Can you still buy a house in Australia for less than half a million?

Inflation figures will be out today and the cost of living is rising fast – especially the cost of housing, one of the largest expenses of any household.

So, where can buyers still find an affordable house in a capital city? It sure is slim pickings, but there are a few options out there, albeit – in most cases – far from city CBDs.

In Sydney, buyers will be hard-pressed to find anything remotely near the city, with the median house price reaching $1,601,467 by the end of 2021, on Domain data.

But a two-bedroom townhouse at has an asking price of $490,000 to $530,000.

While the suburb is 38 kilometres west of Sydney, the home is within walking distance of local shops, schools and public transport.

Billed as the largest property in the complex, it has a front and backyard with a patio that can be converted into a carport, according to the listing.

In Melbourne, buyers will also have to travel some distance from the city to find homes below half a million dollars. But it is still slightly more affordable than Sydney, with a three-bedroom house at guided at $360,000 to $390,000.

Selling agent Brad Teal, of Brad Teal Woodards Essendon, said the home is at a lower price point because it’s on a smaller block of land than neighbouring properties.

Because it’s a small subdivision, it’s price attractive. For most families, that’s been the driver of most inquiries. All owner-occupiers, Teal said.

More than 40 groups, nearly all locals, have inspected the property scheduled to go under the hammer this Saturday.

In Brisbane, a lot of first-home buyers, as well as some investors, have been drawn to a flood-affected three-bedroom house at despite the damage.

Situated about 11 kilometres south-west of Brisbane, the home was affected by the floods in February this year and the owners want to move on.

While price guides are banned in Queensland, selling agent Kenneth Mow of Jensen Property said the asking price was below $500,000.

It is good value for money. Great for first home buyers who are trying to enter the market, as well as investors who are looking to get a good rental return, Mow said.

He said while there is no damage structurally, new gyprock walls are needed and most buyers are willing to do that and build higher rather than knock down.

Mow said, despite the damage, buyers were interested because it was very rare and near impossible to find a home on 594-square-metres at such a low price point.

In Canberra there are almost no houses available below $500,000. Instead, one of the cheapest homes on the market is a two-bedroom townhouse at .

The home, which is on 194-square metres, is accepting offers above $595,000, drawing plenty of interest from first home buyers and some investors.

Selling agent Jonathan Irwin, of Irwin Property, said 15 groups of buyers inspected the property within the first day, triggering five offers from the open home.

It’s attracted a lot of those people who don’t want strata [fees], who want their own yard and that have been missing out on properties that have gone for more, Irwin said.

My observation is that the first home buyers are least deterred by the interest rate rise because, what’s the alternative, to keep renting?

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