Cost of Living in Australia: Affordable Places to Live in Regional NSW

Cost of Living in Australia: Affordable Places to Live in Regional NSW

Moving to Australia? Looking for the cheapest places to live in NSW? 

New South Wales is the most populated and prosperous state in Australia. It’s both the biggest and the fastest growing, which makes it a desirable multi-cultural destination for those looking to settle in Australia. The robust local economy is predominantly driven by a few key service-based sectors. The job market is competitive but with a lot of potential opportunities. The largest employers are health, retail, professional services and the scientific and technical services.

With 64.5% of the NSW population living in Sydney, many who move to the state solely focus on the capital. Median house prices in Sydney have now hit an eye watering $1,001,357, which is a simply unfeasible figure for many who want to relocate down under.

With beautiful mountains, coastal areas and plains, you should really consider some regional parts of the state as a place to settle. With a greater population to service, the state’s public transport is some of the best in the country. This means that many regional areas have better public mobility which increases potential employment opportunities.

So where are the cheapest places to live in NSW?

Beresfield – Newcastle suburb on the rise

Newcastle is the sixth largest city in Australia and has attracted international acclaim for its rejuvenation. The award winning local government is investing heavily to bring people to the city. As the state’s second city, expect a more laid back lifestyle here compared to Sydney.

Located just over 20km north of the CBD, Beresfield is a family focused suburb with a great community vibe and some beautiful sports facilities. Whilst it isn’t the cheapest, this Hunter Valley suburb is fantastic value and properties do not spend long on the market. Median prices vary, but the average real estate price is currently hovering around $385,000.

Bombala – riverside town in the south-eastern countryside

Due to it being almost equidistant from Melbourne and Sydney, Bombala was once put forward as the parliamentary location for Australia, but lost the title to current capital Canberra. This cute country town sits on the Bombala River in the Monaro region. It’s colourful history is told in this ‘Bombala History In Photos’ Facebook group.

The town relies on agriculture, timber and tourism for employment. It is also home to the largest population of platypuses in the state, earning it the nickname ‘Platypus country’.

The median house price sits around $260,000, but many smaller, more modest properties go for a lot less than this.

Stuart’s Point – most affordable coastal location in NSW

Many emigrate to Australia for the beach lifestyle. In all states this will cost you, especially in New South Wales. Stuarts Point has recently been listed as the most affordable beach suburb on the NSW coast by real estate agents.

Stuart’s Point is a stunning little beach side town. The local waterways carve through the surrounding area’s stunning natural geography. The town sits between the lush forests of Yarriabini National Park, a number of beautiful beaches and the Macleay River. There are a host of local amenities and activities including mountain bike tours, cafes and shops. The median house price currently sits at around $363,750.

Coonabarabran – astrological capital of Australia

Known as the Astronomy Capital of Australia, stargazers gather in Coonabarabran all year round due to its clear air, low artificial light and high altitude. It’s close to the Siding Spring Observatory, which houses Australia’s biggest telescope. The town is home to a number of other outback wonders, such as the rare crystals exhibition and a fossil with the largest marsupial ever recorded!

The town is also close to ‘Warrumbungles’, a stunning mountain range which makes up part of the Great Dividing Range. This area has been given its unique look through millions of years of aggressive volcanic action, leading to some peculiar gravity-defying rock formations.

Coonabarabran’s high street is home to several friendly local establishments. This little town is typical of laid back Aussie culture. You can become a resident stargazer for an attractive median house price of $155,000. Be sure to visit and scope out the town before you go. Employment options can be limited to tourism or agricultural industries such as wheat, sheep and timber production.

Sydney housing market in the current economic climate

Coronavirus has been a catalyst for falling house prices in Australia’s largest cities, Sydney and Melbourne. Both home buyers and renters are seeing more power in their position due to current economic uncertainty slowing the market.

At this point, the real estate market is showing that regional areas and second cities are seeing a percentage increase in prices and rentals compared to inner city locations. Analysts predict this effect is likely to last for a total of 12 months before a potential recovery.

If you buy a house in regional NSW and this trend continues, your property may hold its value during the current recession and benefit from an increase during a boom time. Alternatively, buying a house in a desirable urban area when it’s at a low point also may see you make substantial gains if the market bounces back. As home buyers, it’s worth thinking about the risk you’re willing to take. Consider factors that affect your personal economic situation, like job security and financial stability, before you make a decision.

Deciding where to live in Australia

If you’re looking for somewhere with the best value and residential satisfaction in regional NSW, we’d also suggest Casuarina, Bilambil Heights, Caves Beach and Tura Beach. All four of these coastal locations feature in the top ten best rated NSW suburbs on property search engine Homely.

Be wary of remote destinations offering some of the cheapest places to live in NSW. Whilst houses in the outback locations can go for as little as $30,000 in NSW, these isolated mining towns can have almost no amenities and be incredibly inaccessible. It’s a huge country and location is important for a decent quality of life. In Aussie real estate, the cheapest deal does not equate to the best value.

If you are interested in living in Sydney, then check out our blog looking at affordable suburbs in and around the city. We also have articles on the cost of living in Brisbane, Melbourne and Darwin.

If you haven’t decided where to move yet, check out our previous article for a general overview of the costs of living in Australia.

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