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Brisbane is being held up as an example of housing affordability, because 92 suburbs in the greater Brisbane area have a median below the average purchasing power ($392,000) of first-home buyers.
Domain Group chief data scientist Nicola Powell said the outlook for Brisbane first-home buyers was good.
“I would say it’s one of the best markets for first home buyers out of all the states and territories,” she said. “Brisbane first-home buyers] have the most choice.”
The comparison to Sydney was obvious: even though a Sydney first-home buyer had more purchasing power, there were only 18 suburbs with affordable medians and those suburbs were often 100 kilometres from the CBD.
But there was still far more choice for Brisbane buyers compared to Hobart buyers, another relatively affordable market.
“In Tasmania, first-home buyers are going to market with the least amount of money, $317,521,” Dr Powell said. “And there’s only 24 suburbs within Greater Hobart.”
There were 81 suburbs in the Greater Brisbane region with an affordable unit median.
Of the top 20 affordable suburbs in Brisbane, Brendale was the cheapest and closest to the city centre, with a median of $259,750 and distance of 20 kilometres from the CBD.
Agents selling in Brendale said the low median was due to a small and largely homogenous stock of housing in the suburb. Agent Michael said most houses were quite affordable.
“These days homes go for anywhere in the high $300,000s, first-home buyers tend to like them,” Mr Spillane said. “It’s right near the Eatons Hill tavern, which is definitely popular with young people.”
Because of low stock, homes in Brendale were often snapped up quickly and Mr Spillane predicted it would become more highly sought as development increased in the area.
“It will be more popular when the shopping complex is finished,” he said.
Director of First Home Buyers Australia Daniel Cohen said it was encouraging news for Queensland buyers.
“First-home buyers in Brisbane] are in a better position than most capital cities in Australia, in terms of whereabouts they want to live and what type of property they want live in,” he said. “And that has a lot to do with all the construction that’s going on.”
Mr Cohen said a commute of 20 kilometres could still cause some buyers to turn away.
“Location is still key to where they want to buy and they want it to be within a reasonable distance to where they work or study,” he said. “Twenty kilometres away would be further than Brisbane is typically used to.”
But he was concerned Brisbane’s position as one of Australia’s most affordable cities would allow politicians to get complacent and allow the city to slide into crisis like some of the lower capitals.
“The government needs to provide transport etc, so that 20 kilometres doesn’t feel that far. Infrastructure is key, but they should also keep building supply, keep supplementing development.”