Revealed: Affordable places near the beach or the city

Only a third of homes available in Australia can be bought for less than $600,000

Revealed: Affordable places near the beach or the city


By Mina Martin

Just 35.8% of homes across Australia can be purchased for less than $600,000, which means fewer affordable houses are available for average-income earners.

Seven consecutive monthly hikes since May have seen the property market decline, but strong price increases in 2020 and 2021 haven’t been completely reversed.

In October, a record-low 35.8% share of properties listed for sale were available for less than $600,000, according to That’s down from the 52.5% of all new listings that had an asking price under $600,000 at the start of the pandemic in March 2020, Daily Mail Australia reported.

Since the onset of COVID, Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, and regional NSW saw the share of new house listings under $600,000 get slashed by more than half.

In Sydney, just 1.8% of houses can be bought under $600,000, compared with 13% in Melbourne, 25.1% in Brisbane, 39.6% in Adelaide, 50.7% in Perth, 28.4% in Hobart, and 46.8% in Darwin.

PropTrack data revealed that since the pandemic, the proportion of regional homes listed for less than $600,000 had plunged from 71.2% to just 45.6%. By comparison, the proportion of capital city homes available for under $600,000 dropped from 42.5% to 30.6%.

Cameron Kusher, PropTrack’s director of economic research, said further interest rate hikes would likely slow the housing market, though not enough to make homes affordable.

“As prices continue to fall, we may see more properties coming on to the market at lower price points,” Kusher said. “However, it seems unlikely that we'll see a significant uplift in the share of new listings under $600,000, which highlights ongoing affordability challenges.”

A $600,000 home is achievable for an average, full-time worker with an income of $92,030. With a 20% deposit, they would owe their bank $480,000 and have a debt-to-income ratio of 5.2 – well below APRA’s six threshold for mortgage stress.

Average-income earners who want to live by the beach were left with fewer choices due to rising prices. Still, there were a few places a short drive from a beach where median prices were close to or were under $600,000, Daily Mail Australia reported.

CoreLogic data showed that Torbul, next to Bribie Island north of Brisbane, has a median house price of $601,635.

More affordable choices await buyers near Fraser Island, a three-hour drive north of Brisbane, including Tin Can Bay with a median house price of $583,225 and Pialba, in the middle of Hervey Bay, with a midpoint house price of $542,784.

There were also pockets of affordability in parts of the mid-north coast in NSW: Nambucca Heads, south of Coffs Harbour, has a median house price of $653,616, but homes with a backyard were available for less than $600,000.

In Victoria, the beachside town of Foster, a two-hour drive east of Melbourne, has a median house price of $584,084.

In Adelaide’s north-west, Taperoo, just 25km from the city centre, has a median house price of $559,886.

Rockingham south of Perth has an affordable mid-point house price of $475,937.

In Perth's north, Craigie, one suburb back from the beach, has a median house price of $564,148.

There were also affordable houses in Darwin’s northern suburbs, with Millner, a short drive from Nightcliff beach, having a median house price of $570,899.

With the OCR now at a nine-year high 2.85%, someone buying a $600,000 house, with a $480,000 mortgage, and a 20% deposit, would owe their bank $2,516.

Should interest rates rise by another 0.25 percentage points to a new 10-year high of 3.1%, the same borrower would see their monthly repayment lift by another $73 to $2,589, based on a Commonwealth Bank variable rate rising to 5.04% from 4.79%, Daily Mail Australia reported.

Related Stories

Keep up with the latest news and events

Join our mailing list, it’s free!