That's according to the Buy v Rent report from CoreLogic commissioned by mortgage broker Aussie, which uses Reserve Bank data to calculate two interest rate scenarios for mortgage repayments. 

Based on a 30-year loan with a principal and interest (P&I) variable rate of 3.65% p.a, one in three (32.9%) Australian suburbs recorded lower monthly mortgage repayments than rental payments for houses and almost 40% (37.7%) for apartments.

Meanwhile, on a 2.35% p.a, three-year fixed-rate loan, more than half (52.2%) of Australian suburbs are cheaper to pay down a mortgage than pay rent on a house, with almost 60% (59.1%) of apartments cheaper to pay off compared to renting.

Buying a home or looking to refinance? The table below features home loans with some of the lowest variable interest rates on the market for owner occupiers.

Update resultsUpdate
LenderHome LoanInterest Rate Comparison Rate* Monthly Repayment Repayment type Rate Type Offset Redraw Ongoing Fees Upfront Fees LVR Lump Sum Repayment Additional Repayments Split Loan Option TagsFeaturesLinkCompare
6.04% p.a.
6.06% p.a.
Principal & Interest
Featured Online ExclusiveUp To $4K Cashback
  • Immediate cashback upon settlement
  • $2,000 for loans up to $700,000
  • $4,000 for loans over $700,000
5.99% p.a.
5.90% p.a.
Principal & Interest
Featured Apply In Minutes
  • No application or ongoing fees. Annual rate discount
  • Unlimited redraws & additional repayments. LVR <80%
  • A low-rate variable home loan from a 100% online lender. Backed by the Commonwealth Bank.
6.14% p.a.
6.16% p.a.
Principal & Interest
Featured Unlimited Redraws
  • No annual fees - None!
  • Get fast pre-approval
  • Unlimited additional repayments free of charge
  • Redraw freely - Access your additional payments when you need them
  • Home loan specialists available today
Important Information and Comparison Rate Warning

Base criteria of: a $400,000 loan amount, variable, fixed, principal and interest (P&I) home loans with an LVR (loan-to-value) ratio of at least 80%. However, the ‘Compare Home Loans’ table allows for calculations to be made on variables as selected and input by the user. Some products will be marked as promoted, featured or sponsored and may appear prominently in the tables regardless of their attributes. All products will list the LVR with the product and rate which are clearly published on the product provider’s website. Monthly repayments, once the base criteria are altered by the user, will be based on the selected products’ advertised rates and determined by the loan amount, repayment type, loan term and LVR as input by the user/you. *The Comparison rate is based on a $150,000 loan over 25 years. Warning: this comparison rate is true only for this example and may not include all fees and charges. Different terms, fees or other loan amounts might result in a different comparison rate. Rates correct as of . View disclaimer.

“Our research confirms that in many suburbs across Australia, especially those outside the major capital cities, on a monthly basis, it is cheaper to buy than rent," said CEO of Aussie James Symond.

“Why pay your landlord – when you could potentially pay the same amount – or less monthly – on a place you can call your own?

“The cost gap between buying and renting has tightened over the last year as rates and property values have either stabilised or fallen, especially in regional areas across Australia and in the cities of Darwin and Perth."

The report found that based on a 30-year principal and interest mortgage with an average discounted variable loan rate of 3.65% p.a, mortgage repayments fell from $3,139 per month three years ago to $2,770 in September 2020.

At the same time, average rents have held firm for houses but dropped 2.2% for units over the last year.

The apartment market has been particularly impacted by COVID-19, with average rents down 7.8% in Melbourne, 3.8% in Sydney, and 11.1% in Hobart.

“The combination of lower property values in some regions, record low mortgage rates and government incentives for first home buyers, have made buying conditions generally more attractive for buyers," Mr Symond said.

With the Reserve Bank hinting that the cash rate will remain unchanged for the next three years, Mr Symond said this provides some certainty that home loan interest rates will remain ultra low for the foreseeable future.

Top suburbs in Australia where it's cheaper to buy than rent

Houses Units
Greater Sydney Lake Haven, San Remo, Charmhaven, Blue Haven, Watanobbi West Gosford, Gorokan, Warwick Farm, North Gosford, Jamisontown
Regional NSW Broken Hill, Werris Creek, Wellington, Muswellbrook, Condobolin Sapphire Beach, Crestwood, Griffith, Tweed Heads West, Queanbeyan
Greater Melbourne Hastings, Melton, Melton South Kurunjang, Melton West Carlton, Travancore, Flemington, Notting Hill, Melbourne
Regional Victoria Red Cliffs, Terang, Kerang, Portland, Ararat Portland, Traralgon, Mildura, Mooroopna, Lakes Entrance
Greater Brisbane Kilcoy, Woodridge, Kingston, Logan Central, Goodna Browns Plains, Oxley, Waterford West, Springwood, Richlands
Regional QLD Healy, Sunset, Townview, Parkside, Cloncurry White Rock, Woree, Manunda, Manoora, Cairns North
Greater Adelaide Elizabeth North, Elizabeth Downs, Smithfield, Elizabeth South, Davoren Park Mawson Lakes, Salisbury, Adelaide Klemzig, Lightsview
Regional South Australia Kingston Se, Bordertown, Whyalla, Port Augusta West, Port Pirie West Mount Gambier, Victor Harbor
Greater Perth Cooloongup, Parmelia, Calista, Orelia, Brookdale Spearwood, Armadale, Midland, Bayswater, Glendalough
Regional WA Nickol, Baynton, Newman, Port Hedland, South Hedland Port Hedland, South Hedland, Cable Beach, Bunbury, Withers
Greater Hobart Rokeby, Risdon Vale, Bridgewater, Warrane, Primrose Sands Brighton, Glenorchy, Claremont, Sorell, Blackmans Bay
Regional Tasmania Bicheno, Zeehan, Queenstown, Ravenswood, Mayfield Mowbray, Legana, South Launceston, Newnham, Riverside
Greater Darwin Moulden, Zuccoli, Driver, Gray, Woodroffe Parap, Darwin City, Nightcliff, Stuart Park, Coconut Grove
Regional NT Sadadeen, Araluen, Braitling, East Side, Gillen Gillen
Greater ACT Charnwood, Holt, Ngunnawal, Latham, Macgregor Mawson, Phillip, Campbell, Lyons, Braddon

Capital city suburbs

While the report found that in many suburbs it was cheaper to buy than rent, it was a slightly different story for capital cities depending on the city and the mortgage repayment scenario.

Under the discounted variable rate scenario, 16.9% of capital city suburbs recorded lower monthly mortgage repayments compared with rental payments for houses, rising to 34.7% of suburbs under a three-year fixed-rate scenario.

Sydney and Melbourne recorded no suburbs where it was cheaper to service a mortgage on houses than rent based on a variable rate.

However, 82.6% of Darwin suburbs, 50% of Hobart suburbs and more than a third of suburbs across Perth and Adelaide were more affordable to pay down a discounted variable rate mortgage than rent for houses.

Under the fixed rate scenario, 5.3% of Sydney suburbs were more affordable to service a mortgage than rent for houses, while this was the case for only 1% of Melbourne suburbs.

Every suburb across Darwin was cheaper to pay a mortgage than rent under a fixed-rate scenario, and the proportion was more than 50% across Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth, Hobart, and Darwin.

Regional suburbs

On the other hand, 58% of regional suburbs recorded lower mortgage repayments than rental rates under the discounted variable mortgage rate scenario for houses, rising to almost 64% for units.

Under the lower interest rate scenario associated with a fixed rate mortgage, that number rose to a huge 79.8% for houses and 87.4% for units in regional suburbs.

Across regional parts of Northern Territory, South Australia, Tasmania and Western Australia, over 80% of suburbs showed lower typical mortgage repayments than renting for houses under a discounted variable mortgage rate.

That number fell to 33.8% of regional Victorian suburbs and 44.4% of regional New South Wales suburbs.

See also: COVID-19 sparks mass exodus from city to regional property

“COVID travel restrictions have inspired many people to holiday in their own states and prompted a property boom in some regional areas – a trend expected to continue," Mr Symond said.

“As Australians continue to work from home, many can be expected to move away from metropolitan areas as they decide they no longer need to live close to their workplace. This current environment is good news for renters looking to become owner occupiers."

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