Overrated first-timers should look to fringes

Posted on 7/04/2011  
FRANKSTON North is a leading property growth area of Melbourne. The three bayside Frankston suburbs had more than 1200 house sales last year and the long-term capital growth rate is 13 per cent a year. The typical house there sells for $280,000.

In Blacktown, one of the most promising growth areas in Sydney's west, 370 units were sold last year at a median price of $280,000 and 620 houses at a median $350,000. At Westmead near Parramatta, the most popular place in NSW for first-home buyers last year, 315 people bought units at an average $355,000.

At Whyalla, the largest regional centre in South Australia, you pay $230,000 to $270,000 for a typical house and about $150,000 for the average unit, despite capital growth rates averaging 13-14 per cent over the past 10 years.

In Ipswich, the No 1 hotspot in the Brisbane area, most suburbs still have median house prices in the $200,000 range. A little further west, in Queensland's largest inland city, Toowoomba - set to grow on the back of Surat Basin mining - a typical house costs $290,000 and a unit $220,000.

Up in the northern suburbs of Adelaide, the eight Elizabeth suburbs have median house prices ranging from $190,000 to $230,000, despite long-term growth rates in the 12-14 per cent band. Unit medians range from $140,000 to $175,000.

I'm telling you all this because of the increasingly hysterical rhetoric about affordability in Australia. We now have a website devoted to organising a market boycott by first-home buyers until prices jolly well behave themselves. The proponents of the website claim no one can afford to buy any more. Clearly, they haven't wasted too much time looking around.

They're headed for disappointment if they think their wacky scheme will have an impact.

From Terry Ryder's Hotspotting column published in the Prime Space section of The Australian.

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