To the surprise of absolutely no one, finding a home within a 12km radius of Sydney’s CBD for under $700,000 is no easy feat—and that’s putting it mildly.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t reap the benefits of the federal government’s First Home Buyer Deposit Scheme by a snapping up a 1-bedroom unit within the price cap or venturing a little further out from the CBD.
Since the scheme launched on January 1, some 6,500 of the available 10,000 loans have already been granted. The scheme allows buyers to avoid paying lender’s mortgage insurance with a deposit between 5-20% of the asking price (capped at $700,000), with the government taking on the role of guarantor for the remainder of the deposit. In Sydney, about 30% of houses and roughly 48% of units go for under that figure, with more spacious options opening up once you cast your net a little wider west. You’ll also benefit from paying reduced or even no stamp duty, as part of the NSW First Home Buyer Assistance Scheme. If you’re looking to cash on in the government’s generous offer, here are the best places to look.
If you’re hoping to buy a 1-bedroom unit close to the city, Rosebery boasts a median asking price of around $650K for just that. Once deemed an undesirable industrial area, Rosebery has transformed significantly over the last five to ten years to become one of Sydney’s trendiest suburbs, with a thriving restaurant scene and rich urban culture. Neighbouring both Alexandria and Zetland, its proximity to both the city and airport is another reason why young professionals are flocking to the area. Rosebery is also the home to AusFinance HQ and we love it here. In the three years that we’ve called Rosebery home we’ve seen the area transform and it keeps getting better.
Whilst the median house price in Lakemba is $842K, you can snap up a modern and spacious 2-bedroom unit for less than half that price at $399,000. Located around 16 kilometres south west of the CBD, Lakemba boasts convenient train and bus facilities, a trendy and culturally diverse culinary scene, and a growing community-based atmosphere.
Clocking in at about 12km from the CBD, Rockdale is among the closest suburbs you’ll get to the city under the $700K price cap. Here, the median price for a 2-bedroom unit is $674,000. Conveniently located and boasting ample transport and retail options, you can also take stroll along the beach at Brighton Le Sands close by. Still, if you’re in the market for a family home, you’re going to have to venture further out.
The further south west you explore, the more the market really starts to open up. Just under an hour’s car or train ride from Central station, the Greater Western Sydney city of Campbelltown offers an abundance of housing options. Here, approximately 78% of houses sold for under the FHLDS $700,000 price cap last year, whilst 99% of units qualified. Home to Western Sydney Uni and the massive Macarthur Square shopping complex, you can pretty much take your pick of dwellings here.
Nestled between Chatswood and St Leonards, Lane Cove offers a quieter, more suburban lifestyle whilst still remaining in close proximity to the CBD. Here, the median price for a 1-bedroom unit is $670K, making it an appealing option under the scheme. Even better, most of the apartments in this price range have been recently refurbed so you don’t have to factor renovations into the budget. Liveability-wise, Lane Cove’s got just about everything going for it—retail, employment, transport, sports facilities and proximity to both the city and river—so you’re going to want to keep your eyes peeled for buying opportunities around these parts.
Six stops from Parramatta Station, the western neighbourhood of Blacktown is growing in popularity thanks to its access to good primary and secondary schools and spacious family homes. Here, 51.9% of homes sold for under $700,000 last year, though that percentage drops significantly to around 19% in the more prestigious area of Blacktown North. If you’d be happy to snap up a unit, over 99% are attainable under the scheme.
Neighbouring Lidcombe and Homebush, Auburn has plenty to offer—including its beautiful botanic gardens, proximity to both the CBD and Parramatta, and popular shopping village. But these pros also affect the availability of homes under $700K, with only 16% of properties sold last year below the FHLDS cap. On a positive note, that percentage greatly increases to upwards of 69% once you look at two-bedroom units under the same price.