Revealed: Australia’s most affordable and unaffordable places to live

The Gold Coast, Sydney and the Sunshine Coast are Australia’s most unaffordable housing markets, while the Latrobe Valley and Mildura are the most affordable, according to a new survey.

The Gold Coast, Sydney and the Sunshine Coast are Australia’s most unaffordable housing markets, while the Latrobe Valley and Mildura are the most affordable, according to a new survey.

The research from the Residential Developer’s Council and RPData used data on median house prices, income levels and mortgages to determine what percentage of income that residents used to service their mortgage.

The most unaffordable market was the Gold Coast, with properties demanding an average repayment of 93% of income. Sydney followed closely behind, with average repayments worth 82%.

But the study also shows that regional areas are now becoming more affordable, with house and unit buyers requiring as little as 24% of income for mortgage repayments.

Victoria’s Latrobe Valley has taken the top spot as most affordable housing market, requiring an average 29% of income for repayments. Mildura and Dubbo took second and third places, with repayments requiring 35% and 38% respectively.

Residential Development Council executive director Caryn Kakas says while some regional areas were getting more affordable, national housing prices on average are still too high.

“Anything out of 30% is considered mortgage stress… now we’re looking at the most affordable areas sitting in the 30% to 40% range… that’s extremely surprising.”

Kakas claims that state governments have a responsibility to help housing affordability, saying the states need to ensure constant supplies of land for development.

“Just look at the unaffordable list – Queensland dominates.

“Queensland should have the fundamentals right – they have consistent employment and demand, but what they’re really struggling with is being able to get supply into the market place. That’s a significant issue,” Kakas says.

“Instead of recognising this and releasing more land, they’re pushing up more taxes and charges.

“But Victoria’s Government has sold themselves on an idea of being an affordable place to live. It’s really focused on planning reforms, putting a land supply report out every year, identifying land and you just haven’t seen that consistency in other states.”

Top 10 most unaffordable markets (houses)

Area State

% of income
used for
mortgage repayments

1

Gold Coast QLD

93

2

Sydney NSW

82

3

Sunshine Coast QLD

81

4

Perth WA

76

5

Ballina NSW

74

6

Brisbane QLD

71

7

Adelaide SA

67

8

Melbourne VIC

67

9

Mandurah WA

66

10

Mackay QLD

65

Top 10 most affordable markets (houses)

Area State

% of income
used for
mortgage repayments

1

Latrobe Valley VIC

29

2

Mildura VIC

35

3

Dubbo NSW

38

4

Ballarat VIC

38

5

Bendigo VIC

39

6

Tamworth NSW

40

7

Greater Taree NSW

40

8

Shepparton VIC

42

9

Wagga Wagga NSW

43

10

Albury-Wodonga NSW

43

 

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