Australian dream

Live the Australian dream NOW: How you could own a home in a major city for FAR less than you’d think

PHOTO: While one bedroom and studio apartments are frowned upon by real estate experts, ultra small units in old art deco blocks are the only way the young can buy right near the city. Pictured is an early 20th century unit block at Darlinghurst in Sydney’s eastern suburbs

Home hunters in Sydney and Melbourne can still find quality bargains near the city for less than $600,000.

Record-low interest rates have fuelled a property price boom pushing median house prices in Sydney above $1.1million for the first time ever.

The surge in property prices is so dramatic the Reserve Bank of Australia is worried about low-income people, including the young, missing out following the end of JobKeeper wage subsidies.

‘If housing prices continue to rise as the end of stimulus payments slows household income growth, this will present renewed challenges for housing affordability for lower-income households,’ it said on Friday.

Australians can buy a house in a smaller capital city or a regional centre if they are prepared to be an investor landlord.

But for average-income earners wishing to live in the home they are paying off, apartments near the city still are available for less than $600,000 – well below Sydney’s median unit price of $755,360, going by CoreLogic data.

Millennials can buy a home in Sydney and Melbourne near the city for less than $600,000 if they are prepared to look for a quality bargain near the city. Pictured is a two-bedroom unit with one bathroom and a car space is available for $570,000 at Mascot in south Sydney

Millennials can buy a home in Sydney and Melbourne near the city for less than $600,000 if they are prepared to look for a quality bargain near the city. Pictured is a two-bedroom unit with one bathroom and a car space is available for $570,000 at Mascot in south Sydney

Key tips for buying an apartment

Choose a unit with at least two bedrooms with outer suburban one-bedroom and studio apartments unlikely to grow as much in value

Choose an apartment in a smaller unit block with just three storeys

High-rise apartments with more than ten storeys are considered riskier

Older-style blocks are better built with the NSW government changing planning laws in 1998 to allow private certifiers instead of council inspectors

Cracking problems in Mascot and Sydney Olympic Park connected with bad certification

Be mindful that apartment blocks with lifts, gyms and a pool will typically have higher strata fees of more than $1,000 every three months

These bargains are also for better-built older-style brick units, not apartments in recently-built high-rise towers with quality problems.

Select Residential Property head of research Jeremy Sheppard advised prospective unit buyers to choose something with at least two bedrooms in a block that preferably had just three storeys.

‘If investors were going to purchase a unit, they should probably target low rise, definitely not high rise,’ he told Daily Mail Australia.

‘A three-storey walk-up would be low-rise. Anything more than about 10 storeys, I’d call say high rise.’

A two-bedroom unit with one bathroom and a car space is available for $570,000 at Mascot.

READ MORE VIA THE DAILY MAIL

MOST POPULAR