In January, major cities in both New Zealand and Australia were listed as some of the world’s most unaffordable, with both Sydney and Auckland appearing in the world’s top 10 most unaffordable cities according to the 11th Annual Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey.
It’s not exactly great news if you’re looking to buy, invest, or live in these markets, however, despite Sydney being listed as the third least affordable city in the world, and Auckland as the ninth least affordable, there are still reasonably priced pockets in both property markets.
Where are the affordable properties in Sydney?
Blacktown in Sydney’s west remains an affordable and family-friendly suburb, with the area becoming a major commercial hub, close to schools, and transportation, and still only 35 minutes to the CBD.
Blacktown had an average list price $535,500 over the month of December 2014, but two bedroom homes in the area averaged even less, at just under $500,000. Two and three bedroom units offer even more affordability, with the average two bedroom apartment listed for $360,000.
Other Sydney fringe suburbs with comparatively affordable average prices include:
Rouse Hill – Average house price: $811,000
Campbelltown – Average house price: $423,750
Dee Why – *Average unit price: $591,000
*Whilst Dee Why house prices are relatively high, units still present an affordable option.
Many of these areas are considered growth areas, with Rouse Hill one of the new North-Western Rail Link subdivisions.
The satellite city of Campbelltown in South-West Sydney is only 50 kilometres from the Sydney central business district and is home to the Campbelltown campus of the University of Western Sydney.
Most of these areas are family-friendly, growth areas, but coastal suburbs like Dee Why present a unique opportunity to invest or buy a unit in a real lifestyle area.
Sydney properties have also proven to be a sound investment over 2014, increasing in value by 2.3%, one of the largest increases of any capital city in Australia.
Where are the affordable properties in Auckland?
According to news website, stuff.co.nz, some of the most affordable houses in Auckland are in the city’s southern suburbs.
According to the website, Core Logic’s Residential Price Index for December listed Central Manukau, Papakura and Franklin as the three Auckland suburbs with an average house price of less than $500,000.
Central Manukau is home to the Manukau Institute of Technology, and is easy to travel to with Manukau Station, a central transport hub for both buses and trains established in 2012.
As of December 2014, the average list price for South Auckland properties was:
Central Manukau – Average property price: $479,063
Papakura – Average property price: $463,342
Franklin – Average property price: $483,529
These areas are all ones to watch for potential growth, not just because of affordability, but because of their relatively close proximity to the Auckland CBD and amenities.
Papakura is home to several sporting facilities, including an international-quality athletics track. Franklin is known for its quiet, country lifestyle and is popular with tourists, with antique stores and fresh produce making it a real lifestyle destination.
As with any outer suburb, commuting costs need to be factored into a move, with the suburbs listed above around 20 to 30kms from the Auckland CBD.
The bottom line? When it comes to entering the seemingly unaffordable Sydney and Auckland housing markets in 2015, it pays to look at growing outer suburbs for your next property.