Australia’s top 10 most affordable (and liveable) regions

The desire to live the great Australian dream doesn’t, at first, sound like a big ask: a verandah out the front, colourbond fence out the back and a property under your own name. 

The configuration of the home may change, but for many, that’s the bottom line: owning a place to live (whether you live there yourself or not). Yet for an increasing number of aspiring owners, finding a home that’s attainable, as well as a sound financial investment and located in an area that offers lifestyle perks has become a challenge.

A new report from PRD’s research division, however, aims to reveal the regions of Australia where homes might still be considered affordable, with good long-term investment prospects and home neighbouring projects that will continue to cultivate community.

To pinpoint these areas, PRD narrowed the search criteria to include only those with a median house price below what they deem to be a “maximum affordable property sale price,” which is the state average loan size plus 20 per cent.

As a method of ensuring statistical reliability, the local government area (LGA) also had to have been home to at least 20 residential real estate transactions in 2021 and 2022, with positive median house price growth within that period. 

To ensure the area is a good investment, the LGA had to have an on-par or higher rental yield than the state’s capital city, as well as an on-par or lower vacancy rate.

The area also had to be home to a high density of planned commercial and infrastructure projects, with a low unemployment rate sitting at or below the state average.

Here are the regions PRD considers most hospitable to homebuyers looking to lock down their slice of the great Australian dream:

  • The Whitsunday Region (Queensland)
  • Mackay Regional Council (Queensland)
  • The Charters Towers Region (Queensland)
  • Federation Council (NSW)
  • Dubbo Regional Council (NSW)
  • The City of Lithgow (NSW)
  • City of Greater Bendigo (Victoria)
  • City of Greater Shepparton (Victoria)
  • City of Ballarat (Victoria)
  • Central Coast Council (Tasmania)

Even though there are significant projects planned for each area, these 10 regions appear to remain on an undersupplied trajectory for the next 12 months. Yet they all still have a median house price of $600,000 or less — roughly 30 per cent lower than what you’re likely to pay in Melbourne and less than half the average going rate for a Sydney home.

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