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How far can $700k stretch across Australia’s capital cities?

By Bianca Dabu 20 August 2021 | 1 minute read

It’s long been a feature of Australian real estate that a capital city’s location will have some influence on how much bang property owners can get for their buck.

Sydney

In their recent Month in Review report for July 2021, Herron Todd White reviewed the performance of each capital city throughout the COVID period, highlighting just how far a $700,000 spend can go.

The latest report examined buying opportunities across capital cities based on recent sales, and used a base price of $700,000 to provide like-for-like comparisons of buying power.

This figure sits just below the median price across the combined capital cities, which is currently $740,475.

So, how far can $700,000 take you in each capital city?

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Sydney

Median price: $1,017,692

As the most expensive capital city market today, Sydney doesn’t offer many options for buyers with a $700,000 budget. Regardless, this amount could still get them:

Herron Todd White director Shaun Thomas said that the sub-$700,000 market, being an affordable entry point, should continue to perform moving forward, but as it is “generally hotly contested”, he warned that it could also be more sensitive to interest rate movements.

Melbourne

Median price: $762,068

A $700,000 budget won’t get anyone a house in Melbourne City, but Herron Todd White director Perron King said it’s definitely possible to get luxurious two-bedroom apartments in one of the many “trending” inner city suburbs. Among the current options for buyers are:

Looking ahead, Mr King expects buyer demand to be centred around larger land parcels further from the CBD as changes in lifestyle and working arrangements shift buyer sentiment.

Brisbane

Median price: $598,615

With Brisbane experiencing a “ripple effect capital growth” over the past months — where value gains seen in the CBD typically radiate outward — affordable properties within the $700,000 range have shifted further to the outer reaches, Herron Todd White director David Notley said.

The upcoming Olympic Games are set to make the Brisbane market even hotter in the years to come, but if you have $700,000 lying around, here are the properties in the price range for right now:

For those eager to take advantage of these opportunities, Mr Notley advised “sticking with the fundamentals” — that is, buying properties near infrastructure as near to the CBD as possible in order to minimise risk.

Adelaide

Median price: $516,454

Adelaide currently stands as the second most affordable capital city property market, and as such, a $700,000 budget could mean one or more properties in varying condition depending on location, according to property valuer Nick Smerdon. Among the options available are:

Mr Smerdon advised buyers to focus on the bottom end of the inner ring and the top end of the middle ring, as they historically have had increased levels of demand and have the greatest prospect for price growth in the medium to short term.

PerthPerth, TAS Perth, WA

Median price: $532,393

What can $700,000 get you in the sixth most liveable city in the world and the third most affordable capital city? A house and a $200,000 change in your pocket, according to Herron Todd White director Chris Hinchliffe.

From inner city apartments to regional lifestyle, here are some of the options for house hunters in Perth:

Despite a strong demand for housing across Western Australia, there are indeed still bargains to be had, according to Mr Hinchliffe. He has advised buyers to work with professionals with local knowledge in order to ensure true value for their money.

Darwin

Median price: $486,054

Officially the most affordable capital city property market, Darwin offers sound opportunity for both home buyers and investors — backed by few vacancies and a stable history of strong returns, according to valuer Peter Nichols.

Alice Springs, in particular, was touted as the best area to invest in, with several options within the $700,000 price range, including:

  • Two- to three-bedroom properties surrounding the golf course in Desert Springs, Mount Johns, Braitling, Araluen and Larapinta
  • Units and duplexes across Alice Springs

Although offering a secure income stream, Darwin only has little prospect for capital growth in the short to medium term and is therefore unadvisable for investors chasing strong capital growth, Mr Nichols did concede.

Canberra

Median price: $793,872

Canberra has defied expectations over the past year, rising to the top of the pyramid and inching closer to Sydney in terms of median price. But as hot as the property market is, $700,000 can still get you:

Valuer Marc Allegretto said buying at the peak of the market can be riskier than buying in a stable market, but buyers can still maximise opportunities by following good due diligence and conducting thorough market research.

Hobart

Median price: $621,102

About a year ago, a $700,000 budget could buy two dwellings or attached units with solid returns in Hobart and outer lying areas. Today, it can be a little more challenging, according to property valuer Mark Davies. Among the limited options for buyers with this budget are:

Although the sub-$700 market is expected to perform well into the near future due to affordability and demand exceeding supply, a purchase within this price range may get even harder to achieve moving forward, Mr Davies said.

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Capital refers to the financial resources that are available to be used for income generation.

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How far can $700k stretch across Australia’s capital cities?
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