The best Aussie suburbs for first home buyers

Many of us are struggling to make our home-owning dream a reality, so here’s a look at the most affordable Aussie suburbs for first home buyers

Owning your own home is the great Australian dream, but many of us are struggling to make that dream a reality. And while there has been a slowdown in the Sydney and Melbourne property market, the reality is that across every state in Australia the demand for houses in most Aussie states is increasing, and the median price is being bumped up year-on-year.

TODAY spoke with chief economist Nerida Consibee who shared her tips on the most affordable suburbs for first home buyers.

TODAY: Nerida, let’s kick it off with Queensland…

CONSIBEE: Brisbane, Gold Coast and the Sunshine Coast all offer great, affordable options for first home buyers. For those that want to stay close to the city, the suburb of Albion is cheap enough to get the first home buyer grant but offers a great lifestyle. If beaches are more your thing, heading to the Gold Coast can offer great value for money. The suburb of Tugun is popular with young people renting – the good news is that many could still afford to buy with the first home buyer grant.

TODAY: What about New South Wales?

CONSIBEE: It is really hard to get affordable houses in Sydney, and Prospect, 32 kms west of the CBD, is one of the closest areas where you can still get the first home buyer grant on a house. If you are prepared to live in an apartment, North Manly is worth a look. It is not right on the beach, but close by and still relatively affordable for a Sydney apartments. If you are prepared to move further from the Sydney CBD, there are more affordable options which open up, particularly in the popular Central Coast. Like North Manly, the suburb of Long Jetty is not right on the beach, but it is close and its popularity with young people is changing the retail strip and housing stock in the area.

TODAY: And Victoria?

CONSIBEE: Melbourne still has quite a few affordable options close to the Melbourne CBD. Heidelberg West is close to the city but affordable, primarily because of a lot of older housing however more new homes are now being developed. If you want a bigger home on a bigger block that still has great amenity, and are prepared for a longer commute, Geelong is worth a look. It is much cheaper than Melbourne but achieving better price growth. It’s proving highly attractive to young people and the commute to Melbourne is only an hour long.

TODAY: What’s on offer in South Australia?

CONSIBEE: There are still lots of options in Adelaide where you can pick up a house and the first home buyer grant. Warradale is close to the beach and has snuck under the radar for a few years now. For that reason, you can get a cheaper home than neighbouring suburbs like Brighton. Kurralta Park is also worth a look. Midway between the Adelaide CBD and Glenelg, Kurralta Park is well located and within the band for first home buyers.

TODAY: What about Western Australia?

CONSIBEE: Perth prices have gone backwards over the past four years and although tough for owners, it is much improved for first home buyers. Some of the most popular locations for buyers are on the beach and the good news is that there are quite a few options for first home buyers. Ocean Reef is right on the beach in the north and while the commute is a bit longer, it’s much cheaper than suburbs closer to the CBD. Scarborough is closer to the city and has a range of housing types to suit all budgets – ranging from lower cost apartments to more expensive houses.

TODAY: What’s the most affordable suburb in the Northern Territory?

CONSIBEE: For a small city, Darwin is very expensive. Although this is the case, there are still quite a few options for first home buyers, particularly in the inner suburbs, as well as around Charles Darwin University Coconut Grove is in the north and relatively close to both the Charles Darwin University and central Darwin. For those that prefer a newer home and are not fussed about moving further out, Muirhead is worth a look.

TODAY: And of course, Tasmania?

CONSIBEE: It is still very affordable in Hobart but it is getting more expensive. Nevertheless, there are still a lot of that first home buyers can look at to get the first home buyer grant. Margate is a small seaside town around 20kms from Hobart. It is very popular with buyers but still cheap enough for first home buyers. Lindisfarne is just 6kms from the Hobart CBD. It is an attractive suburb, right on the Derwent River.

TODAY: What is your advice for first home buyers?

CONSIBEE: These are my tips:

  • Stay within budget – you still want a life plus your life can change over the course of the loan
  • Become educated about the grants available to you
  • Choose areas where a lot of other young people are buying – longer term, these areas tend to see the best capital growth
  • Your first home is not your forever home
  • Look at apartments and townhouses
  • Consider rentvesting
  • Regional areas offer great lifestyles and affordability

Interview and additional text by Luke Worthington.

* In highlighting particular offers we are not making specific recommendations as this article does not cover all available products and may not compare all features relevant to you. Any advice provided is general in nature and does not take account of your needs, objectives or financial situation. Individuals should consider their own circumstances, and if in doubt seek appropriate advice, before proceeding.