Most affordable and liveable suburbs – and best buys – revealed

Sydney has been named the most affordable city for liveability on the east coast, which would come as a surprise to anyone who has recently bought into the area.

The National Affordable & Liveable Property Guide shows that despite Sydney topping the list, buyers still have to pay more to live there than in other east coast capitals.

The report analyses and ranks cities based on investment potential, public transport links, shopping centres, parks and suburbs.

Sydney is the most affordable due to the hefty price difference between homes in the metro area and within 20 kilometres of this most inner area.

“Sydney continues to be the most affordable city for liveability, continuing to record the largest negative premium difference for houses and units,” says report authors PRD Real Estate.

“This is good news for first home buyers, who may believe they have to sacrifice liveability aspects in gaining access into suburbs with a lower median property price than Sydney metro.”

Read more: Head for the hills: Australia’s most affordable regions

The price of a home in Sydney is not less than a home in Brisbane – in fact it is almost three times greater.

Confused? That may be because Brisbane and Hobart are typically thought of as the more affordable capital cities. But PRD says it’s not just about the money.

“While this might be true from a median property price perspective, many affordable suburbs in both capital cities fail to satisfy other criteria such as liveability, investment return and future project development plans.”

The report also revealed the top three suburbs for those looking to purchase a house, based on both affordability and liveability, across Sydney, Melbourne, Hobart and Brisbane.

In Sydney or nearby, Peakhurst, Jannali and Caringbah are the best suburbs to purchase in right now, says PRD.

Peakhurst benefits from low crime, various parklands, public transport options, schools, medical facilities and proximity to major amenities.

Jannali boasts a low unemployment rate of just 2.7 per cent and an estimated $3.7 million in projects scheduled for the first half of 2021.

Caringbah has enjoyed strong median house price growth of 14.5 per cent annually as well as 3.2 per cent rental yields – well above Sydney Metro’s average of 2.4 per cent.

In Melbourne, the most affordable and liveable postcodes are in the northern suburbs. Greenvale, Bellfield and Mulgrave have been identified as boom ‘burbs.

Greenvale is the most affordable of those three, while Bellfield is closest to the Melbourne CBD. Mulgrave, located south-east of the Melbourne CBD, has a lower entry price point, giving buyers more bang for their buck.

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In Brisbane, Springwood, Rochedale South and Ferny Grove are the top three most affordable and liveable suburbs.

Located about 18.8 kilometres from the Brisbane CBD, Springwood also enjoys proximity to quality amenities, public transport and the M1 Highway, connecting it to Brisbane and the Gold Coast.

Rochedale South provides first home buyers with an attractive entry price and capital investment growth, with median house prices increasing 4.6 per cent from 2019 to 2020-21.

Ferny Grove has enjoyed the highest price growth out of those three, indicating the area’s strong potential as an investment suburb.

Hobart suburbs Howrah, Kingston and Geilston Bay get top gongs.

Closest to the Hobart CBD at 5.1 kilometres, Howrah has recorded median house price growth of 5.8 per cent annually, and scores top marks in the liveability criteria, with low crime rates, access to key roads, buses, waterfront and parks, a shopping centre, healthcare and schools.

Kingston’s burgeoning local economy and median house prices are growing 9.9 per cent annually, making the suburb extremely attractive to investors. And Geilston Bay offers strong median house price growth and low vacancy rates, providing value to investors and residents alike.

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While affordability in these areas make houses ripe for the picking right now, don’t expect these suburbs to be on the affordable list for much longer, says PRD’s chief economist Dr Diaswati Mardiasmo.

“I don’t want to crystal-ball too much, but whenever we report a suburb in this report it normally isn’t there in the second half of the year’s report,” Dr Mardiasmo told www.realestate.com.au.

“In nine out of 10 cases that’s because prices have risen.”

The return of international migration and the economy lifting further may also drive up home prices in these areas and others.

“This could mean the next six months are the more affordable part of the cycle,” said Dr Mardiasmo.

Do you live in or near these suburbs? Would you class them as highly liveable? Can you believe Sydney is the most affordable suburb for liveability? Why not share your thoughts in the comments section below?

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Written by Leon Della Bosca

Leon Della Bosca has worked in publishing and media in one form or another for around 25 years. He's a voracious reader, word spinner and art, writing, design, painting, drawing, travel and photography enthusiast. You'll often find him roaming through galleries or exploring the streets of his beloved Melbourne and surrounding suburbs, sketchpad or notebook in hand, smiling.
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