The Aussie suburbs where it’s cheaper to buy than rent


While Australia’s property market started strongly in 2022, an increasing cash rate and concerns about inflation have seen property price growth slow or even drop for the first time since the Covid-19 pandemic began in early 2022.

While it was cheaper to buy rather than rent over half the properties in Australia in 2021, the data has turned on its head this year, according to PropTrack’s Buy or Rent report for June 2022.

Of course, this report just looks at the out-of-pocket costs for buying and renting in the current market.

It doesn’t take into account the many other benefits of buying and owning real estate including the strong long-term tax-free capital growth and the security of tenure that you don’t enjoy as a tenant.

Buying Home

Having said that, it’s an interesting intellectual exercise, as the research has revealed that it is still cheaper to buy rather than rent around 27% of dwellings across Australia.

This is down sharply from this time a year ago when this figure was just above 50%.

Continued price increases combined with higher-than-expected interest rate rises have made buying a less attractive financial option, although this does differ depending on location and property type.

More than 50% of dwellings are estimated to be cheaper to buy in Queensland, Western Australia, and the Northern Territory.

By contrast, in NSW, Victoria and the Australian Capital Territory, less than 10% of dwellings appear cheaper to buy at current prices.


The market has shifted

The balance between buying and renting for median-valued homes has changed significantly over the past year.

Mortgage rates have already increased 75 basis points in 2022 so far, with further increases expected.

Combined with strong growth in home prices – which are up 14% – renting has become a more affordable option across most of the country now compared to a year ago.

The shift towards more affordable renting costs for median-priced homes than buying in late 2021 corresponds with the slowdown in price growth across the country.

The balance between the costs of buying and renting provided by this analysis suggests price growth will continue to be slow over the next year, and rent growth will be strong.

These trends would rebalance the costs of buying and renting towards buying.


Here, we’ll look at the breakdown for the 3 most major Aussie cities: Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.

Buy vs rent in Sydney: Houses and units

Price rises across Sydney have made renting houses cheaper than buying almost everywhere across the city, based on PropTrack’s comprehensive financial model.

Renting appears particularly attractive to the north and east of the CBD in prestige suburbs.

However, there remain many pockets of the city to the south-west and west where the cost of buying is not estimated to be significantly higher than renting.


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