The top Australian suburbs on the east coast where buyers are paying for property in cash
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The top Australian suburbs on the east coast where buyers are paying for property in cash

Cash buyers are changing the residential property buying landscape as three in 10 homes sell without a mortgage in 2023

By Bronwyn Allen
Thu, Mar 14, 2024 9:42amGrey Clock 2 min

Almost three in 10 homes purchased on the East Coast last year were bought with cash, contributing to the historically unusual situation of growing home values alongside rising interest rates. The demographics of cash buyers include high income earners buying in blue-ribbon city suburbs, downsizers in all locations, retirees purchasing in seachange and treechange areas and local and overseas investors buying inner city apartments.

Digital property exchange platform PEXA has released its 2023 Cash Purchases Report covering residential property settlements across New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland. The proportion of cash-funded purchases increased by 1.5 percent in 2023 and totalled$129.6 billion. In 2022, cash sales totalled $127.7 billion. Cash buys accounted for 28.5percent of all residential settlements last year, up from 25.6 percent in 2022.

NSW recorded the highest total value of cash purchases at $54.9 billion and 27.7 percent of purchases. QLD cash purchases totalled $39.4 billion and 29.6 percent of purchases, and Victoria cash buys were worth $35.3 billion and represented 25.2 percent.

PEXA’s chief economist Julie Toth said: “Cash-buyers are changing the dynamics of the residential property market and exerting a greater influence on overall property demand. The relatively large size of this group helps to explain the property market’s resilience in 2023, despite rapid rises in interest rates.

“Our research found the demographic profile of cash buyers is different to mortgage buyers – cash buyers tend to be older and more likely to be retired. They tend to have lower household incomes, but they also have fewer dependents and are more likely to be ‘asset-rich’, with accumulated property, savings and superannuation to fund their next purchase. If they have interest-earning savings, then they may even have benefited from rising interest rates,” she said.

The report found regional buyers form the largest cohort of the growing cash-buyer market, followed by inner city buyers. “Regional cash property purchases are likely being driven by retirees and downsizers looking for a ‘tree change’ or ‘sea change’ which has become a popular trend in recent years,” Ms Toth said.

The largest proportion of cash purchases across the East Coast was in regional Queensland, with 33,055 homes bought without a loan. Renowned retirement destinations such as Surfers Paradise, Broadbeach, Hope Island and Port Douglas were among the most popular locations with cash buyers.

In contrast, the inner-urban cash buyers are likely a combination of affluent owner-occupiers who are relocating, plus domestic and international investors buying rental properties, Ms Toth said. Melbourne and Sydney are among the postcodes with the highest total value of cash buys, likely reflecting a large proportion of local and overseas investors buying apartments.

Top 10 postcodes by value of cash buys

QLD 4217 Surfers Paradise $1.43 billion

NSW 3000 Melbourne $1.32 billion

QLD 4218 Broadbeach $1.2 billion

NSW 2765 Marsden Park $971.9 million

NSW 2088 Mosman $944.2 million

NSW 2065 St Leonards $789.3 million

QLD 4551 Caloundra $737.5 million

QLD 4212 Hope Island $710.9 million

NSW 2000 Sydney $709.2 million

NSW 2027 Darling Point $703.3 million

Top 10 postcodes by proportion of cash buys

QLD 4421 Tara 86% (median price $82,500)

QLD 4184 Russell Island 76% (median price $85,000)

QLD 4671 Gin Gin 72.3% (median price $275,000)

QLD 4819 Magnetic Island 68.2% (median price $365,001)

QLD 4877 Port Douglas 66.4% (median price $445,000)

QLD 4615 Nanango 65.0% (median price $292,500)

NSW 2422 Gloucester 63.9% (median price $530,000)

QLD 4852 Mission Beach 60.9% (median price $307,500)

QLD 4850 Ingham 60.7% (median price $188,500)

QLD 4660 Childers 59.6% (median price $385,000)



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Australia’s top 10 most affordable regional property markets investors should watch

Whether you prefer the country or the coast, there are plenty of east coast options for cashed up buyers

By Bronwyn Allen
Fri, Apr 19, 2024 3 min

There are 10 local council areas scattered along the East Coast of Australia that offer both affordability and solid fundamentals for sustainable future growth, according to the research team at residential property network, PRD. The areas have been selected based on five criterion. They are affordability – defined as a median house price below $600,000, rising house values, strong rental yields to encourage investment, a strong pipeline of residential, commercial and infrastructure projects to facilitate local economic development, and low unemployment.

Here are Australia’s 10 most affordable regional property markets with great future potential.

Mackay, QLD

Mackay is a tropical coastal area located in north Queensland. It’s known for its closeconnection to the Great Barrier Reef. The median house price is $462,750, up 8.9 percent in 2023. Mackay attracts a lot of interstate migrants and is home to more than 120,000 people. It has a healthy economy with an unemployment rate of 3.7 percent and $1.7 billion worth of projects due to commence this year.

Toowoomba, QLD

The Toowoomba median house price was up 10.9 percent in 2023.

Toowoomba is located west of Brisbane and is known for its Victorian buildings, street artand surrounding national parks. The median house price is $560,000, up 10.9 percent in 2023. The city has a population of more than 180,000. The unemployment rate is 4 percentand there is $6.1 billion in projects commencing in 2024.

Townsville, QLD

Townsville is a coastal city in north-eastern Queensland. The median house price is $420,000, up 5 percent in 2023. It is home to more than 200,000 people. Unemployment is very low at 2.5 percent and there is $3.2 billion of projects commencing this year.

Dubbo, NSW

Dubbo is located west of Newcastle in the Orana Region and is home to the Western Plains Zoo. The median house price is $530,000, up 11.6 percent in 2023. The population has exploded in recent years to more than 56,000 people. The unemployment rate is just 2.2percent and the economy is thriving. There is a pipeline of $4.7 billion in projects commencing this year.

Tamworth, NSW

Located in north-east NSW, Tamworth is known for its popular annual Country Music Festival. It’s also the largest retail centre for the New England and Northwest Slopes regions. The median house price is $490,000, up 14 percent in 2023. With a population of more than 65,000 people, the economy is strong with unemployment of just 2 percent and $112.4million worth of projects commencing this year.

Griffith, NSW

Located west of Sydney and northwest of Canberra, Griffith is known for its prime produce production and wine cultivation. The median house price is $531,000, up 2.1 percent in 2023. Griffith’s population is about 27,000 people. The city boasts high economic resilience with a 2 percent unemployment rate and $258.7 million in projects in the pipeline.

Ballarat, VIC

Ballarat, Victoria

Ballarat is a 1.5hour drive west of Melbourne. It’s popular with city commuters who move here for housing affordability and a relaxed lifestyle with easy access to the city via train. The median house price is $570,000, down 4.2 percent in 2023 but up 92.9 percent over the past decade. The city has the third highest population in Victoria at about 118,000. Ballarat has an unemployment rate of 3 percent and a total projects pipeline worth $2.3 billion for 2024.

Shepparton, VIC

Shepparton is a rural area about two hours north of Melbourne. It is popularly referred to as the food bowl of Australia. The median house price is $475,000, up 4.4 percent in 2023. The population is about 70,000. The unemployment rate is just 2 percent and there is $1.8 billion in projects for 2024.

Wodonga, VIC

Wodonga is located on the border of NSW on the southern side of the Murray River. It is approximately 320km from Melbourne and 345km from Canberra. The median house price is $567,250, up 4.7 percent in 2023. With a population of about 44,000, the city’s jobless rate is 3 percent and there is $388.2 million in development set to commence in 2024, primarily new infrastructure.

Burnie, TAS

Burnie is a bustling port city located in Emu Bay in Tasmania’s north-west. Overlooking beaches and parklands, the area is known for its rich agriculture and mining projects. The median house price is $435,000, up 3.6 percent. Despite a rising population, the unemployment rate is falling and is currently 5.6 percent. In 2024, Burnie’s project pipeline is valued at approximately $1.6 billion. A significant portion is commercial development, primarily renewable energy projects.

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