Just over a third of homes in Australia can be bought for less than $600,000, leaving less affordable homes within reach of average earners.
The housing market has slowed after seven straight monthly rate hikes since May, but sharp price increases in 2020 and 2021 have not been fully reversed.
That meant a record low of 35.8 percent of properties listed for sale on realestate.com.au in October 2022 were available for less than $600,000.
At the start of the pandemic in March 2020, 52.5 percent of all new listings had an asking price below $600,000, when even fewer professionals were able to work from home.
Just over a third, or 35.8 per cent, of homes in Australia are available for less than $600,000, leaving less affordable homes within reach of average earners (pictured is a home in Taperoo in north Adelaide where $559,886 is the average house price).
The proportion of new home listings under $600,000 has more than halved in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and regional NSW since the Covid outbreak.
In Sydney, only 1.8 percent of homes were available for under $600,000, compared to 13 percent in Melbourne, 25.1 percent in Brisbane, 39.6 percent in Adelaide, 50.7 percent in Perth, 28.4 percent in Hobart and 46.8 percent at Darwin.
Data company PropTrack, which like realestate.com.au is owned by REA Group, said the proportion of regional homes listed for less than $600,000 has fallen from 71.2 percent to just 45.6 percent since the pandemic has sunk.
In comparison, the proportion of capital city homes available for under $600,000 fell from 42.5 percent to 30.6 percent.
Cameron Kusher, director of economic research at PropTrack, said further rate hikes would likely slow the housing market, but not enough to make them affordable.
“As prices continue to fall, there may be more properties coming onto the market at lower prices,” he said.
At the start of the pandemic in March 2020, 52.5 percent of all new listings had an asking price below $600,000, back when fewer professionals were able to work from home (pictured is a house in Rockingham, south of Perth, where the middle house) . Price is $475,937)
‘However, it seems unlikely that we will see a significant increase in the proportion of new listings below $600,000, underscoring the ongoing affordability challenges.’
Where the median home price is still under $600,000
TIN CAN BAY, QUEENSLAND: $583,225
PIALBA, QUEENSLAND: $542,784
PROMOTION, VICTORIA: $584,084
TAPEROO, SOUTH AUSTRALIA: $559,886
ROCKINGHAM, WESTERN AUSTRALIA: $475,937
CRAIGIE, WESTERN AUSTRALIA: $564,148
MILLNER, NORTHERN TERRITORY: $570,899
Source: CoreLogic median house price data for October 2022
The average full-time worker can buy a $600,000 home for $92,030.
With a 20 percent deposit, they would owe their bank $480,000 and have a debt-to-income ratio of 5.2.
That’s well below Australia’s mortgage stress regulator’s six-threshold.
Rising prices have left fewer choices for average earners looking to live on the beach, but there are still places within a short drive of a beach where the median home price is near or under $600,000.
Torbul, adjacent to Bribie Island north of Brisbane, has an average home price of $601,635, CoreLogic data showed.
There are more options near Fraser Island, a three-hour drive north of Brisbane, for those who can’t afford a home on the Sunshine Coast.
Tin Can Bay has a median home price of $583,225 while Pialba in the middle of Hervey Bay has a median home price of $542,784.
Beach life in NSW is expensive, but there are affordable places to be found in parts of the north mid-coast.
Nambucca Heads has an average home price of $653,616, but backyard homes are available in this town south of Coffs Harbor for less than $600,000.
PropTrack, which like realestate.com.au is owned by REA Group, revealed that the proportion of regional homes listed for less than $600,000 has fallen from 71.2 percent to just 45 percent since the pandemic. 6 percent shared (shown is a home in Tin Can Bay where $583,225 is the median home price)
In Victoria, the seaside town of Foster, a two-hour drive east of Melbourne, has an average house price of $584,084.
In North West Adelaide, Taperoo on the Water has an average home price of $559,886 and is only 25km from the city centre.
Rockingham south of Perth has an affordable median home price of $475,937.
In north Perth, Craigie, a suburb behind the beach, has an average house price of $564,148.
Darwin’s northern suburbs are still affordable as Millner, a short drive from Nightcliff Beach, has an average home price of $570,899.
Someone buying a $600,000 home with a $480,000 mortgage and a 20 percent deposit would now owe their bank $2,516 a month, below the Reserve Bank’s existing nine-year peak of 2.85 percent.
If rates rise another 0.25 percentage point to a new 10-year high of 3.1 percent, as economists expect, this borrower’s monthly repayments would rise another $73 to $2,589.
That’s based on a floating rate from the Commonwealth Bank rising from 4.79 percent to 5.04 percent.
Cameron Kusher, director of economic research at PropTrack, said further rate hikes would likely slow the housing market, but not enough to make them affordable (pictured is a home in Foster, Victoria, where the median home price is $584,084).
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