Home prices may be on the rise — but Victorians can still own a property for less than $250 a week in parts of the state, thanks to record-low interest rates.
Kerang, Orbost, Horsham and Terang were among the towns with the state’s lowest mortgage repayment rates, all falling below the $250 mark.
Portland, Corio, Hastings and Dallas come in at less than $499, according to new data from Aussie Home Loans.
The research also found once tenants jumped the hurdle of saving a deposit, the cost of paying off a mortgage was far cheaper than covering rent in towns across Victoria and even some suburbs in Melbourne, where realestate.com.au data shows the median weekly rent for houses is $430.
Owning a home in regional Victoria remains significantly cheaper than in the city. But buyers reluctant to leave the big smoke can keep their weekly repayments below $500 in several suburbs including Brookfield ($497 on a variable loan) and Frankston North ($460 on a variable loan).
Homeowners in Melton, on Melbourne’s western fringe, are coughing up weekly fixed-rate repayments of just $401 for a median-priced house and $282 for a unit.
Hocking Stuart Melton agent Damien Spiteri said the area was full of “affordable” family homes for everyone from first-home buyers to those wanting to downsize.
“Because the homes are priced so well, … people come to Melton and know it’s cheaper and good value,” Mr Spiteri said.
“We have a lot of infrastructure now and a lot more to come.
“Your transport facilities are still good, … and it’s still less than a 40-minute drive from the city on a good run.”
Aussie Home Loans chief executive James Symond said tenants across Victoria should be asking themselves: “why pay your landlord when you could potentially pay the same amount, or less monthly, on a house or apartment you can call your own?”
“The cost gap between buying and renting has tightened across the country over the last year,” he said.
“Record lows in variable and fixed mortgage rates, and government incentives for first-home buyers, have made buying conditions generally more attractive.”
Daniel Irwin and wife Megan said the opportunity for low repayments and a sense of community brought them to Melton West 12 years ago, when they bought their 8 Hannah Close home.
The couple, who has three children under five, has since subdivided the land and built a second dwelling to move into and recently listed the original home for $399,000-$429,000.
They plan to save up and “get ahead” for a few years before building their dream home.
“It was a good starter and good house to raise the kids,” Mr Irwin said.
“We’ve got family and friends in the area, there are a lot of schools that are walking distance, and it’s close enough to the city — my wife works in Melbourne so she commutes via train, or it’s easy enough for her to drive.
“It’s definitely more affordable and that’s part of the reason we’ve stayed around here. And although there’s a lot of growth, it’s still a small town feel.”
In the December quarter, regional Victoria had an average residential median price about $350,000 less than the city, according to major real estate agency Ray White.
Ray White Rural Victoria agent Jason Hellyer said it was “no wonder” Victorians were seeking tree changes in droves.
“It’s simple maths — property in regional Victoria is terrific value when compared to Melbourne,” he said.
CHEAPEST AREAS IN VIC TO OWN A HOME
Weekly repayments of $250 or less on a variable rate
Red Cliffs, $222
Weekly repayments of $250-499 on a variable rate
Swan Hill, $284
Kangaroo Flat, $285
Golden Square, $294
Flora Hill, $306
Weekly repayments of $500-750 on a variable rate
Ballarat North, $500
Meadow Heights, $502
Black Hill, $504
Cape Woolamai, $509
Bell Post Hill, $513
West Melbourne, $504
West Footscray, $507
Brunswick West, $514
Box Hill, $518
Point Cook, $518
Source: Aussie Home Loans
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