Are Australian houses still affordable for the average buyer? Yes – but it depends where you look.
House prices have continued their steep trajectory in recent months.
The average house price in the capital cities of Australia hit $728,500 in the December 2020 quarter. All capital cities recorded a steep rise from the previous quarter, from 2.2% in Darwin to 3.4% in Melbourne and Canberra.
As per CoreLogic, the mean price of residential dwellings in New South Wales ($939,700) remains the highest in the country, followed by Victoria ($785,000) and then the Australian Capital Territory ($757,000). The lowest mean price is in the Northern Territory ($429,400).
First home buyers might fare better in the regions, which posted a median house price of $457,938 in April 2021. However, the regions are also experiencing steeper price rises: CoreLogic calculates a whopping 13% price rise in the past 12 months, as compared to 6.4% for the capital cities.
So how much house can you really afford?
As a financial rule of thumb, your housing costs should not be more than a third of your income. While everyone is different, the most recent ABS data has average household income at $2117 per week (unchanged in the past year). At current interest rates, the average household can look at a loan of around $450,000. With a deposit of 20%, that puts your house-buying budget at $500,000.
What does that buy you across the country? We scoured the latest listings to bring you the answer.
Head out to South Maclean, about 50 minutes from Brisbane, and you can score a four bedroom house on a huge two-acre block. The kitchen has been extended and improved with modern appliances, and the bathroom has been completely modernised. A spacious master bedroom has an en suite and walk-in-robe.
There’s a new Colorbond roof, new ceilings, LED down-lights and air conditioning. Make the most of the huge private block with a fabulous outdoor entertaining area and endless gardens to shape however you want.
Half an hour from central Darwin, you’ll find this immaculate 3-bedroom house in Zuccoli. Nearly new, with high quality contemporary finishes, it offers family-friendly executive living.
There are two separate living areas plus a study. The main bedroom is king size with an oversized walk-in-robe and luxury double en suite. A private al fresco entertaining area overlooks unspoiled bushland.
Enjoy panoramic sea views across the Bass Strait from this fabulous 3-bedroom home in north-west Tasmania. It’s a great spot for a family, or would ideally suit downsizers looking for that sea change.
You’ll spend all your time on the enclosed al fresco deck soaking in the scenery. But head inside and you’ll also find well maintained living areas, a substantial kitchen, spa bath to the family bathroom and en suite to the main. There’s even a detached studio or office!
Experience the best of the Fleurieu coastline from this delightful home in popular Normanville. With four bedrooms and a spacious interior, it’s perfect for family living or would make the ideal holiday home for keen entertainers.
A beautifully appointed modern kitchen overlooks the open plan living and dining, with a peaceful second lounge for quiet evenings in. Step out to an undercover entertaining area and enjoy all the sights and scents of the lavender, roses and citrus trees that populate the exquisite gardens.
Stroll to the cafes and shops of the main street, and of course that gorgeous Normanville beach!
Melbourne is Australia’s second most expensive city, but head out to the regions and there are plenty of options for $500,00 or less.
This gracious 4-bedroom house in Ararat’s desirable west end blends beautiful period detail with luxurious modern updates. Sitting on a quarter-acre of landscaped formal gardens, it offers large living areas, period-themed family bathroom and en suite, a huge gourmet kitchen with modern appliances and a lovely al fresco area.
NEW SOUTH WALES
Drive 40 minutes north of Port Macquarie to thriving Kempsey, and you can bag yourself a beautiful modern 3-bedroom home. Kempsey has
Immaculately presented inside and out, this property offers a modern galley-style kitchen with stainless steel appliances, open plan living with porcelain tile floor and three softly carpeted bedrooms.
The yard will make the kids’ eyes light up, with plenty of space for backyard cricket, a cubby – even an above-ground pool! Adults can kick back under the verandah and enjoy the good life. It’s close to independent and government schools, plenty of shops, eateries and other amenities.
Happy house hunting!