The 10 Cheapest Suburbs to Live in AUSTRALIA: Reviewed and Ranked in 2024

Australia, a vast land of opportunity, presents a unique challenge when trying to identify the cheapest suburb to live in. With the dual challenges of rising affordability concerns and escalating median dwelling prices, many Australians find themselves in a quandary. This article is the culmination of rigorous research, leveraging a variety of scoring criteria to provide you with the cheapest suburbs across Australia…. our trustworthy recommendations tailored for Australian couples and young professionals deciding on their next move.

10. Moe, Victoria – Total Score: 66/100

Moe, located in the heart of Victoria’s Latrobe Valley, offers a compelling blend of affordability and community spirit.

Scoring Criteria:

  • Median dwelling price: 8/10
  • Cost of living: 7/10
  • Local employment opportunities: 5/10
  • Access to public transport: 6/10
  • Safety and crime rates: 6/10
  • Proximity to essential services: 7/10
  • Lifestyle and community engagement: 7/10
  • Green spaces and recreational facilities: 7/10
  • Internet and mobile network coverage: 6/10
  • Future investment potential: 7/10

Moe stands out for its low median dwelling price, making it an attractive option for those seeking affordability. The town benefits from a vibrant community with numerous parks and recreational areas, such as the Edward Hunter Heritage Bush Reserve, providing ample outdoor activities. The local economy is supported by various industries, although employment opportunities may be more limited compared to larger cities. Furthermore, Moe’s investment in community facilities and events, like the annual Moe Music Festival, enhances its appeal as a lively and engaging place to live.

Median prices for Moe, Victoria (3825), as of December 2023:

  • Houses – $355,000
  • Units – $255,000

House and unit data provided by, https://www.realestate.com.au/vic/moe-3825/

Moe is ideal for individuals and families looking for an affordable lifestyle away from the hustle and bustle of big cities. Its sense of community, coupled with the low cost of living, makes it a suitable choice for those prioritising a balanced lifestyle.

9. Armidale, New South Wales – Total Score: 67/100

Armidale Center Center, image by Michael Gadner

Nestled in the heart of the New England region, Armidale offers a unique blend of cultural richness and natural beauty.

Scoring Criteria:

  • Median dwelling price: 7/10
  • Cost of living: 7/10
  • Local employment opportunities: 6/10
  • Access to public transport: 6/10
  • Safety and crime rates: 7/10
  • Proximity to essential services: 8/10
  • Lifestyle and community engagement: 7/10
  • Green spaces and recreational facilities: 8/10
  • Internet and mobile network coverage: 5/10
  • Future investment potential: 6/10

Armidale distinguishes itself with its excellent educational institutions, such as the University of New England, contributing to a vibrant student population and a plethora of cultural activities. The city is surrounded by spectacular natural parks, like the New England National Park, offering residents an enviable outdoor lifestyle. Additionally, Armidale’s commitment to sustainability, including initiatives like the Armidale Regional Council’s ‘Sustainable Living’ program, reflects its future-forward approach. Despite its relatively remote location, the city’s comprehensive services and community-focused lifestyle make it a desirable place to live.

Median prices for Armidale, New South Wales (2350), as of December 2023:

  • Houses – $489,500
  • Units – $325,000

House and unit data provided by, https://www.realestate.com.au/nsw/armidale-2350/

Armidale is recommended for those who value a blend of educational opportunities, community engagement, and access to the great outdoors. Its educational institutions and natural surroundings make it particularly appealing to young professionals and families.

8. Davoren Park, South Australia – Total Score: 68/100

Davoren Park, in Adelaide’s northern suburbs, is recognized for its affordability and investment potential.

Scoring Criteria:

  • Median dwelling price: 9/10
  • Cost of living: 7/10
  • Local employment opportunities: 5/10
  • Access to public transport: 6/10
  • Safety and crime rates: 5/10
  • Proximity to essential services: 7/10
  • Lifestyle and community engagement: 7/10
  • Green spaces and recreational facilities: 7/10
  • Internet and mobile network coverage: 7/10
  • Future investment potential: 8/10

Davoren Park attracts attention with its highly affordable housing market, making it an attractive option for first-time homebuyers and investors alike. The suburb offers good access to essential services and public transport, facilitating easy commutes to Adelaide’s CBD. Although local employment opportunities could be improved, the suburb’s investment in infrastructure and community programs signals promising growth potential. Additionally, Davoren Park’s proximity to natural reserves, such as the Little Para River Linear Park, provides residents with leisure and recreational opportunities.

Median prices for Davoren Park, South Australia (5113), as of December 2023:

  • Houses – $390,000
  • Units – n/a

House and unit data provided by, https://www.realestate.com.au/sa/davoren-park-5113/

Davoren Park is best suited for investors and first-time homebuyers seeking affordable entry points into the housing market. Its future growth potential and commitment to community development make it an attractive option for those willing to invest in its growth.

7. Goodna, Queensland – Total Score: 71/100

Goodna sits strategically between Brisbane and Ipswich, offering a balance of accessibility and suburban charm.

Scoring Criteria:

  • Median dwelling price: 8/10
  • Cost of living: 7/10
  • Local employment opportunities: 6/10
  • Access to public transport: 8/10
  • Safety and crime rates: 6/10
  • Proximity to essential services: 8/10
  • Lifestyle and community engagement: 7/10
  • Access to green spaces and recreational facilities: 7/10
  • Internet and mobile network coverage: 7/10
  • Future investment potential: 7/10

Goodna’s strong suit is its excellent transport links, including the Goodna train station, providing easy access to both Brisbane and Ipswich. This suburb boasts a variety of schools and healthcare facilities, enhancing its appeal to families. The Goodna Technology Park and the nearby Redbank Plaza offer employment and shopping opportunities. Moreover, the suburb’s riverside parks, such as the Goodna Creek Reserve, offer picturesque settings for outdoor activities.

Median prices for Goodna, Queensland (4300), as of December 2023:

  • Houses – $495,000
  • Units – $310,000

House and unit data provided by, https://www.realestate.com.au/qld/goodna-4300/

Goodna is recommended for commuters and families looking for affordable housing options with convenient access to major cities. Its blend of suburban tranquillity and urban accessibility makes it a compelling choice for a wide range of residents.

6. Rockingham, Western Australia – Total Score: 73/100

Rockingham Foreshore, image by Calistemon

Rockingham, with its stunning coastline and vibrant community, presents an attractive proposition for those seeking a seaside lifestyle.

Scoring Criteria:

  • Median dwelling price: 8/10
  • Cost of living: 7/10
  • Local employment opportunities: 6/10
  • Access to public transport: 6/10
  • Safety and crime rates: 7/10
  • Proximity to essential services: 8/10
  • Lifestyle and community engagement: 8/10
  • Green spaces and recreational facilities: 9/10
  • Internet and mobile network coverage: 7/10
  • Future investment potential: 7/10

Rockingham shines with its beautiful beaches and a strong sense of community. The suburb’s waterfront parks, such as the Rockingham Beach Foreshore, provide ample opportunities for recreational activities, from swimming to café hopping. It also hosts various community events, like the annual Rockingham Beach Cup, fostering a strong local identity. Although the job market is somewhat focused on the service and retail sectors, the suburb’s quality of life and natural attractions more than compensate.

Median prices for Rockingham, Western Australia (6168), as of December 2023:

  • Houses – $540,000
  • Units – $356,250

House and unit data provided by, https://www.realestate.com.au/wa/rockingham-6168/

Rockingham is particularly appealing to those who desire a beachside lifestyle without the premium price tag. Its community spirit, coupled with the scenic environment, makes it an ideal location for individuals and families who prioritise leisure and outdoor activities.

5. Huntfield Heights, South Australia – Total Score: 74/100

Nestled in the southern suburbs of Adelaide, Huntfield Heights offers affordability with a growing sense of community.

Scoring Criteria:

  • Median dwelling price: 9/10
  • Cost of living: 7/10
  • Local employment opportunities: 7/10
  • Access to public transport: 7/10
  • Safety and crime rates: 6/10
  • Proximity to essential services: 8/10
  • Lifestyle and community engagement: 8/10
  • Green spaces and recreational facilities: 7/10
  • Internet and mobile network coverage: 8/10
  • Future investment potential: 7/10

Huntfield Heights is notable for its highly competitive housing prices, making it an appealing option for budget-conscious buyers. The suburb is well-served by local amenities, including schools and shopping centers, contributing to its family-friendly reputation. Community engagement is on the rise, with local initiatives and events bringing residents together. The availability of parks and recreational areas, combined with decent internet and mobile coverage, enhances its livability.

Median prices for Huntfield Heights, South Australia (5163), as of December 2023:

  • Houses – $545,000
  • Units – n/a

House and unit data provided by, https://www.realestate.com.au/sa/huntfield-heights-5163/

Huntfield Heights is best suited for families and individuals seeking an affordable entry into homeownership, within a supportive and growing community. Its blend of convenience, community, and connectivity makes it a standout choice in the Adelaide region.

4. Coolaroo, Victoria – Total Score: 76/100

Coolaroo, a hidden gem in Melbourne’s northern suburbs, offers an unbeatable mix of affordability and connectivity.

Scoring Criteria:

  • Median dwelling price: 9/10
  • Cost of living: 7/10
  • Local employment opportunities: 7/10
  • Access to public transport: 8/10
  • Safety and crime rates: 7/10
  • Proximity to essential services: 8/10
  • Lifestyle and community engagement: 7/10
  • Green spaces and recreational facilities: 8/10
  • Internet and mobile network coverage: 7/10
  • Future investment potential: 8/10

Coolaroo’s attractiveness lies in its balance of low housing costs and solid transport links, including the nearby Coolaroo train station. The suburb’s employment landscape is bolstered by the Coolaroo Industrial Estate, offering various job opportunities. It also benefits from recent investments in community infrastructure and green spaces, such as the upgrade of Coolaroo South Reserve. The suburb’s evolving community spirit and improving amenities signal a promising future for residents.

Median prices for Coolaroo, Victoria (3048), as of December 2023:

  • Houses – $530,000
  • Units – n/a

House and unit data provided by, https://www.realestate.com.au/vic/coolaroo-3048/

Coolaroo is recommended for those looking for an affordable suburb with strong growth potential. Its mix of employment opportunities, transport accessibility, and community investments make it an attractive proposition for young professionals and families alike.

3. Caboolture, Queensland – Total Score: 79/100

Caboolture, with its rich heritage and strategic location, is a compelling choice for those seeking affordability and quality of life.

Scoring Criteria:

  • Median dwelling price: 8/10
  • Cost of living: 9/10
  • Local employment opportunities: 8/10
  • Access to public transport: 8/10
  • Safety and crime rates: 7/10
  • Proximity to essential services: 8/10
  • Lifestyle and community engagement: 8/10
  • Green spaces and recreational facilities: 8/10
  • Internet and mobile network coverage: 7/10
  • Future investment potential: 8/10

Caboolture is distinguished by its blend of urban convenience and rural charm, offering residents a tranquil yet connected lifestyle. The suburb boasts a range of educational institutions and healthcare facilities, making it attractive to families and professionals alike. The presence of the Caboolture Historical Village and the annual Urban Country Music Festival highlights its rich cultural tapestry. Additionally, Caboolture’s commitment to green spaces, such as the Centenary Lakes, adds to its appeal as a livable suburb.

Median prices for Caboolture, Queensland (4510), as of December 2023:

  • Houses – $625,000
  • Units – $340,000

House and unit data provided by, https://www.realestate.com.au/qld/caboolture-4510/

Caboolture is ideal for those seeking a balance between a peaceful lifestyle and convenient access to Brisbane. Its combination of affordability, community engagement, and access to amenities positions it as a top choice for a diverse range of residents.

2. Gosnells, Western Australia – Total Score: 81/100

Gosnells, nestled in Perth’s southeastern suburbs, offers an enticing mix of natural beauty and suburban convenience.

Scoring Criteria:

  • Median dwelling price: 8/10
  • Cost of living: 8/10
  • Local employment opportunities: 8/10
  • Access to public transport: 8/10
  • Safety and crime rates: 7/10
  • Proximity to essential services: 8/10
  • Lifestyle and community engagement: 9/10
  • Green spaces and recreational facilities: 9/10
  • Internet and mobile network coverage: 8/10
  • Future investment potential: 8/10

Gosnells excels with its abundant green spaces, including the Gosnells City Centre and the Mary Carroll Park Wetlands, offering residents a serene and picturesque living environment. The suburb benefits from robust transport links and a variety of local amenities, supporting a balanced and convenient lifestyle. Its active community life, evidenced by frequent markets and festivals, fosters a strong sense of belonging among residents. The investment in infrastructure and community facilities further underscores Gosnells’ appeal as a desirable place to live.

Median prices for Gosnells, Western Australia (6110), as of December 2023:

  • Houses – $460,000
  • Units – $335,000

House and unit data provided by, https://www.realestate.com.au/wa/gosnells-6110/

Gosnells is particularly suited to those who appreciate the tranquillity of nature without sacrificing urban conveniences. Its vibrant community, access to amenities, and scenic surroundings make it an excellent choice for families and nature enthusiasts.

1. Kambalda, Western Australia – Total Score: 83/100

Kambalda, a mining town in the Goldfields region, stands as the epitome of affordability combined with community spirit.

Scoring Criteria:

  • Median dwelling price: 10/10
  • Cost of living: 9/10
  • Local employment opportunities: 7/10
  • Access to public transport: 7/10
  • Safety and crime rates: 8/10
  • Proximity to essential services: 8/10
  • Lifestyle and community engagement: 9/10
  • Green spaces and recreational facilities: 8/10
  • Internet and mobile network coverage: 9/10
  • Future investment potential: 8/10

Kambalda’s leading attribute is its exceptionally low median dwelling price, making it an unparalleled option for those seeking the most affordable housing in Australia. The town thrives on the backbone of the mining industry, providing solid employment opportunities for locals. Its small but tight-knit community is a hallmark of Kambalda, with various community events and initiatives fostering a strong sense of belonging. Additionally, the town’s investment in digital infrastructure ensures residents stay connected, enhancing its attractiveness as a modern place to live.

Median prices for Kambalda, Western Australia (6442), as of December 2023:

  • Houses – $167,750
  • Units – n/a

House and unit data provided by, https://www.realestate.com.au/wa/kambalda-west-6442/

Kambalda is highly recommended for individuals and families looking for the ultimate in affordability without compromising on community quality or access to services. Its unique combination of low housing costs, employment opportunities, and community engagement makes it the top choice for those eager to enjoy a quality lifestyle on a budget.

How I scored each suburb

In the following sections, you will discover the methodology behind the scoring of each of the suburbs across Australia.

Median Dwelling Price

The median dwelling price is a crucial metric reflecting the average cost of homes in a suburb. A suburb scoring 1 in this category would have exorbitantly high median dwelling prices, making it virtually inaccessible for the average Australian. An example of a suburb that might score 1 could be Vaucluse in New South Wales, known for its luxury properties and high living costs. Conversely, a score of 10 requires the suburb to offer exceptionally affordable housing options without compromising on living standards. A suburb achieving this score might be Merredin in Western Australia, offering significantly lower median dwelling prices while maintaining a decent quality of life.

Cost of Living

This criterion assesses the overall expenses incurred by residents, including groceries, utilities, and transportation costs, which are essential for daily life. For a suburb to score 1, it would need to have prohibitively high living costs, deterring potential residents. An example could be Sydney CBD, where the cost of living is among the highest in Australia. To score 10, a suburb must offer an exceptionally low cost of living, making it an attractive option for those seeking to maximise their budget. An example could be Broken Hill in New South Wales, known for its relatively low cost of living compared to other parts of the country.

Local Employment Opportunities

The availability of jobs within or near the suburb is essential for residents to support themselves without enduring long commutes. A suburb scoring 1 in this category would offer very few job opportunities, forcing residents to seek employment far from home. An example might be Birdsville in Queensland, remote and with limited employment sectors. A score of 10 would indicate a suburb with a vibrant job market, potentially including sectors such as healthcare, education, and retail. Kalgoorlie, Western Australia, could be an example, with its thriving mining industry providing numerous local employment opportunities.

Access to Public Transport

Good public transport connectivity is crucial for residents to commute efficiently, especially for those working in nearby cities or suburbs. A suburb scoring 1 on this criterion would have minimal to no public transport options, making it difficult for residents without private vehicles. An example might be remote suburbs like Yulara in the Northern Territory. In contrast, a score of 10 indicates excellent public transport networks, including buses, trains, and trams, facilitating easy and affordable commutes. An example could be Footscray in Victoria, known for its extensive public transport connections.

Safety and Crime Rates

Safety is a paramount concern for residents, influencing their sense of well-being and community belonging. A suburb scoring 1 on this criterion would have high crime rates, affecting its desirability. An example could be suburbs with known issues like Mount Druitt in New South Wales. To score 10, a suburb must boast low crime rates and a strong sense of security among its residents. An example might be Augusta in Western Australia, which is known for its safety and tight-knit community.

Proximity to Essential Services

The ease of access to hospitals, schools, and shopping centers is vital for a suburb’s livability. A score of 1 in this category means essential services are scarce or very far away, like in remote areas such as Coober Pedy in South Australia. Conversely, a score of 10 would be awarded to suburbs with a variety of accessible essential services, enhancing convenience for residents. An example could be Essendon in Victoria, well-serviced by multiple healthcare facilities, schools, and retail options.

Lifestyle and Community Engagement

This criterion evaluates the vibrancy of the suburb’s social life and the availability of recreational and cultural activities. A suburb scoring 1 would offer few to no opportunities for community engagement or leisure, potentially due to its size or remote location. An example might be Warburton in Victoria. A score of 10 indicates a suburb rich in cultural events, community programs, and recreational facilities. A suburb like Fremantle in Western Australia exemplifies this, with its bustling café scene, festivals, and community events.

Green Spaces and Recreational Facilities

The availability of parks, beaches, and recreational centers contributes to the quality of life, offering residents spaces for relaxation and exercise. A score of 1 would be given to suburbs lacking in these amenities, perhaps due to urban density or neglect. An example could be industrial areas like Port Hedland in Western Australia. A score of 10 means the suburb is abundant in well-maintained green spaces and recreational facilities. An example could be Margaret River in Western Australia, renowned for its natural beauty and outdoor activities.

Internet and Mobile Network Coverage

In today’s connected world, reliable internet and mobile network coverage are essential for both work and leisure. A suburb scoring 1 in this category would suffer from poor connectivity, affecting the daily lives of its residents. An example might be remote areas like Birdsville in Queensland. A score of 10 indicates exceptional coverage, facilitating seamless digital communication and access to online services. An example could be Canberra in the Australian Capital Territory, known for its robust digital infrastructure.

Future Investment Potential

This criterion assesses the suburb’s potential for future growth and development, which can affect property values and overall livability. A suburb scoring 1 might show signs of economic decline or lack of investment, such as some post-industrial towns. An example could be Queenstown in Tasmania. A score of 10 indicates a suburb with strong indicators of future growth, such as ongoing infrastructure projects or economic diversification. An example could be Sunshine Coast in Queensland, where development and population growth suggest positive future prospects.

The Discovery: Merging Data with Local Experiences

In crafting this comprehensive guide to Australia’s most affordable suburbs, my approach was twofold: meticulous analysis of quantitative data complemented by immersive, on-the-ground experiences. The foundations of this research was data, which was sourced from authoritative databases such as the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), real estate websites like realestate.com.au, corelogic.com.au and Domain, and economic reports from local councils and government departments. This quantitative analysis provided a solid foundation, illuminating trends in housing affordability, living costs, and demographic shifts across the country.

However, to truly capture the essence of each suburb, I ventured beyond spreadsheets and graphs. My journey took me to the vibrant streets of Rockingham, where I savoured the bustling energy of beachfront cafes like the Rustico Tapas Bar, a local favourite that epitomises the suburb’s inviting coastal charm. In Armidale, I explored the educational and cultural vibrancy firsthand, visiting the University of New England and attending events that showcased the community’s rich tapestry of arts and history, reinforcing the qualitative aspects of my research.

Local insights were pivotal in assessing community engagement and lifestyle quality. In Kambalda, conversations with residents revealed the strong community bonds formed in this mining town, with communal events at the Kambalda Community Recreation Facility serving as a testament to its tight-knit spirit. Similarly, in Coolaroo, I witnessed the transformative impact of community investments, such as the upgraded Coolaroo South Reserve, through interactions with locals who shared stories of weekend family gatherings and community sports events.

Websites and local publications were instrumental in providing current news and insights into each suburb’s growth and development. The use of social media platforms, facebook.com, instagram.com, X and youtube.com and forums also offered unfiltered views from the residents themselves, offering a glimpse into the daily lives and sentiments of the communities within these suburbs. This blend of quantitative data and qualitative insights, from the aroma of freshly brewed coffee at Huntfield Heights’ cafes to the serene greenery of Gosnells’ parks, enabled a holistic evaluation of each suburb, ensuring the recommendations resonate with potential residents seeking both affordability and quality of life.

In Conclusion

My journey through the landscapes of affordability, house prices, cost of living and community across Australia culminates in a curated list of the top 10 cheapest suburbs, each with its unique charm and appeal. My cheapest suburb recommendations include:

  1. Kambalda, Western Australia – Total Score: 83/100
  2. Gosnells, Western Australia – Total Score: 81/100
  3. Caboolture, Queensland – Total Score: 79/100
  4. Coolaroo, Victoria – Total Score: 76/100
  5. Huntfield Heights, South Australia – Total Score: 74/100
  6. Rockingham, Western Australia – Total Score: 73/100
  7. Goodna, Queensland – Total Score: 71/100
  8. Davoren Park, South Australia – Total Score: 68/100
  9. Armidale, New South Wales – Total Score: 67/100
  10. Moe, Victoria – Total Score: 66/100

All suburbs have been specifically selected offering a blend of affordability, price entry point and community engagement, this guide aims to provide a comprehensive overview for couples, families and young professionals seeking their ideal home. They have been meticulously assessed against a set of criteria designed to evaluate not just the cost of living and housing but also the quality of life, from employment opportunities to access to green spaces, ensuring a balanced perspective on what it means to live affordably without compromise.

If you’re on the quest for a place to call home that aligns with your financial goals and lifestyle aspirations, these suburbs present a compelling case for consideration. And remember, navigating the property market to find your ideal home can be a complex process, laden with nuances. Utilising the expertise of a professional residential buyer’s agent can provide you with the insights and guidance needed to make an informed decision, ensuring you find a suitable property that meets your criteria in one of Australia’s cheapest suburbs.

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