Are there any affordable homes left in Australia?
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Are there any affordable homes left in Australia?

Only one in four Australian houses sell for less than $500,000 today

By Bronwyn Allen
Fri, Nov 17, 2023 2:58pmGrey Clock 3 min

Twenty years ago, almost all houses and apartments sold in Australia were priced under $500,000. Ordinary families routinely bought houses on quarter-acre blocks and only the affluent elite were buying real estate above the million-dollar mark. At the time, we called them ‘millionaires’ and the term meant uber-wealth.

Over the next decade-and-a-half, the magnitude of change to home values was immense. After a period of very strong price growth over the 2000s and early 2010s, only 50 percent of the housing stock was selling below the half-million mark by 2015. And today, the proportion of homes selling below $500,000 has hit an all-time low at 24 percent of houses and 39 percent of apartments, according to a report by Ray White. Many families are adopting apartment living due to affordability constraints, and first home buyers in Sydney and Melbourne are routinely purchasing starter homes for $1 million or more.

Australia has not always been a rapid-growth property market. Price growth was extremely subdued between 1880 and the 1950s. Prices began moving up in the post-WW2 era due to accelerated population growth and the end of government property price controls in 1949, explains PropTrack economist Paul Ryan. Then came the credit boom after Australia’s finance industry was deregulated in the 1980s and 1990s. Ordinary citizens en masse were able to access funding to buy their own homes, and property prices have grown exponentially ever since, with one of the biggest spikes in values occurring in the late 1990s and early 2000s.

Sydney has been the powerhouse of Australia’s property price growth over the past two decades, with the median value of a house now exceeding $1.1 million. Nerida Conisbee, chief economist at Ray White, says that over the past 12 months, less than 10 percent of all Sydney properties sold for less than $500,000. “Affordability is better in regional Australia, however, finding a low priced home in regional NSW is getting particularly difficult,” Ms Conisbee said. “Well under a third of all properties are now priced under $500,000.”

Nerida Conisbee says regional areas represent greater affordability for buyers, but that is starting to change.

Over time, property prices in large regional towns with good road access to Sydney have boomed as people accepted a commuter lifestyle in exchange for the affordability that regional NSW offered. Today, those satellite cities are expensive themselves. For example, the median house price in Wollongong is $975,000, and on the Central Coast it is $890,000, according to CoreLogic data. A similar phenomenon has occurred in Victoria. The pandemic brought about the work-from-home era, which prompted many people to leave Australia’s two most expensive cities – Sydney and Melbourne – for more affordable markets, pushing up prices significantly in regional areas across the country.

Over the past five years, a change has occurred across the capital cities, with the two most affordable cities recording the strongest price growth. CoreLogic data shows Hobart house values have grown the most over the five years ending 31 July, with a 62.5 percent uplift to the median house price to $710,000, followed by Adelaide with a 46.7 percent increase to a median of $675,000.

Today’s rental crisis and the ongoing affordability challenges faced by young people have caused much political debate about how to boost Australia’s housing supply as quickly as possible. History shows that new supply is the key to keeping property prices affordable, and many experts argue that new high-density housing in areas with established infrastructure such as roads and services is the fastest way to provide more housing for the country’s rapidly growing population.

Ms Conisbee points out that high levels of apartment development in certain markets have kept prices more affordable. “Places where we have seen extremely high levels of apartment development have the most availability of low priced apartments,” Ms Conisbee said. “Gold Coast and Melbourne are expensive places to buy houses but there are a lot of low priced apartments in Melbourne CBD, Surfers Paradise and Southport.

“For houses, a strong development pipeline has kept outer Perth cheap with Baldivis and Armadale having the most houses being sold under $500,000 over the past 12 months. Canberra’s rapid building program has meant that the proportion of apartments sold under $500,000 drastically exceeds the number of houses sold under this price point.”



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11 ACRES ROAD, KELLYVILLE, NSW

This stylish family home combines a classic palette and finishes with a flexible floorplan

35 North Street Windsor

Just 55 minutes from Sydney, make this your creative getaway located in the majestic Hawkesbury region.

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A 600-Year-Old Medieval Villa Overlooking Florence Lists for €12 Million

The four-storey, lemon-hued villa boasts more than 16,000 square feet of living space and historic character and charm by the bucket load

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Wed, May 29, 2024 2 min

A 14th-century villa in the hills overlooking Florence, Italy, has hit the market for €12 million (US$13 million).

Surrounded by cypress trees, vineyards and olive groves, the quintessential Tuscan home was built for the Davanzati family—who were powerful bankers, merchants and patrons during the Italian Renaissance who have a museum named after them in the heart of the city. The villa was one of the family’s multiple country retreats, according to Lionard Luxury Real Estate, which brought the home to the market earlier this month.

Courtesy of Lionard

The four-storey, lemon-hued villa boasts more than 16,000 square feet of living space and historic character and charm by the bucket load.

The ballroom has a giant skylight.
Courtesy of Lionard

On the ground floor there are ​​a number of reception rooms and open-air living areas, with many of them boasting antique paintings, tapestries and stately fireplaces made of marble or carved stone.

The most “magnificent” room, according to Lionard, is the winter garden hall, a ballroom with stuccos, loggias and towering vaulted ceilings, illuminated by an Art Nouveau skylight.

Courtesy of Lionard

On the first floor are multiple double bedrooms and an antique library, and the second floor, while in need of renovation, offers the possibility of creating up to 12 en-suite bedrooms. The villa’s tower has a “delightful sitting room and a rooftop terrace offering a breathtaking view of the city of Florence,” the listing said.

The villa has ivy-covered loggias.
Courtesy of Lionard

The basement, meanwhile, has a cellar with brick vaults that are perfect for wine lovers. An elevator runs between the levels.

Outside, the grounds have well-kept gardens, rolling lawns, a fountain, ancient wells and ivy-covered loggias.

Mansion Global couldn’t determine who is selling the villa, or when they acquired it.

The property is “an oasis of peace,” the listing said, and “one of the most exclusive historical estates on the hills that surround the city of Florence.”

MOST POPULAR
11 ACRES ROAD, KELLYVILLE, NSW

This stylish family home combines a classic palette and finishes with a flexible floorplan

35 North Street Windsor

Just 55 minutes from Sydney, make this your creative getaway located in the majestic Hawkesbury region.

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