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There are many suburbs and towns where it is cheaper to buy a house than rent.
While it may mean not living in a capital city, it can be the difference between owning and what seems like a lifetime of renting for many first home buyers.
Russell and Emily Janson and their son Oliver, 18 months, have made the leap and are paying less in mortgage repayments than they were in rent.
The couple have bought a three-bedroom home in Kingaroy for $160,000. They were renting a home in the area for $280 a week and their mortgage repayments on their new home are just $160 a week.
A tenant who was previously living in the home they have bought was actually paying $250 a week in rent.
Mrs Janson said they had moved to the area for a bit of a country change lifestyle to raise their son.
She said when it came time to buy, they looked at the options on offer in Brisbane and realised it would be much more affordable, and viable on one income, to buy in the South Burnett region.
With a median house price in the South Burnett – which Kingaroy is part of – at $225,000, that means for many mortgage payments could be cheaper than renting.
There were 432 houses sold in the region in the past year according to figures from CoreLogic – more than 200 of those homes sold for even less than $225,000.
Kingaroy has the highest median house price of $248,000 while Murgon has the lowest at $155,000.
The best performing suburb within the region was Wondai where the median house price rose 26 per cent in the past quarter to $230,000.
At the same time, the median house price in Brisbane sat at $669,000.
Acting South Burnett Mayor Kathy Duff said many people had not yet cottoned onto how affordable the region was for first home buyers. “For a three-bedroom house in the South Burnett it is about $210,000 compared to $557,500 in Brisbane, so it is a big difference,’’ she said. “Affordable housing is what we do offer and so we are trying to get that message out there and it certainly isn't out there as much as we would like.’’
Ms Duff believed many could wrongly think there were not job opportunities in such regional areas, but she said they had plenty to offer.
“We have industries that if you want to work you can get a job in the South Burnett,’’ she said.
“We have got agriculture, the wind farm is a new addition to our region which they are building currently, there are jobs available.
“I think it is mostly that people don’t know about what we have.
“We need to start thinking seriously about decentralisation and getting people out of the built-up areas and into the regions because we have plenty of space and we just haven’t got the people.
“The people are what we want, we are desperately wanting people.’’
Mrs Janson said they had been renting in Kingaroy since January 2017. Before that they lived in Brisbane.
“We just decided on a country change for work,’’ she said.
“We have a young child so we thought it would be a nice place to raise him in the country.
“We were comparing both (Brisbane and Kingaroy) and didn’t want to rent for much longer.
“We did the cost comparison and buying a house in Kingaroy actually worked out cheaper than renting long term for us.”
Mrs Janson said there seemed to be a wide range of properties on offer in the town at the moment and many were quite affordable for first home buyers and particularly younger families.
“We have managed to do it pretty much on one income,’’ she said.
“I think there is lots of work depending on obviously the industry you are in. There is definitely no shortage of teaching jobs, and health, I think, is the same.”
Mrs Janson said there appeared to be a lot of younger families now in Kingaroy.
She said buying at an affordable price meant they could reasonably aim to pay off their loan a lot sooner.
“We will pay it off pretty fast, we are quite happy with that,’’ she said.