As the Federal Government’s scheme to assist first-home buyers gets under way, apartment markets around Australia are presenting affordable options in most cities, while houses in regional areas provide another attractive option.
Numerous surveys have indicated that young adults favour the apartment lifestyle, in contrast to their parents and grandparents who primarily started out on the property ladder with suburban houses.
Apartments not only fit the lifestyle aspirations of many buyers in their 20s or 30s, but offer lower price points in good locations.
The latest price data from CoreLogic, published on 2 January, show that five of the eight capital cities (Brisbane, Perth, Hobart, Adelaide and Darwin) have median apartment prices below $395,000, while in Canberra the median is $440,000.
Given that half of all sales are below the median price, it means that young buyers who favour the apartment lifestyle can find options in the $300,000s or lower.
The new government scheme allows first-timers to buy a home with 5% deposit without having to pay mortgage insurance. This means a buyer needs a deposit of only $15,000 to buy a $300,000 home. And most state and territories also offer stamp duty concessions to first-home buyers.
In Melbourne the median apartment price, according to CoreLogic, is $575,000 – which means a first-timer buying in the lower price ranges can access a first home with a deposit of $20,000 or $25,000.
In terms of houses, Adelaide, Perth and Darwin have median house prices in the $400,000s, while Brisbane and Hobart are in the low-to-mid $500,000s. All these cities have options for houses in the $300,000s and in some cases (such as northern Adelaide and south-western Brisbane) in the $200,000s.
Regional Australia also provides worthy options for first-time buyers. Regional centres in Victoria, for example, has been attracting first-home buyers out of Melbourne. The median house price for regional Victoria is $395,000, compared to $780,000 in Melbourne, according to the CoreLogic data. The median unit price for regional Victoria is around $285,000.
In regional NSW, median prices are $465,000 for houses and $395,000 for units, while in Queensland the medians are $380,000 for houses and $350,000 for units. There are, of course, different pricing levels in individual regional centres.