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Under $500k: 5 suburbs to find cheap property amid soaring prices

·4-min read
Dual image of Australian globe showing Toowoomba, Western Australia's Rockingham
Here's where you can still find homes for under $500,000. (Source: Getty)

Australian house prices have been rising at breakneck pace – and according to some of the banks’ latest predictions, the upwards trajectory won’t be over any time soon.

In this kind of market, investors have generally been pricing out first home buyers, with locals in regional areas also getting priced out of their own neighbourhoods.

But there are still some affordable options on the market with promising signs of price growth, according to hotspotting.com.au managing director Terry Ryder.

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Some of these locations include Queensland’s Redcliffe Peninsula and Toowoomba, Western Australia’s Rockingham, Adelaide's neighbour Port Adelaide-Enfield and NSW's Hunter Valley.

According to Ryder, these locations make up half of the nation’s “top 10 best buys”, which are the “pick of the crop” that will see “steady growth over the longer term”.

“They’re locations with identifiable drivers of demand for real estate, which will place pressure on prices and rents,” Ryder said.

“We expect them to show growth not only in 2021 but well beyond.” Here’s where they are.

Redcliffe Peninsula, South East Queensland

  • Typical house price, Redcliffe: $500,000

Aerial view of Redcliffe, Australia
Redcliffe, Australia. (Source: Getty)

This region has generally been known as a popular seaside getaway under an hour’s drive of Brisbane’s CBD.

But lately it’s become a place of residence for people who work from home but want to stay near Brisbane, according to Ryder, and has become more gentrified in recent years, with old properties knocked down to make way for new apartments.

“It has the added benefit of a seaside lifestyle and easy access to major employment hubs like Brisbane Airport, the Port of Brisbane and the Brisbane CBD,” he said.

In the past year, house prices in this region have risen “dramatically”, he added, but it still looks affordable when you compare it to other suburbs in Greater Brisbane.

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Toowoomba, Queensland

  • Average house price, South Toowoomba: $365,000

This regional city has a huge infrastructure pipeline in the works and is “poised to propel … to the national stage”, Ryder believes, with rising house prices a natural consequence.

“The Toowoomba region is one of Queensland’s most vibrant and diverse regional communities. The area is experiencing unprecedented growth, with the current rate of development testament to the region’s potential,” he said.

The area benefits from the recently opened $1.6 billion Toowoomba Bypass, which makes the region a key transport hub, and will benefit further from the $13 billion Inland Rail Link which will link Melbourne and Brisbane.

“Affordability, low vacancies and good yields are attracting a variety of property buyers to the region, including first-home buyers, tree changers, baby boomers and retirees.”

Rockingham, WA

  • Typical house price, Port Kennedy: $370,000

Rockingham, WA / Australia - 11/15/2019 Rockingham foreshore makeover with colourful umbrellas and seats.
Rockingham foreshore. (Source: Getty)

As Perth’s property recovers, Rockingham – 47km away from the CBD – has also benefited, with Aussies flocking to the relaxed coastal suburb.

“With population growth driven by an attractive seaside lifestyle, tracts of affordable land and access to major job nodes, this LGA is a community of young families,” Ryder said.

Rockingham is particularly attractive to first home buyers, with the suburb of Baldivis regularly in the top two spots for first home buyer grants in the last decade.

The construction of residential homes, driven by population growth, will see demand for this region rise through to 2040.

Port Adelaide Enfield, South Australia

  • Typical house price, Enfield: $465,000

Wirra Drive apartment buildings reflecting in the river at New Port at sunset, Port Adelaide, South Australia
New Port, Port Adelaide, South Australia. (Source: Getty)

With Adelaide becoming an increasingly attractive city for investors, Port Adelaide is also rising in popularity thanks to Defence Contracts totalling $89 billion, relocation of State Government jobs to this area, and the development of urban amenities this area.

“Major economic change is occurring in this precinct,” Ryder said.

”The Port Adelaide Enfield LGA is one of the leading markets in the nation for suburbs with rising buyer demand and prices … in 2020. The momentum has continued into 2021.”

Hunter Valley, NSW

  • Typical house price, Cessnock: $395,000

Sunrise over a grapevine plantation
A Hunter Valley vineyard. (Source: Getty)

Known as one of Australia’s prime wine regions, previously city-dwelling Australians are flocking to find homes in the Hunter Valley, no longer tied to CBD-based offices. The area will benefit from new infrastructure, including the $700 million Singleton bypass, and the creation of thousands of new jobs.

“The Hunter has diversified and is growing a global reputation as a smart region with a broad industry base. Innovative clean energy projects are a part of this focus,” Ryder said.

The Hunter offers relaxed country living, yet is still close enough to Sydney, key job hubs, transport connections and entertainment venues.

“This combined with property prices much lower than capital cities makes the Hunter Valley an appealing location for investors, and, particularly first-home buyers,” Ryder added.

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