Research from PRD Real Estate found Padstow Heights (Sydney), Bundoora (Melbourne), Boondall (Brisbane), and Kingston (Hobart), were some of the best suburbs for houses in terms of affordability and liveability. 

Bundoora and Kingston also featured in the best suburbs for units, as did Sans Souci (Sydney), and Griffin (Brisbane). 

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. 

Lender

Variable
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4.6 Star Customer RatingsIncludes Nov RBA Rate Increase
  • Low rates for purchase and refinancing
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  • No fees, unlimited redraws, 0.10% offset
4.6 Star Customer RatingsIncludes Nov RBA Rate Increase

loans.com.au – Variable Home Loan (LVR < 90%)

  • Low rates for purchase and refinancing
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  • No fees, unlimited redraws, 0.10% offset
Variable
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Refinance OnlyApply 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.
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Unloan – Variable Rate Home Loan – Refinance Only

  • 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.
Variable
More details
  • Up is 100% owned by Bendigo Bank.
  • Up to 50 offset accounts
  • New joiners get $10 by signing up to the app using code UPHOMESAVINGS. (T&Cs apply)

Up – Up Home Variable (Principal & Interest) (LVR ≤ 90)

  • Up is 100% owned by Bendigo Bank.
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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 November 29, 2023. View disclaimer.

Affordability was judged by suburbs having a median price below a set threshold, while liveability was judged by having low crime rates, access to amenities, and an unemployment rate on-par or below the state average. 

Other factors like sales transactions, rental yield, and total estimated value of future project development were also taken into account. 

PRD chief economist, Dr Diaswati Mardiasmo said some trends seen in the first half of 2020 had continued into the latter half of the year, despite the tumultuous period. 

"It is evident that in general, Sydney and Melbourne have the highest entry prices, yet the lowest rental yields, Dr Mardiasmo said.

"This is a similar pattern to the 1st Half 2020 report, despite COVID-19 restrictions and further lockdowns in both capital cities.

"Hobart median prices are now on-par with Brisbane, which suggests affordability in Hobart has declined." 

Dr Mardiasmo said Brisbane took the gong for most affordable and liveable city. 

"Comparing all affordable and liveable suburbs within all capital cities, Brisbane arguably provides home buyers and investors with the most “bang for buck”.

"This is particularly true in the unit market, due to having the lowest median prices and highest rental yields."

Affordable and liveable suburbs 

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Source: PRD Real Estate

Sydney and Melbourne most affordable for liveability 

PRD analysed affordability versus liveability in each capital city by finding the percentage difference between the state average home loan and the median unit and house prices in metro areas and the aforementioned affordable and liveable suburbs. 

The cost of liveability was found to be the highest in Hobart, recording the only positive premium difference. 

Dr Diaswati said Sydney was the most affordable city for liveability, closely followed by Melbourne, with both recording large negative premium price differences. 

"This finding may surprise many, as Brisbane and Hobart were originally thought of as the more affordable capital cities," she said.

"While this may be true from a median property price perspective, many affordable suburbs in both capital cities fail to satisfy other criteria such as liveability, investment return, and future project development plans." 

Sydney and Brisbane a first-home buyers haven

PRD's analysis of access to the market found the Sydney Metro and Brisbane areas to be a haven for first-home buyers. 

"The bulk of both house and unit sales in Sydney and Brisbane were in the lower-middle price brackets, although there was a significant difference in actual median property prices," Dr Diaswati said. 

However, Sydney was the most expensive capital city for both houses and units, with its middle price brackets substantially higher priced.

"For example, a middle-priced house in Brisbane sits within $700,000 to $900,000, whereas in Sydney it is $1.5m-$2.0m – essentially double the price." 

Melbourne was found to be a "split" capital, with equal activity in lower and premium price brackets. 

PRD put this down to COVID restrictions, with highly impacted suburbs experiencing greater affordability, providing a great opportunity to first-home buyers. 

Hobart was found to be the least first-home buyer friendly capital city market, particularly for houses, with the bulk of house sales in the premium price bracket. 

"The Hobart unit market is friendlier to first home buyers, as there is a “split” unit market; both lower-middle price and premium price brackets show equally high sales activity," Dr Mardiasmo said.

See also: First Home Loan Deposit Scheme supporting 1/8th of all first home buyers

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