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Postcodes where buying is cheaper than renting, according to NAB

Aerial view of Melbourne suburb and Australian money being fanned out.
NAB has revelaed the surburbs in each state and capital city where buying is cheaper than renting (Source: Getty)

Outer-metro suburbs and inner-city apartments provide some of the best opportunities for Aussies to buy or invest in a home.

NAB has revealed the postcodes around the country where buying is cheaper than renting, as low interest rates create opportunities for Aussies to get into the housing market.

NAB also said those looking for the ‘tree change’ will continue to find value in regional Australia as many Aussies make the most of flexible and hybrid working.


NAB executive, home ownership, Andy Kerr said those who have benefitted the most have been first home buyers, who have claimed a significant share of the market over the past 12 months.

“Record low interest rates and first home buyer incentives like the First Home Loan Deposit Scheme have driven strong demand,” Kerr said.

“We have seen through the pandemic, particularly with first home buyers, that flexible and hybrid working is providing more options than they have historically had.”

Kerr said the NAB research found the shift in where prospective buyers are looking to buy is the biggest the bank has seen in a generation.

“Property prices have not risen as much in outer-metro suburbs and first home buyers are very good at picking up on where property prices have been more subdued. The correlation between outer-metro suburbs and buying new builds is certainly playing through in finding a bargain,” Kerr said.

House prices are rising but there’s still plenty of opportunities for Australians to buy their dream home rather than rent it. The simple reason for this is the record low rates on offer, with many mortgage rates still coming with a 2 in front of them.”

Where is it cheaper to buy than rent?

In Sydney and Melbourne, it’s still necessary to move a few suburbs further out from the CBD or join the many Australians moving to regional areas. This is due to the recent price growth in Sydney and Melbourne in 2021, although there remain some suburbs where the difference is marginal.

In contrast, all other state and territory capitals have suburbs where it’s possible to buy cheaper than renting. The most significant difference is in the more affordable capital city markets of Perth, Adelaide, and Brisbane.


Housing markets where it is now cheaper to buy than rent are located in the outer suburbs, mainly north and west of Greater Brisbane.

Areas cheaper to buy a house than rent one:

  • Logan

  • Bald Hills

  • Redbank Plains

  • Redcliffe

  • Caboolture

In contrast, several unit markets that provide opportunities where it is cheaper to buy than rent, are found within a three-kilometre radius of the Brisbane CBD.

Areas cheaper to buy a unit than rent one:

  • Brisbane City

  • Fortitude Valley

  • Spring Hill

  • South Brisbane


Areas cheaper to buy a house than rent one:

  • Armadale

  • Greenfields

  • Port Kennedy

  • Clarkson

  • Baldivas

Areas cheaper to buy a unit than rent one:

  • Greater Perth

  • Perth CBD

  • East Perth

  • South Perth

  • Rivervale

  • Maylands

  • Fremantle


Areas cheaper to buy a house than rent one:

  • Elizabeth

  • Salisbury

Areas cheaper to buy a unit than rent one:

  • Adelaide CBD

  • Glenelg

  • Mawson Lakes


Areas cheaper to buy a house than rent one:

  • Zuccoli

  • Gunn

  • Durack

  • Leanyer

Areas cheaper to buy a unit than rent one:

  • Darwin City

  • Stuart Park

  • Larrakeyah


Of suburbs that have seen more than 30 sale results in July 2021, there are 40 suburbs within the ACT that provide the opportunity to buy rather than rent a house.

Despite the rapid pace of value growth over the past 12 months, an even split between housing and unit markets was seen.

Areas cheaper to buy a unit than rent one:

  • Braddon

  • Belconnen

  • Franklin

  • Kingston


Areas cheaper to buy a unit than rent one:

  • Campbelltown

  • Liverpool

  • Blacktown

  • Bankstown

There was no area in Sydney where it was cheaper to buy a house than rent one.


Areas cheaper to buy a house than rent one:

  • Melton

  • Melton South

Areas cheaper to buy a unit than rent one:

  • Carlton

  • Melbourne CBD

  • Southbank

  • Docklands

  • Abbotsford


Given the affordability of housing in Hobart, more housing opportunities present themselves compared to other markets across Australia.

In Hobart, only Glenorchy units provide a cheaper opportunity to buy than rent. While Glenorchy housing also is now cheaper to service a mortgage than rent, areas popular with first home buyers present strong opportunities.

Popular locations such as Sorell, Howrah, Moonah and Kingston all see houses now more affordable to buy than rent.

Regional areas where it is cheaper to buy than rent

Areas outside of the major capital cities where it is cheaper to service a mortgage rather than paying rent include, but are not limited to:


• Broken Hill

• Orange

• Dubbo

• Goulburn

• Armidale

• Port Macquarie

• Bathurst

• Coffs Harbour

• Grafton

• Tweed Heads


• Benalla

• Warrnambool

• Portland

• Sale

• Horsham

• Shepparton

• Echuca

• Bairnsdale

• Wangaratta

• Yarrawonga


• Gold Coast (various suburbs)

• Sunshine Coast (various suburbs)

• Cairns

• Bundaberg

• Mackay

• Roma

• Toowoomba


• Port Hedland

• Newman

• Broome

• South Hedland

South Australia

• Naracoorte

• Port Augusta

• Mount Gambier

• Murray Bridge

• Port Lincoln

• Victor Harbor


• Queenstown

• Ulverstone

• Launceston

• Devonport

• Wynyard

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