Top 10 affordable Australian regional areas in 2021 revealed

author-avatar By on March 25, 2021
Top 10 affordable Australian regional areas in 2021 revealed

A new report has lifted the lid on where to buy regional property to get the best bang for buck.

After 2020 saw regional property prices more than triple the growth of some capital city counterparts, PRD Real Estate analysed regional areas in Queensland, Victoria, New South Wales, and Tasmania to find where the most affordable locations were. 

The areas PRD found not only had median price affordability, but also strong indicators for property investment, local employment growth, and a sustainable economic future. 

The tropical North Queensland Whitsunday Local Government Area (LGA) area was one of three Queensland locations on the list, as well the Port Stephens LGA in New South Wales, the Greater Geelong LGA in Victoria, and Circular Head LGA in Tasmania. 

Related: The best and worst performing regional housing markets in 2020

Top 10 Affordable Regional Areas 2021

Area

Median house price

Median unit price

Vacancy rate

House rental yield

Unit rental yield

Whitsunday LGA (QLD)

$375,000

$260,000

1.5%

5.7%

6.7%

Mackay LGA (QLD)

$380,000

$235,000

0.9%

5.6%

6.0%

Toowoomba LGA (QLD)

$380,000

$315,000

0.9%

5.0%

5.3%

Port Stephens LGA (NSW)

$619,750

$425,000

0.5%

3.9%

5.5%

Greater Hume Region (NSW)

$237,500

$270,000

1.0%

4.5%

5.6%

Federation LGA (NSW)

$293,500

$253,000

0.8%

4.9%

5.4%

Greater Bendigo City (VIC)

$415,000

$305,000

0.8%

4.5%

5.8%

Greater Geelong LGA (VIC)

$590,000

$460,000

0.9%

3.6%

4.1%

Warrnambool LGA (VIC)

$408,000

$317,000

0.4%

4.4%

5.8%

Circular Head LGA (TAS)

$255,000

$227,000

0.4%

4.7%

3.5%

Source: PRD Real Estate. Data as of December 2020. 

PRD chief economist Dr Diaswati Mardiasmo said as capital city house prices continued their upward trend this year, first-home buyers would flock to regional areas

"Housing affordability is now more than ever an issue, especially within metro capital cities," Dr Diaswati said.

"Regional areas have become the most attractive option in 2020 due to flexible remote working being introduced amidst COVID-19 lockdowns and restrictions.

"Many regional markets have seen buyers capitalising on lower median property prices." 

Dr Diaswati said regional areas weren't just popular for first-home buyers, with many locations offering great returns for investors. 

"Regional areas have also become an attractive investment option over city capitals, as vacancy rates have been at record low levels, while also offering a higher rental return," she said. 

"With metro capital cities becoming increasingly unaffordable, now is an opportune time to identify key regional growth areas for those looking to purchase in a more affordable market." 

ANZ has forecast capital city property prices will rise 17% this year, while Westpac and CommBank have forecast 10% and 8% rises respectively.

Housing affordability concerns rise 

Dr Diaswati said for first home buyers and investors still wanting to buy in capital cities, finding a suitable place at an affordable price could be incredibly difficult. 

"This is especially true as the state average loan only makes up approximately half of the median house price in Sydney and Melbourne, at 53.3% and 53.8% respectively," she said.

"Those in Hobart and Brisbane can enjoy greater affordability, with the state average loan making up 63.3% and 76.9% respectively of each capital city’s median house price." 

PRD found with house prices booming and incomes not increasing anywhere near the same rate, affordability was crumbling. 

"In the December quarter of 2020, all capital cities saw a surge in price growth annually, with the weighted average Australian median house price increasing by 6.0% to $825,205," Dr Diaswati said.

"The national median family weekly income did grow by 1.8% over the same period, but was not on-par with median house price growth, resulting in the home affordability index decreasing by -1.8%."

Related: Housing boom weighs on consumer confidence


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

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 made on variables as selected and input by the user. All products will list the LVR with the product and rate which are clearly published on the Product Provider’s web site. 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.


Photo by David Maunsell on Unsplash 

Disclaimers

The entire market was not considered in selecting the above products. Rather, a cut-down portion of the market has been considered which includes retail products from at least the big four banks, the top 10 customer-owned institutions and Australia’s larger non-banks:

  • The big four banks are: ANZ, CBA, NAB and Westpac
  • The top 10 customer-owned Institutions are the ten largest mutual banks, credit unions and building societies in Australia, ranked by assets under management in November 2020. They are (in descending order): Great Southern Bank, Newcastle Permanent, Heritage Bank, Peoples’ Choice Credit Union, Teachers Mutual Bank, Greater Bank, IMB Bank, Beyond Bank, Bank Australia and P&N Bank.
  • The larger non-bank lenders are those who (in 2020) has more than $9 billion in Australian funded loans and advances. These groups are: Resimac, Pepper, Liberty and Firstmac.
  • If you click on a product link and you are referred to a Product or Service Provider’s web page, it is highly likely that a commercial relationship exists between that Product or Service Provider and Savings.com.au

Some providers' products may not be available in all states. To be considered, the product and rate must be clearly published on the product provider's web site.

In the interests of full disclosure, Savings.com.au, Performance Drive and Loans.com.au are part of the Firstmac Group. To read about how Savings.com.au manages potential conflicts of interest, along with how we get paid, please click through onto the web site links.

*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.

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Alex joined Savings.com.au in 2019. He is passionate about providing Australians with the information and tools needed to make them financially stable for their futures.

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