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Cheaper to buy than rent in more suburbs

By Rick Schafer
  • Queensland highest with 147 suburbs cheaper to buy
  • Adelaide has the most close to the city
  • Victoria has just 17 suburbs/towns

SOFTER property prices are proving a boom to renters wanting to own their own homes with it now cheaper to buy than lease in a record 388 suburbs across the country.

The RP Data Buy vs Rent report analyses the different between monthly mortgage payments and monthly rental payments based on the median value of houses and units.

The data shows that there has been a 63 per cent increase in the number of suburbs where it is now cheaper to pay a mortgage than pay a landlord – only 238 suburbs fit the criteria back in August.

The analysis provides further evidence of just how soft property prices have become – the RP Data Hedonic Index for October released on Friday showed that nationally, property prices sank -1.4 per cent in October after four months of growth.

But for renters wanting to take the plunge, it is great news. For those prepared to pay an extra $50 a month more than their current rents and take a variable home loan, the number of suburbs on offer jumps even further to 1419 suburbs. Unsurprisingly, across the capital cities, it is typically apartment style housing where it is more affordable to purchase than commit to the dead money or a rental due to lower property prices.

Queensland offers the majority of suburbs and towns with 147 locations where it is cheaper to buy than rent, although most are located in regional areas including Mackay, the Darling Downs, Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast. Brisbane accounts for 42 suburbs, most of which are located in Logan and Ipswich.

New South Wales has the second highest number of options with 88 suburbs across the state where a mortgage is cheaper than renting. Units in Enmore and Rushcutters Bay are among the surprises. Those wanting to buy a unit in Enmore with an interest only loan based on 5.9 per cent, would pay $691 less a month than the current median rent, according to the estimates by RP Data.

The national research director of RP Data, Tim Lawless said the combination of soft property prices and discounted mortgage rates had combined with high rents and low rental vacancies to cause many renters to make the switch.

“In some suburbs buying may actually be cheaper than renting, especially where we are seeing evidence of tight rental markets resulting in rental increases,” Mr Lawless said.

“For many renters, now may be a good time to either re-enter the market or buy their first home.”

Victoria supported just 17 suburbs where it is now cheaper to buy than rent, although only three of these were close to the Melbourne CBD. The rest were in country towns including Mildura, Bendigo and around the Wimmera.

In South Australia and Western Australia, there were 48 and 44 suburbs and towns respectively, while in Tasmania and the Northern Territory there were 30 and 11.

South Australia boasted a 31 suburbs out of the 48 that were located within Adelaide.

The analysis did not consider the potential for capital gains or other costs of ownership, such as stamp duty or strata title fees for units, but Mr Lawless said it offered a good starting point for renters wanting to take the leap.

The Buy vs Rent report can be downloaded free at

Source: The Courier Mail

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