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Can You Buy Under $750,000?

Can You Buy Under $750,000?


It’s really disheartening sometimes to see how bad the media coverage of real estate is in Australia.

The media’s standard treatment of the affordability issue is a prime example. Mainstream media delights in running the story line that first-home buyers are priced out of the market and that’s not even worth trying to find a home.

That story has run pretty much every day, somewhere in the national media, for not just years but for decades.

One particularly ridiculous treatment of this cliché came with a headline that asked whether it was “really possible” to find “a home in an Australian capital city for under $750,000” and a story that suggested that it was almost IMPOSSIBLE to achieve.

This article, like so many on the subject, was shallow, pointless and just plain wrong.

Here’s the reality. The median dwelling price in Perth, according to PropTrack, is currently $640,000 – which means half of all sales are for less than $640,000.

So, can you find a home for under $750,000 in Perth? Obviously, even in the hot Perth market, there are myriad possibilities.

In Adelaide, the median price is slightly over $700,000 – which, again, means half of all homes are selling for less than that figure. No problem finding a home under $750,000 in the South Australian capital.

Darwin? The median price is $480,000.

Hobart? The median there is $670,000.

Even in larger and more expensive cities like Melbourne and Brisbane, the medians are around $790,000 – so also lots of options below $750,000 there as well.

Nationally, according to PropTrack, the median dwelling price is $760,000 – and, to labour the point, that means half of all sales for prices lower than $760,000.

So why would a media outlet that wants to be taken seriously suggest it’s almost impossible to find.

Clearly, this article and its headline, like so many, are inaccurate and blatantly dishonest.

The objective here, of course, is NOT to help people. Media’s objective is NEVER to be helpful.

The goal is to alarm, to dismay, to startle.

Shame on the journalist who wrote it and on the media outlets that published it.

Another of the things media always does, in its efforts to perpetuate the fallacy about affordability, is to completely ignore ATTACHED dwellings as part of the solution.

For young Australians, and many other buyer cohorts as well, units and townhouses are valid options in the search for well-located homes at affordable prices.

Earlier in this commentary, I gave the median dwelling prices for most of the capital cities of Australia and showed that there were lots of options under $750,000.

The exception, of course, is Australia’s most expensive city, Sydney. 

But for buyers happy to consider units and townhouses as potential solutions, even Sydney provides lots of options.

According to PropTrack, the median unit price for Sydney is currently $790,000. Half of all sales have been below this figure, so clearly buyers can find options below that benchmark of $750,000 set by that shallow media publication.

The median unit price across the capital cities of Australia a little under $650,000.

In regional Australia, it’s $555,000.

Why does mainstream media never consider units when discussing housing affordability?

Because it doesn’t suit their preferred narrative, which is to tell people that there are no affordable options anywhere and they should be outraged.

As I said, media’s objective is NOT to be helpful. Their goal is to create clickbait and they’re willing to be dishonest and inaccurate in achieving that.


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