Australia’s most affordable regional towns for city escapees
In New South Wales, the Upper Hunter had a median house price of $373,000 last year, according to PRD figures, with an average rental yield of 6.4%, higher than Sydney’s by 3 .5%.
The region’s unemployment rate is just 2.4% and the report warns that a lack of residential development could put upward pressure on property prices.
Further south, Wagga Wagga topped the list with a median home price of $436,250, average rental yields of 4% for homes, and an unemployment rate of 2.5%.
Two hours west, Griffith in the Riverina area offers a median home price of $464,250, with an unemployment rate of just 1.9% and rental yields on homes of 3.9%.
It might seem like an unexpected destination for Sydneysiders more used to considering moving to Wollongong or the Central Coast, but Griffith’s property manager Brian Bertolin has seen a string of new arrivals from the capital over the past two years.
He said newcomers were pleasantly surprised to find brilliant local food deals, big brand stores such as Bunnings and Kmart, good weather and local sports for the family.
Real estate conditions have eased somewhat since last year, but the lack of supply has resulted in fierce competition.
“Lately everything was fine, before that you put a house on the market and there were seven or eight people chasing it,” he said. “Some buyers would miss three or four properties in a row.”
For a three-bedroom brick-veneer home, buyers would need to budget around $400,000 or more, he said.
In Victoria, the report highlighted the northern Grampians, with a median house price of $287,500, a low unemployment rate of 2.9% and rental yields of 4.2% on average for homes, above Melbourne’s 2.6%.
Monaghan property manager Terry Monaghan said the area has plenty of jobs available, rental housing supply has been limited for years and would benefit from more streamlined land development.
The draws include local vineyards, lakes, mountains, tourist attractions and a major plan to build a dual highway from Stawell to Melbourne over the next few years.
House prices have risen dramatically, he said, up to 30% to 50% for some pockets.
” There is very little [properties] come to market, so people are waiting and waiting,” he said.
The report also picked Wodonga, with a median home price of $450,000, a home rental yield of 4.7%, and an unemployment rate of 2.3%.
Bendigo rounded out the top picks in Victoria, with a median home price of $510,000, an unemployment rate of 3.9% and an average rental yield of 3.9%.
Further afield, affordable options are also available in the Whitsundays of Queensland ($400,000 median house price), Toowoomba ($430,000) and Mackay ($412,000), as well as the Central Highlands of Tasmania ($250,000 ).