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March 14, 2023 by ash

The NSW suburbs where first-home buyers can buy for less than $800,000

NSW Labor has announced first-home buyers would not pay a cent of stamp duty on properties up to $800,000 under their government, but where exactly would house hunters need to look to qualify?

State-wide, there are 307 suburbs or towns with a median price under $800,000, according to data from Domain. The opposition has also promised it would offer a reduced rate of stamp duty for first-home purchases up to $1 million – add in the suburbs or towns with a median up to that price, and it opens up another 210 possible areas to search.

Not surprisingly, most areas under $800,000 are outside of Greater Sydney, particularly for houses – the median price for a house in the harbour city is $1,464,371 – but there are pockets where buying within that range is very possible.

Buying a unit opens up many more opportunities in Sydney – the upper north shore, inner west, city, east and south regions all offer apartments priced well below $800,000 and include favourites like Marrickville (rated as Australia’s second-coolest suburb in 2022 by Time Out), Newtown and Strathfield.

The most affordable suburb is Croydon Park, in the inner west, while Hillsdale and Eastlakes, both in the eastern suburbs, have a median unit price below $700,000.

The median price for a unit in Matraville, just south of Maroubra and a 30-minute drive from the CBD, fell by 9.4 per cent last year and now sits at $770,000.

Sydney’s upper north shore also has a handful of suburbs where units have become more affordable over the past year, putting them well under the $800,000 threshold. Northmead’s median unit price is $517,000, while Eastwood’s is now $670,000, following a 21.2 per cent fall in prices last year.

Further afield, Sydney’s south-western suburbs also offer options for sub-$800,000 properties and although they’re all still for units, some are at a far more affordable price point.

Lakemba, Wiley Park and Punchbowl all have median unit prices under $425,000, while Roselands and Bankstown both sit comfortably around $500,000, after becoming more affordable over the past year.

Houses around $800,000 can be found in Sydney’s west, in suburbs like Werrington, Lethbridge Park and Whalan, but they’re all about 40 kilometres from the CBD.

Outside of Australia’s largest capital city, the median house price for the rest of NSW is $715,257 and the median cost of a unit $555,000, according to Domain data.

Opportunities to buy for less than $800,000 extend to houses as well as units, particularly in country NSW, but also in the Newcastle, Woollongong and Central Coast regions.

While much of the Central Coast experienced massive price gains over the past couple of years, suburbs like North Gosford, Wyong and Lake Haven still have house price medians below $760,000, while San Remo, Halekulani and Gorokan have house prices closer to $700,000.

For first-home buyers searching in the Newcastle region, there are a ton of suburbs to choose from under $800,000, and most of them are for houses.

Among the affordable unit locations are popular suburbs like Merewether, Wickham and Shoal Bay, although their median prices are at the upper end of the threshold. Seaside locations like Nelsons Bay have experienced 30 per cent price growth for units in the past 12 months and the median price there is now $630,000.

Some of the most affordable houses in the Newcastle region are in the Hunter Valley local government area – places like Kurri Kurri, Cessnock and Aberdare have seen massive price growth in the past 12 months but still come in either under or just over $600,000.

There are a number of Woollongong suburbs where house price medians sit under $800,000 but some of the most affordable include Sanctuary Point, located on the shores of St Georges Basin, and Bomaderry, on the northern side of the Shoalhaven river.