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Just last week, data revealed that Australia’s property prices beat records in the final quarter of 2021, with the national median house price surpassing $1 million for the first time.
Sydney’s median price has reached a staggering $1,601,467, Melbourne’s median is $1,101,612, Hobart rose to $752,110 and Canberra’s median house price – now the second-most expensive city in the nation in which to buy a house – hit $1,178,364.
Meanwhile, Brisbane’s median house price jumped 10.7% in the December quarter alone to a record median price of $792,065, while Adelaide rose to $731,547.
Elsewhere, the median house price flatlined at $640,068 in Darwin and rose a meager 1.8% to $612,348.
But not every suburb in the country collected the same bank-breaking prices for their property.
Domain’s data shows there are some much more affordable places to buy where the median house price sits at under $200,000.
Now let me make this clear straight up…
Cheap suburbs today will always be cheap suburbs in the future and are unlikely to experience anywhere near the capital growth that better locations will experience.
These tend to be suburbs where nobody wakes up in the morning and thinks “Gee I’d really like to live there!”
But it’s worth noting where Australia’s cheapest property suburbs are located because it shows that despite the booming market, a buyer doesn’t always have to spend hundreds of thousands, or even millions, to get onto the property ladder.
40 suburbs with median house prices sub-$200k
The most affordable suburbs in Australia – Coober Pedy and Peterborough – are both in South Australia and are the only 2 suburbs nationwide to have a median house price lower than $100,000.
Coober Pedy, the opal capital of the world, has a median house price of $70,000 while Peterborough in mid-north South Australia has a median house price of $98,500.
By state, Coonamble takes the prize as the cheapest suburb in NSW with a $122,500 median.
For QLD, the rural suburb of Tara is the cheapest in the state with a $111,000 median.
Warracknabeal is home to VIC’s cheapest houses with a $180,000 median.
Over in WA, the regional suburb of Kambalda West has the state’s lowest median property price at $143,750.
Down in Tasmania, with a median of $154,500, Queenstown in Mersey Lyell has the lowest house prices around.
Coober Pedy obviously takes the title for South Australia and the nation as a whole.
Interestingly, there are a number of suburbs on the list, Coober Pedy and Peterborough included, which are located a fair distance away from a major city.
But some affordable suburbs are much closer to the action.
For example, Manunda, in QLD’s tropical Cairns, has a median unit price of just $145,000 and is within walking distance of local restaurants, bars, supermarkets, and a 10-minute drive from Cairns Esplanade.
Likewise, Woodridge in Greater Brisbane is just 19km south of Brisbane’s CBD, is within walking distance of a train station, and has a median unit price of $170,000.
Here is the full list.
40 suburbs with a median of less than $200,000
|SA||Coober Pedy||Country West||House||$70,000|
|SA||Port Pirie West||Country West||House||$110,000|
|QLD||Mount Morgan||Qld Rural||House||$125,000|
|WA||Kambalda West||Wa Country||House||$143,750|
|QLD||Home Hill||Qld Rural||House||$149,500|
|NSW||Broken Hill||NSW Country||House||$150,000|
|SA||Port Augusta||Country West||House||$160,000|
|SA||Whyalla Norrie||Country West||House||$165,000|
|SA||Whyalla Stuart||Country West||House||$165,000|
|SA||Risdon Park||Country West||House||$180,000|
|SA||Crystal Brook||Country West||House||$183,500|
|QLD||Charters Towers City||Qld Rural||House||$187,500|
|SA||Port Pirie South||Country West||House||$190,000|
|SA||Risdon Park South||Country West||House||$196,000|
Planning to invest? Remember this
While this is an interesting list to look over, these aren’t areas where I’d recommend investing.
Because despite these areas being ‘cheap’, their low median house and unit prices alone aren’t enough alone to warrant a good investment opportunity.
‘Cheap’ property will always be ‘cheap’ so don’t get lured into thinking you’re getting a bargain.
Also, don’t expect investment-grade returns from secondary locations and properties.
Location, location, location
By now you would know that location will do about 80% of the heavy lifting of a property’s capital growth.
And not all locations are created equal.
Some suburbs will be more popular than others, some areas will have more scarcity than others and over time some land will increase in value more than others.
That’s why it’s important to buy your investment property in a suburb that is dominated by more homeowners, rather than a suburb where tenants predominate.
And you’ll find suburbs where more affluent owners live will outperform the cheaper outer suburbs where wages growth is likely to stagnate moving forward.
This is because the more established suburbs with better infrastructure, shopping, and amenities tend to be close to the CBD and the water and that’s where the wealthy want to and can afford to live, and they’re prepared to pay a premium to live there.
Overall, by focussing your research on what those often overlooked owner-occupiers are doing, you may just find an investment that outperforms the market and delivers strong value and growth over the long term.