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Investors’ paradise

Saturday, 12th April, 2014

By Nick Gibbs

Housing in Broken Hill is among the most affordable in the country, according to one of Australia’s leading property information providers.

With a median house value of $149,811, the city was number one in RP Data’s list of the top 10 most affordable country centres.

The findings are based on data from January 2014 and restricted to regions with total property sales exceeding 100 in the last 12 months.

Earlier this week, the RDA Economic Update reported a rise in the value of houses sold in the city during the start of 2014, with the mean price rising by $751.58 compared to the March 2013 quarter.

Ray White real estate agent Clifford Wren was not surprised by the findings and said affordable housing and low rental vacancies were proving popular with investors.

“House prices have stabilised. They’re not going up and they’re not going to drop any further,” he said.

“We’ve sold a lot of property to out of town investors.”

The median value is the result of lower-priced housing balanced with property at the higher end of the scale.  

Stock selling for around $50,000 or $60,000 has been counter-balanced by sales of between $300,000 and $400,000, Mr Wren explained.

According to data from the 2011 Census, 74.6 per cent of homes in Broken Hill are owner-occupied, however he said that figure had fallen in recent years.

A rental vacancy rate of around three per cent is also helping to allay investors’ concerns about finding tenants.    

“It’s near on guaranteed,”  Mr Wren said.

Assuming a 10 per cent deposit is paid on a property bought for $149,811 with an interest rate of seven per cent over a 25-year term, buyers can expect mortgage repayments of around $222 per week, according to the Australian Securities and Investment Commission calculator.

Last month Pam and Phil Sky at St Vincent de Paul in Broken Hill told the BDT that based on information from their clientele, rent prices had risen from between $80 and $120 per week three or four years ago to $180 to $300.

With rent prices showing parity or exceeding the cost of mortgage repayments, the attractiveness to investors appears well warranted.

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