The real estate boom has barely left a suburb of Melbourne unscathed, with countless once-affordable working class areas transformed into million-dollar locales over the past few years. Rather than lamenting the six-figure price tag attached to your dream home, why not look further afield at the opportunities in rural and regional Victoria?
There are several towns where you can still snap up a home for the price of a deposit in inner city Melbourne. Here are just a few of the most affordable places to purchase a property in Victoria:
Median house price: $125,000
Officially the most affordable housing market in Victoria, the median house price in Warracknabeal is just $125,000. The town is on the banks of the Yarriambiack Creek, 360 kilometres north-west of Melbourne, and functions as the business and service centre of the Wimmera and Mallee districts. The local government offices are in Warracknabeal and there’s a hospital too, making it an option for those who’d love to leave the big smoke, but who aren’t keen on taking up farming anytime soon! The town enjoys prosperity thanks to the diverse range of agricultural industries that make up the local economy, including lambs, wheat, barley, lupins and canola.
Median house price: $158,000
The town of Orbost, 375 kilometres east of Melbourne, lies at the intersection between the Princes Highway and the Snowy River. A service centre for nearby agricultural towns, Orbost has a median house price of $158,500 and a sluggish real estate market, with homes spending a significant 300 days on the market, on average. Tourism is the main driver of the town’s economy, while beef, dairy and sawmilling industries operate in the local area. The main drag, Nicholson Street, is stacked with amenities, and nature lovers will relish in the surroundings at the gorgeous Forest Park, nestled beside the Snowy River.
> Check the most affordable suburbs Australia-wide here
Median house price: $169,500
With a median house price of $169,500, Moe in the Latrobe Valley (130 kilometres from Melbourne) is an affordable spot for a family to make their home. There are several new housing developments taking place in the area and a number of public and Catholic schools to choose from, plus plenty of sporting facilities to boot – some including the old stomping grounds of many VFL and AFL greats. The V/Line offers a handy rail service into Melbourne, and Latrobe Valley Airport is about twenty minutes’ drive from the centre of town.
Median house price: $162,000
On the banks of the Loddon River in northern Victoria lies Kerang, where the median house price is just $162,000. Located 277 kilometres from Melbourne, the name of this suburb is believed to be derived from the Aboriginal word for cockatoo. Football, horse racing and golf are popular in the town, and the local youth enjoy skateboarding and BMX riding at the skate park. There’s an airport and V/Line trains to Melbourne, and the main roads of Wellington and Victoria Streets even boast a Target store – so no need to travel to the city for your hit of family retail therapy!
Median house price: $255,000
If you like a little sunshine with your tree change, Mildura is the place for you! With a population of close to 35,000, it’s not exactly a tiny town, but it has all the country feels. It’s actually closer to Adelaide than Melbourne – the South Australian capital is 400 kilometres away, while the bright lights of the Melbourne CBD are closer to 550 kilometres – and with a long history of orange and grape farming, Mildura is considered the centre of Victoria’s food bowl. There’s a shopping centre with Target and Big W, and plenty happening in the arts and music around town thanks to the Mildura Wentworth Arts Festival and the Murray River International Music Festival, so it’s a great spot for those with a creative leaning to find affordable housing and chase their passion.