The suburbs where you can afford to buy property on an average income

Australians on an average wage are seeing home ownership slip out of reach, as incomes and borrowing power fail to keep up with booming property prices.

Median house prices across all capital cities are too expensive for those borrowing on the average household income, modelling shows, with median unit prices in some cities also above their borrowing power.

Recent tax office figures found the average income is $62,549 across full-time and part-time workers. A single person earning the average income could be approved for a home loan with a budget up to $445,000, Canstar modelling shows.

A couple on two average incomes could spend up to $1,112,500 on a property. The maximum figure assumes they have a 20 per cent deposit saved, take out a 30-year loan at the average variable rate, and slash their living expenses – to $16,500 a year for singles and $20,580 for couples.

While such a budget will give buyers plenty of choice in some cities, it’s slim pickings in others.


Brisbane buyers get more bang for their buck, but still need to look to the city’s outskirts – to Ipswich City Council, Logan City Council and the Moreton Bay Region – if looking to buy a house for close to the $445,000 mark.

Springfield Lakes ($442,500), Rothwell ($433,000) and Logan Reserve ($432,500) are all within reach of a single-income earner looking to buy a house.

Those after a unit can look to the inner-city suburbs of Fortitude Valley ($433,000) and Woolloongabba ($420,500). Or, looking further afield, could snap up an apartment in Marcoola ($437,500) on the Sunshine Coast and Coombabah ($445,00) on the Gold Coast.

A couple after an apartment would have their pick of suburbs in south-east Queensland, including New Farm ($703,000), Main Beach ($800,000) and Noosa Heads ($1 million).

House-hunters would also have plenty of choices, with the inner Brisbane suburbs of Norman Park ($1.1 million) and Ashgrove ($1,090,000) within budget, as well as Noosaville ($1.1 million) on the Sunshine Coast. However, almost 30 suburbs would still be out of reach.


9 McIlwraith Avenue, Norman Park QLD 4170


In the nation’s capital, not one suburb recorded a median house price below $445,000, but for apartment-hunters, the inner suburbs of O’Connor ($430,000) and Lyneham ($430,000), could be within reach, as are suburbs like Belconnen ($415,000) and Franklin ($388,500) to the north-west and north of the city centre.

Double-income households can take their pick if they are happy to stick with an apartment, with Forrest ($736,000), Barton ($650,000) and Kingston ($590,000) among the suburbs they could afford.

House-hunters have to look a little further afield but can still afford to buy properties in suburbs like Curtin ($1.065 million) and Narrabundah ($1.055 million), both about a 15-minute drive from the city centre.


7/27 David Street, O’connor ACT 2602

Selling agent Symon Badenoch of Badenoch Real Estate Sales said buyers with a budget of $445,000 would typically be limited to a one-bedroom apartment in O’Connor and the surrounding suburbs.

“Twelve or 18 months ago you might have got a two-bedroom apartment, but now you would struggle to do so,” he said.

“We’re mostly seeing first-home buyers through. They’re generally looking for something to get in as close to the inner north as they can, for as cheap as they can,” he said of a one-bedroom O’Connor unit he currently has on the market.


An average income earner in Perth could borrow enough for a two or three-bedroom house in the inner suburb of West Perth ($435,000) or a two-bedroom apartment in the beachside suburb of Scarborough ($422,500). Houses in Kewdale ($439,500) and neighbouring Cloverdale ($425,00), about a 10-kilometre drive east of the city, are also in reach.


18 Bay Patch Street, East Fremantle WA 6158

Two income earners could afford to look for a house in the inner-western suburb of Subiaco ($1.04 million) and in the waterfront suburb of East Fremantle ($1.075 million) – about 17 kilometres south-west of the Perth CBD – and nearby Attadale ($1,082,500).

Suburbs across the city would be in reach for apartment buyers, with median prices in Fremantle ($475,200) and the riverside suburbs of Claremont ($699,000) and Victoria Park ($462,500) all well under budget.


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