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The suburbs where you can afford to buy property on an average income


Australians on an average wage are seeing home ownership slip out of reach, as incomes and borrowing power fail to keep up with booming property prices.

Median house prices across all capital cities are too expensive for those borrowing on the average household income, modelling shows, with median unit prices in some cities also above their borrowing power.

Recent tax office figures found the average income is $62,549 across full-time and part-time workers. A single person earning the average income could be approved for a home loan with a budget up to $445,000, Canstar modelling shows.

A couple on two average incomes could spend up to $1,112,500 on a property. The maximum figure assumes they have a 20 per cent deposit saved, take out a 30-year loan at the average variable rate, and slash their living expenses – to $16,500 a year for singles and $20,580 for couples.

While such a budget will give buyers plenty of choice in some cities, it’s slim pickings in others.


Brisbane buyers get more bang for their buck, but still need to look to the city’s outskirts – to Ipswich City Council, Logan City Council and the Moreton Bay Region – if looking to buy a house for close to the $445,000 mark.

Springfield Lakes ($442,500), Rothwell ($433,000) and Logan Reserve ($432,500) are all within reach of a single-income earner looking to buy a house.

Those after a unit can look to the inner-city suburbs of Fortitude Valley ($433,000) and Woolloongabba ($420,500). Or, looking further afield, could snap up an apartment in Marcoola ($437,500) on the Sunshine Coast and Coombabah ($445,00) on the Gold Coast.

A couple after an apartment would have their pick of suburbs in south-east Queensland, including New Farm ($703,000), Main Beach ($800,000) and Noosa Heads ($1 million).

House-hunters would also have plenty of choices, with the inner Brisbane suburbs of Norman Park ($1.1 million) and Ashgrove ($1,090,000) within budget, as well as Noosaville ($1.1 million) on the Sunshine Coast. However, almost 30 suburbs would still be out of reach.


9 McIlwraith Avenue, Norman Park QLD 4170


In the nation’s capital, not one suburb recorded a median house price below $445,000, but for apartment-hunters, the inner suburbs of O’Connor ($430,000) and Lyneham ($430,000), could be within reach, as are suburbs like Belconnen ($415,000) and Franklin ($388,500) to the north-west and north of the city centre.

Double-income households can take their pick if they are happy to stick with an apartment, with Forrest ($736,000), Barton ($650,000) and Kingston ($590,000) among the suburbs they could afford.

House-hunters have to look a little further afield but can still afford to buy properties in suburbs like Curtin ($1.065 million) and Narrabundah ($1.055 million), both about a 15-minute drive from the city centre.


7/27 David Street, O’connor ACT 2602

Selling agent Symon Badenoch of Badenoch Real Estate Sales said buyers with a budget of $445,000 would typically be limited to a one-bedroom apartment in O’Connor and the surrounding suburbs.

“Twelve or 18 months ago you might have got a two-bedroom apartment, but now you would struggle to do so,” he said.

“We’re mostly seeing first-home buyers through. They’re generally looking for something to get in as close to the inner north as they can, for as cheap as they can,” he said of a one-bedroom O’Connor unit he currently has on the market.


An average income earner in Perth could borrow enough for a two or three-bedroom house in the inner suburb of West Perth ($435,000) or a two-bedroom apartment in the beachside suburb of Scarborough ($422,500). Houses in Kewdale ($439,500) and neighbouring Cloverdale ($425,00), about a 10-kilometre drive east of the city, are also in reach.


18 Bay Patch Street, East Fremantle WA 6158

Two income earners could afford to look for a house in the inner-western suburb of Subiaco ($1.04 million) and in the waterfront suburb of East Fremantle ($1.075 million) – about 17 kilometres south-west of the Perth CBD – and nearby Attadale ($1,082,500).

Suburbs across the city would be in reach for apartment buyers, with median prices in Fremantle ($475,200) and the riverside suburbs of Claremont ($699,000) and Victoria Park ($462,500) all well under budget.


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Brisbane’s Office Market Greenlit for Business

Brisbane’s Office Market

Brisbane’s office market continues to shake off the pandemic doldrums with two new commercial towers approved in the CBD and fringe suburbs.

Property owner PGIM and development partner Indema’s plan for a bold adaptive reuse of a 1970s commercial building at 444 Queen Street has won approval.

The bronze 22-storey tower opposite Customs House will be stripped back to its core structure and completely remodelled with a new podium, curtain wall facade and an additional two-storey sculptural canopy.

Indema director Michael Bruderlin said they would be targeting a net zero certification for the building upon completion in the first quarter of 2024.

Bruderlin said Hutchies had been engaged in an early contractor design and construct contract to help de-risk the project and better understand the technical requirements.

The Fender Katsalidis-designed tower follows in the footsteps of another of its commercial adaptive reuse projects in Brisbane, Ashe Morgan’s Midtown, now the headquarters for Rio Tinto.

Bruderlin said retaining and repurposing the existing building is 400 per cent more environmentally friendly. Retaining the existing concrete structure provides a 70 per cent saving in embodied carbon.

The project will rejuvenate a 48-year-old building at the end of life into an A-grade commercial office asset and increase the net leasable area 40 per cent.

Bruderlin said the project would have a quicker turnaround than a normal demolish and build project and it would use clever design initiatives to increase floor plates and create a better value proposition for the asset.

PGIM purchased 444 Queen Street for $54.4 million from the Public Trustee of Queensland and Abacus Property Group in October last year.

Cornerstone has also won approval for a commercial development in the city fringe suburb of Fortitude Valley.

The Bureau Proberts-designed tower will capture the heritage brick character of the Fortitude Valley centre “borrowing from the intent of these buildings but with a stridently different and contemporary expression”, planning documents said.

“This approach is a deliberate counterpoint to the strong and solid brick structures of the immediately adjacent 47 Warner Street and McWhirters buildings.

“Brickwork or masonry is not used as a material in deference to these neighbouring buildings allowing them to become more evident and make a clear statement about the era of their inception.”

The 28-storey commercial tower at 251 Wickham Street features a stepped slanting facade fronting Warner Street, with a four-storey lobby, and an inverted podium.

There will also be a rooftop terrace, 20m pool and open-plan gym in the commercial tower, with retail offerings at the base of the building.

Brisbane’s metropolitan office market vacancy was at 16.3 per cent at the end of March and there were few transactions across the quarter, according to Colliers research.

But yields remained steady, and well above other capital cities, while incentives remained stagnant at 40 per cent.



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Developer Pitches for $130m Shop-Top Housing on Bayside

$130m Shop-Top Housing on Bayside

Brisbane’s bayside could be going up in the world with plans for $130-million highrise shop-top housing in the heart of the seaside suburb of Wynnum.

Brisbane-based developer Hambros has lodged plans for a 21-storey apartment tower on the vacant lot neighbouring the Wynnum Central Shopping Centre, after winning approval for an small extension to the retail centre late last year.

The development comprises a 6-storey retail and commercial podium, with a 275-apartment tower above, backing on to Wynnum Central Park.

Hambros has reportedly spent about $14 million on revamping the Wynnum Central Shopping Centre on Bay Terrace, as part of a $74-million plan to rejuvenate Wynnum, including cinemas.

According to planning documents lodged with the Brisbane City Council, the tower will be made up of 54 one-bedroom apartments, 148 two-bedroom apartments, and 67 three-bedroom apartments, with six penthouses, which will have private rooftop space and their own pools.

The building height is well in excess of the allowable five to eight storeys in the Wynnum Manly Neighbourhood Plan, but town planners Gateway Survey and Planning argued the plan was “outdated” and should be overhauled.

The six-storey podium would contain two levels of parking, a retail tenancy at ground level, a floor of retail, with two storeys of commercial space for office, healthcare and events space on levels 5 and 6.

Developer Pitches for Shop-Top Housing on Bayside Brisbane

▲ Shayher Group won approval for its redevelopment of Wynnum Plaza last year, which included 184 apartments across eight residential buildings.

In a statement to the council Hambros director Justin Ham said the Wynnum CBD had been left behind “with no development occurring in the last 20 years”.

“Our project is designed to put Wynnum CBD on the ‘open for business’ map,” Ham said.

“This landmark development, with a construction cost estimated at $130 million will have a huge financial and community positive impact on the Wynnum CBD and surrounding areas.

“It’s a once-in-a-lifestime opportunity to create a beautiful space overlooking the best bay in the world.”

Ham said the development would bring much-needed foot traffic to the heart of the Wynnum CBD and help bolster businesses and landowners he said were struggling to remain profitable.

Taiwanese developer Shayher Group won approval for a masterplanned retail precinct at Wynnum Plaza with plans for 184 apartments across eight residential buildings as well as boutique cinemas and increased retail space, reportedly worth more than $100 million.

Work on the Wynnum Plaza redevelopment was due to commence later this year with a completion date hedged for 2024.



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More room in the Brisbane property price bubble but get ready for a reckoning, says bank

Brisbane property price bubble but get ready for a reckoning

Brisbane’s house prices would continue to outpace the nation this year but a significant slump was near, according to the ANZ.

The bank’s economics team has revised its outlook for house prices and now tips a fall of about 3 per cent nationally this year followed by an 8 per cent fall next year. It had previously tipped a rise of 8 per cent this year and a fall of 6 per cent next year.

In Brisbane, the monthly growth rate has slipped down to about 2.5 per cent and ANZ expects a yearly rate this year of about 6 per cent with a fall of about 9 per cent next year.

The higher end of the market in Brisbane was also continuing to outpace the middle and lower price bracket in growth rates.

The downturn was being caused by higher interest rates and affordability issues and ANZ said the “wealth effect” would come into play which would spread the housing downturn to other areas of the economy.

“Falling house prices will weigh on consumer spending through the wealth effect, but high savings will provide a solid buffer,” ANZ said.

It expects the RBA cash rate to get to 2.35 per cent by mid-2023 while the market is tipping a 3.25 per cent. A cash rate of 2.35 per cent meant a variable rate mortgage of 4.75 per cent and a 3.25 per cent rate would increase variable loans to 5.65 per cent.

It said some people may struggle but forced selling because of higher interest rates was a low risk.

Meanwhile, CoreLogic said the Coalition’s plan to allow first home buyers to access their superannuation accounts to help pay for a house had some merit but there were downsides, including the possibility that it would only stimulate demand for housing and increase the cost “eroding some of the benefit of dipping into their super”.
CoreLogic worked out that under the scheme the median amount that could be accessed would be about $10,000, the equivalent of state-based first home buyer grants.
“CoreLogic data shows the current median dwelling value in Australia is $748,635, meaning the scheme could help increase the size of a standard deposit by around 1 per cent,” the company said.
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