There are few places in Australia where you can buy a property with change from $200,000. Unless you look in regional locations, that is!
If you’re prepared to travel away from Brisbane’s city centre, you will reach some of the most affordable property markets in all of Australia. We’re talking, homes for less than $100k cheap.
So just where are these bargain-priced properties to be found?
Blackwater, located around 190 kilometres west of Rockhampton in central Queensland, is a mining town with the most affordable property market in Queensland. The median house price is just $90,000 in this town, which has been nicknamed the Coal Capital of Queensland.
Tucked away off the Capricorn Highway, there’s a shopping centre, primary school, high school and hospital, catering to the 5000 or so residents who call Blackwater their home. Coal mining is the main source of employment, but thanks to the town’s design the local community is shielded from the less-palatable elements of this industry. Electric trains ship the coal to Gladstone, and the mines are out away from the town, meaning the community can enjoy the best of both worlds – economic prosperity, and a peaceful, country existence.
In the western suburbs of Cairns, Manoora has a median unit price of just $160,000. If you’re relocating from Brissie, you’re in for a little culture shock, as the shops up here are closed by 5.30pm and there’s not much in the way of nightlife! However its location, 10 minutes to the Cairns CBD and 15 minutes to the beach, make it an affordable sea-change suburb popular with families, students and retirees, or a great spot for an investment property.
The princely sum of $175,000 is all you’ll need to snap up a home of your own in West Gladstone, 550km north of Brisbane. There’s a Stockland shopping centre in Gladstone with all the major retailers and services, and Gladstone West State School and Gladstone High School cater to families with kids.
The area is well-serviced by parks and recreation areas, including Australia’s first-ever sensory park which boasts unprecedented facilities for children and adults of all ages and abilities. You’ll also be close to Boyne, Heron, Wilson and Curtis Islands, where you can fill your weekends with barbeques, bushwalks and swimming!
If you’ve always fancied yourself living on an island paradise, Russell Island in Moreton Bay is possibly the most affordable in the country. The median house price is $190,000 on this eight kilometre-long island, which is located 40km from Brisbane and accessed by a 25 minute ferry trip from Redland Bay.
There are around 2500 residents on the island, but the population swells on weekends and over the holidays, as mainlanders flock to their island properties for a little rest and relaxation. It’s an older demographic than the average Aussie suburb, and employment options are limited unless you’re prepared to catch the ferry on a daily basis, but there’s also a lot to love about this little island. It offers a quiet, peaceful lifestyle with plenty of opportunity for fishing and enjoying nature.
Chinchilla, in the Western Downs region, is an agricultural town with a thriving community and a quirky culture. With a little over 6500 residents, Chinchilla has experienced recent growth thanks to the resources boom, which brought jobs, cash and new development to the area.
The nearest big city is Toowoomba, 170km away, while Brisbane is a 300km journey. The town produces 25 per cent of Australia’s melons, and residents celebrate this with the annual Melon Festival. The median house price in Chinchilla is just $190,000, and with employment prospects on the rise, demand for this picturesque pocket could see this value rise.
If something a little closer to the bright lights of Brisvegas is more your scene, Woodridge could be the affordable suburb for you. Twenty-two kilometres south of the CBD, the median unit price in Woodridge is just $192,000, while houses average just over $310,000. The suburb is home to state and Catholic primary schools and a state high school, making it an excellent place for a young family to get onto the property ladder.
Public transport to the city or Gold Coast is conveniently located, and there are plenty of services and shops to meet all your needs. IKEA Logan is just down the road, too.