where housing repayments comprise less than 30 per cent* of the median household income – meaning homeowners can comfortably afford their repayments.
Woodcroft – New South Wales
With a median household income of $2,067 per week, Woodcroft is one of the most affordable housing markets in Sydney. The median house price is $795,000, while units can be snapped up for around $529,000, well below the average for the Harbour city. Rental properties are affordable too – the median for units is $450 per week, and for houses $500 per week. Commuters face a bit of a hike getting into work each day, with a 42 kilometre journey, but excellent train connectivity eases the burden a little.
Everton Park – Queensland
Everton Park, just 8 kilometres north of the Brisbane CBD, has a median house price of $602,250, with residents repaying around $450 per month on their home loans. The median household income is $1,346 per week, and with rentals available for $360 per week (units) and $440 per week (houses), it’s also an affordable choice for tenants.
Laurimar – Victoria
There aren’t many suburbs in Melbourne where you can get onto the property ladder for under $600,000 but Laurimar (near Doreen) in the northern outskirts remains one of the most affordable suburbs in the city. The median house price is currently $576,500 and homeowners are forking out around $540 per week in mortgage repayments. With a median household income of $1,793 per week, it’s a great option for lower-income families keen to get onto the property ladder.
Geilston Bay – Tasmania
On Hobart’s sunny eastern shore, Geilston Bay is an excellent choice for aspiring homeowners to put down roots. The median house price is $425,000 while units are selling for a median of $315,000. With mortgage repayments averaging $1,547 per month, the median household income of $5,360 per month isn’t stretched too far. It’s less affordable for renters, though – they’ll be handing over $400 per week for a house or $345 per week for a unit.
Morley – Western Australia
With a median house price of $435,000 residents of Morley are paying around $400 per week off their mortgage – an affordable sum, given the median household income is $1,316 per week. Rentals are currently sitting at $340 per week for houses, so it’s also a great choice as one of the best affordable housing markets for cash-strapped tenants. Ten kilometres north of the Perth CBD, Morley has loads of facilities for growing families and is close to the beach, making it a great spot for young couples to buy their first home.
* Repayments calculated based on an 80% loan with a 20% deposit, on a principal and interest loan with an interest rate of 3.99%.