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HomeNewsExperts pick the best suburbs for first-home buyers in each major city

Experts pick the best suburbs for first-home buyers in each major city

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With prices cooling and competition reducing, experts say there’s never been a better time for first-home buyers to act.

On top of those favourable market conditions, a slew of generous government support schemes will make it easier and cheaper for young Australians to get into their own home.

For those in a position to act now, property pundits around the country say these suburbs are worth exploring.

Jump to your capital city:

Best bets in Sydney

The majority of homebuyers in Quakers Hill in Sydney’s west are purchasing for the very first time, local agent Josh Tesolin from Ray White said.

It’s easy to understand the appeal.

Quakers Hill offers big blocks and family-friendly amenities for less than you’ll pay in the more popular parts of the Hills District.

The median house price in Quakers Hill is $1.05 million, up 19.6% in the past 12 months.

“It’s very affordable for Sydney,” Mr Tesolin said. 

“It’s got good schools, decent blocks of land, it’s close to major shopping centres and it’s got a train station. There are also a lot of things to do in the area for families such as parks and recreational activities.”

First-time buyers yearning for a home closer to the beach could find something for that same budget in the eastern suburbs.

The coastal enclave of Maroubra has a median unit price of $1 million.

This two-bedroom unit in Maroubra, just minutes from the beach, has a price guide of $900,000. Picture:

“Maroubra is one of the only ‘affordable’ beachside suburbs in the east where you can get great value for houses and larger apartments,” Leon Jacques, senior buyer’s agent at Cohen Handler, said.

“And the right pockets of Maroubra consistently grow very well.

“It offers a beachfront location close to the CBD, airport, hospitals and great shopping precincts, and with great parks and local walks.”

Where to look in Melbourne

Melbourne’s inner suburbs have become increasingly unaffordable for many first-home buyers in recent years.

But there are plenty of decent opportunities on the city’s periphery, according to Jeremy Tyrrell from Ray White in Melbourne.

Take Tarneit in the northwest corridor, which has a median house price of $645,000, one of the lowest in the city but up 10.3% in the past 12 months ago.

New homes at an affordable price can be found in Tarneit. Picture: Getty

Among its positives is a large number of new-build properties, offering a slice of the ‘Great Australian Dream’ for a reasonable price.

“If you want to buy a house, this is the best place to look that’s in close proximity to Melbourne,” Mr Tyrell said. 

“It’s been purpose-built, so there are schools, shopping centres, transport hubs, everything that people need. You’re also close to bayside walks at Altona.”

Those first-timers wedded to the idea of buying in the east can find the most affordable options in Pakenham, Mr Tyrrell said.

The suburb has a median house price of $650,000 and boasts good schools, major shopping centres, and easy access to Melbourne via the V/Line train and M1.

“Pakenham is the gateway to the Latrobe Valley, which is lovely, plus you have good access to that southeastern area of Melbourne, where you’d probably like to live,” Mr Tyrell added.

“If you want the size of the house and the land, you have to take that step out before you can come back in.”

Good bang for buck in Brisbane

For buyers in Brisbane seeking affordable homes, high capital growth potential, and decent proximity to the CBD, Lauren Moore of Moore Buyers Agency recommended Fitzgibbon and Forest Lake. 

Forest Lake, about 25km southwest of the CBD, was the Queensland capital’s first major master planned community. It has a median house price of $669,000, which is up 29.9% from a year ago. 

It provides quality shops, good amenities, and a range of schools, as well as plenty of outdoor space and nature trails surrounding a man-made recreational lake.

This three-bedder just went for $600,000. Picture:

Fitzgibbon is about 16km north of the CBD and offers a median house price of $686,000, up 24.7% in 12 months. 

One of the city’s smallest suburbs, it’s considered safe and has a good community feel, as well as solid transport links, plenty of parks, and a position that’s not too far from the coast.

“Both suburbs offer brick homes, which can mean lower maintenance with smaller cosmetic upgrades required, as opposed to costly structural renovations typical of older character homes,” Ms Moore said.  

Adelaide’s strongest options

There’s a lot of hype around Adelaide’s northern suburbs right now – and for good reason.

Homes here are relatively affordable compared to almost anywhere in the country, there’s plenty of infrastructure investment happening, and the population is growing.

All of that means buying a home there could be a great investment. 

“The likes of Salisbury, Elizabeth, and surrounds have seen substantial growth,” said Trinity McNamara, director of sales at Raine & Horne Adelaide City.

“Only three years ago, you could pick up a home for $150,000 to $200,000, but you can still buy properties here for $300,000 to $420,000.

“South Australia remains affordable, so it gives you plenty of opportunities.”

This three-bedroom house in Elizabeth sold for $350,000 a few months back. Picture:

In Salisbury, the median price for a house is $451,100, a 23.1% increase from 12 months ago, while in Elizabeth, the median house price is $346,500, up 19.5% increase. 

A few picks in Perth

For first-home buyers on a similar budget in Perth, Clarkson is a great pick, according to Trevor Dunkley, a buyer’s agent at Property Wizards.

It’s 33km north of the CBD, close to the beach and the marina, and benefits from the ripple effect of its sought-after neighbour, Mindarie. 

“It’s perfect for first-home buyers wanting something a little newer but still with potential,” Mr Dunkley said. 

“It has train and freeway access to Perth and has a well-regarded shopping centre.”

The median price for houses is $440,000, with the area enjoying 7.3% growth over the last 12 months. 

The coastal suburb of Rockingham has a lot going for it. Picture: Getty

For those willing to travel further, the coastal suburb of Rockingham, about 40km southwest of Perth, has a median house price of $450,000.

Well-established amenities, good road and rail links to the city, excellent shops, a popular café strip, and beautiful beaches are some of its prized features, Mr Dunkley added. 

The first step is just that

Buying a first home is a daunting and difficult process for many, but Mr Dunkley said it’s important to think long term.

“Given the unaffordability of the market, first-home buyers should be chasing growth with the house a secondary consideration,” he said. 

“This means getting into the best areas your budget can afford.”

A combination of generous grants, cooling prices and reduced competition make it a good time for first-home buyers to act. Picture: Getty

Even better, find a house that it’s in good condition that needs a little cosmetic work, he added.

“If you roll up your sleeves, it could give you a nice jump in price when it comes to upgrading.”

The age-old advice rings true in any market – do your research, go to open homes, and get to know your local agents.

“Keep a close eye on what properties are selling for so you can make informed decisions on pricing,” Ms Moore said.

And Mr Tyrrell’s advice for first-time buyers is to enlist the services of a mortgage broker to know exactly what you’re able to buy.

“A broker can look at some different options, so you may have access to more funds than you realise,” he said.

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