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City country or coast: What can you get for your money?

Still weighing up what kind of lifestyle you’d like to accompany your new home? Perhaps the cost could help sway your decision making.

City country or coast: What can you get for your money?

07 July 2020

Still weighing up what kind of lifestyle you’d like to accompany your new home? Perhaps the cost could help sway your decision making.


At the beginning stages of your property journey, you may not yet have narrowed down a suburb, set of suburbs, or even a general location type.

After all, it’s all dependent on what your budget can afford, which may differ drastically in city, coastal or country locales.

For example, you may decide that commuting to the city isn’t so bad if you can get the three-bedroom house with a backyard. Or you might see that your budget for inner-city properties affords a much higher quality of suburb in coastal areas outside of the city. All of a sudden that beachside lifestyle looks pretty appealing, right?

To help your decision-making, we’ve taken a look at data to find the suburbs with the most house listings of three bedrooms or more in each of these locations – city, country and coast – at five common price points for first home buyers.

The infographics below rank suburbs in each state according to the highest number of houses for sale in each price bracket.*

Read on to find out which suburbs in metro, regional and coastal areas are likely to have a high supply of homes in your price range.


City suburbs

City living is infamously pricey, especially if you’re looking for a larger home. Your best bet to cut the cost on a larger home is to look at areas with plenty of new housing developments.

When it comes to a three-bedroom home, you may have to look further out. For instance, in Sydney, you have plenty of options in the Hills District (Baulkham Hills, Castle Hill) around 40-minutes from the CBD. However, considering it’s Sydney, you’ll still find yourself in the $1 million-plus price range.

City country coast - two storey house

This four-bedroom Baulkham Hills home sold for $1.4 million. Picture:

Similarly, in Melbourne, your best prospects are in Tarneit or Clyde North. Both are roughly 50-minutes from the CBD and you’ll find a lot of homes with three beds or more for under $750k.

In South Australia, you can find an affordable home close to the CBD in Mount Barker where fresh developments are ripe for the picking across several price brackets.

City country coast - classic home

If you want a classic home, Yarralumla in the ACT may cost you the same as Sydney’s outer suburbs. Picture:

Having said that, if you’re looking for a home with loads of charm that is close to a CBD – try Yarralumla in the ACT. For a similar price to many Sydney suburbs, you could nab a veritable mansion only a 10 minute drive – or bike ride – from Canberra’s major amenities and attractions.


Country suburbs

Moving to the country typically permits more space, at the expense of proximity to the amenities freely available in a city.

Regardless of your price range, one area to consider is the New England region of NSW. Tamworth and Armidale have homes ranging from $1 million down to $500k or less.

With a population of more than 60,000, Tamworth also offers the benefits of being a larger regional hub, complete with great access to schools, hospitals, shops and great dining.

City country coast - Tamworth

If you need a lot of space on a budget, you could grab a four-bedroom home (plus rumpus room!) in Tamworth. This one is on the market for under $700k. Picture:

The regional city of Orange in Central West NSW is another happening hub with plenty on offer, including a lovely nearby wine region.

In regional Victoria, areas like Daylesford and Castlemaine prove that the country is still jam-packed with culture. Houses in ‘spa country’, aka Daylesford, tend to sit around $600k on average. But if you can afford something in a higher price bracket, you’ll snag yourself a stunning and spacious country cottage with loads of character.

City country coast - Castlemaine

Did somebody say ‘country charm’? This three-bedder in Castlemaine was on the market for $560k earlier in the year. Picture:


If you have cash to splash, picturesque Byron Bay has a large number of listings in the $1.5 million-plus range. If being within commuting distance to Sydney is important to you, you could grab a home in the southern Sydney suburb of Cronulla for the same price.

When it comes to the coast on a budget, Bowen in Queensland has the largest number of properties available for under $500k in the whole of Australia. While you’re not looking at a particularly cosmopolitan lifestyle, you could live in a four-bedroom property across the road from the beach for as little as $275k!

If you can afford something closer to the action in the tropical state of Queensland, consider the suburbs around the Gold Coast where a house will cost you upwards of $750k.

City country coast - Sandy Bay

Four beds, three baths and big windows to take in your water views? This Sandy Bay property sold for under a million in February. Picture:

For a similar price point, you could also nab yourself a home in Sandy Bay, Tasmania, only a 10-minute drive from Hobart CBD.

Originally published on ‘City, country or coast: What can you get for your money?’

*Rankings in data tables are based on the number of listings per suburb in each category: city, country and coast, as at January 2020. ‘City’ and ‘country’ are defined by ABS Census data; city suburbs are within greater capital city regions; country suburbs are outside greater capital city regions. Coastal suburbs are recognised as suburbs with one or more beach.


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