According to the Domain House Price Report (March 2019), Melbourne's median house price is currently $809,468, which is down significantly from the same period the year previous when the median was $914,518. While the property downturn may provide relief for some buyers, prices are still unattainable for many.
However, there is good news for first home buyers and investors wanting to get a foot firmly set on the property ladder. Pockets still exist in Melbourne that provide affordable and desirable options, and some of them have just gotten cheaper!
If you're looking to buy your first home or find the perfect investment opportunity, properties in the outer suburbs of Melbourne can tick the boxes with larger blocks of land and bigger homes. There is strong demand from first home buyers and properties are being snaffled up quickly thanks to more accessible prices than in the inner suburbs. A few more stops down the train line, you can get a home for under $600,000.
Let's take a look at the cheapest suburbs to buy in Melbourne.
Eastern Melbourne suburbs: cheap areas to buy in Melbourne
In the east, you'll find the most family friendly suburbs in Melbourne with leafy aspects, Victorian period architecture, and access to top-tier schools, facilities and shopping precincts. But, pop the brakes on… All this comes with a price tag that begs a gasp!
Just 30-40 kilometres east of the city, you may find the solution. Surrounding the picturesque foothills of the Dandenong Ranges, are some of Melbourne's most liveable suburbs, and the only compromise you have to make is on the commute!
Once a destination for weekend getaways, the outer eastern suburbs have been reimagined as an ideal lifestyle for mature singles and the place to be for young families raising children. Immersed in nature, but remaining in close proximity to the bright lights of the city, these suburbs provide the answer to those seeking a solid investment or place to call home.
"Once a destination for weekend getaways, the outer eastern suburbs have been reimagined as an idea lifestyle for mature singles and the place to be for young families raising children."
Interestingly, the sliding housing market has seemed to affect those suburbs closer to the city first, with properties further out still experiencing minor growth. This is exciting news for buyers as they can now get a house cheaper - or on par - in areas like Lilydale or Mooroolbark than in areas further afield like Kallista.
Well-connected with the Lilydale line, Lilydale, Croydon and Mooroolbark are roughly one hour from the city. For an indication of property prices in these suburbs, the median house price in Lilydale is currently $675,000, while units are $490,000. In Croydon the median for a house is $750,000 and a unit is $552,000.
Boronia, Ferntree Gully, Belgrave, Upwey, and Tecoma are connected by the Belgrave Line. The median house price in Belgrave is $663,008. A little closer in, Boronia is $698,250 for a house, with units at $561,250.
There is still good value to be found in Dandenong with a median house price of $551,000, while units are $321,000. And if you really want to get back to nature, 63 kilometres from Melbourne City is Millgrove, where the median house price is just $419,830.
Western suburbs: cheapest houses in Melbourne
Rapidly developing, this has become the nation's fastest growing region. With increased employment opportunities, fewer people are commuting to the city, and although infrastructure and services are struggling to keep up, this is set to change with multiple planned improvements.
It may not be as verdant as the east, but the City of Melton is proving a popular choice, dominating the list of cheap suburbs in Melbourne. Close to the airport and 45 minutes from the centre, a collection of growing suburbs in the area are providing buyers with affordable Melbourne homes.
Melton is the cheapest suburb in Melbourne with a median house price of $389,190 and tops the list as the most affordable suburb in Melbourne - with a median value less than $400,000, followed by Melton South ($404,812), Cobblebank ($434,888) and Kurunjang ($436,026).
Large blocks and new, modern houses make Rockbank ($500,000), Diggers Rest ($500,000), Caroline Springs ($610,000) and Plumpton ($662,0000) attractive to first home buyers and families. The area is spoilt for choice with sport clubs and facilities, and public transport is decent with a train line and bus connections servicing the area.
Closer to the city, cheaper options include Truganina ($573,000), Tarneit ($565,000) and Laverton ($545,000). Laverton is just 17 kilometres from the centre and a thirty minute journey by train. Similarly, Tarneit is emerging as a popular choice with buyers due to its extensive local bus network, new railway station, highly rated private and state schools and close proximity to the Werribee shopping centre.
Other areas close to amenities with affordable median sales prices are Werribee, Hoppers Crossing and Manor Lakes. A property in Wyndham Vale can be purchased for under $500K with a median house price of $477,808.
Albion is the cheapest for apartments ($320,234), followed by Melton South ($329,168).
Northern suburbs: best place to buy land in Melbourne
The coolest suburbs in Melbourne are definitely situated in the north, but burbs like Fitzroy, Brunswick and Northcote don't come cheap. A suburb or two north of these playgrounds holds some of the most affordable suburbs in Melbourne with median house prices now coming in under $500,000.
Areas near the airport with quality amenities, like Coolaroo and Dallas, are just 18 kilometers from the city centre and are extremely affordable compared to their trendy neighbors. For a look at what you can expect to pay, Coolaroo is the cheapest and the median house price is $453,602. Dallas is a house-haven and the median price is $481,376.
Having made the transformation from paddocks to parks, Craigieburn is increasing in popularity, ticking all the boxes with schools, parks and its shopping mall. The median house price here is $540,000.
Southern suburbs: affordable suburbs in Melbourne
Down in the deep south, affordable Melbourne homes exist on the doorstep of the Mornington Peninsula. If you love the outdoors, beaches and national parks, and want to escape the busy city lifestyle, then the south might be for you.
35 kilometres from the city centre, Narre Warren, Hampton Park, Lynbrook and Hallam are within a reachable price bracket. For an idea of property prices, Hampton Park is the cheapest and the median house price is $544,000. Lynbrook is $641,000 and Narre Warren is $606,000.
Down the road, Officer is experiencing a solid annual growth of 33%. It's 54 kilometers from the city, but has access to great schools, its own railway station, sporting facilities and parks, and is a wise choice for growing families. The median house price here is $550,000. Next door, Pakenham's median house price is $515,000.
"Down in the deep south, affordable Melbourne homes exist on the doorstep of the Mornington Peninsula."
Cranbourne, Clyde and Frankston North offer good entry point options for houses too, with median prices under $550,000. Frankston North is very achievable at $463,693 and further down in Hastings the median house price is $462,668.
For units, good value can be found in Cranbourne ($356,814) and Pakenham ($378,156). Junction Village offers the cheapest units in Melbourne with a median price of $303,505. If you head out towards Koo Wee Rup you can secure an apartment for $357,865, though commute times to the city are not ideal.
Cheapest inner city suburbs for houses and units
Inner city suburbs might not be a complete "write-off", if you're prepared to forego the Aussie dream of a big home and backyard. Affordable Melbourne apartments are available, and what you give up in space you can certainly make up for in lifestyle and saving on heavy commutes!
Carlton remains the cheapest for apartment living, with the median sale price taking a cool plunge to $329,228. Travancore and Flemington also offer median unit prices under $400K — at $355,798 and $376,069 respectively. All three of these suburbs are within five kilometres of the city, making living very easy and affordable.
If your heart is set on a home, within ten kilometres of the CBD suburbs like Coburg North, Maidstone, and Bellfield offer median sale prices under $800,000, thanks again to the property downturn. Maidstone offers the cheapest median house price ($738,813). For around the $800K mark, you could nab a property in Footscray or West Footscray.
Things to remember
When looking to buy a bigger block in the outer suburbs there are a few things to keep in mind. Always consider your public transport options as you don't want to burn out on a rough commute. Suburbs near a train line or well-connected with buses are ideal. Investigate all aspects of the area to ensure there is good infrastructure with plenty of opportunity for jobs, entertainment and economic growth.