The 10 Most Affordable Places to Live in AUSTRALIA: Reviewed and Ranked in 2024

Identifying the most affordable suburb in Australia is a complex task, with a multitude of factors to consider. Prospective homeowners grapple with rising property prices and the cost of living, alongside the desire for a suburb that matches their lifestyle and aspirations. As a real estate professional, I’ve used my expertise, knowledge and comprehensive research to provide you with an up to date list, offering a reliable suburb guide for Australian couples looking to make their next big move.

10. Sunshine West, Victoria – Total Score: 72/100

Sunshine West, a hidden gem in Victoria, offers an unexpected balance of affordability and quality living.

Scoring Criteria:

  • Housing Costs: 8/10
  • Cost of Living: 7/10
  • Income Levels: 6/10
  • Employment Opportunities: 6/10
  • Transportation and Commute: 7/10
  • Schools and Education: 7/10
  • Safety and Crime Rates: 6/10
  • Healthcare Facilities: 7/10
  • Community Amenities: 8/10
  • Future Growth Prospects: 10/10

Sunshine West stands out for its surprisingly affordable housing market, with median house prices well below the Melbourne average. The suburb offers a range of local amenities, from well-regarded schools to lush parks, making it a great choice for families. Recent developments in public infrastructure and local businesses have bolstered its appeal, as reported in a 2023 article in the “Melbourne Times.” Furthermore, its commitment to community development, evidenced by new healthcare facilities and recreational centers, makes it an ever-evolving suburb.

Median prices for Sunshine West, Victoria (3020), as of December 2023:

  • Houses – $680,000
  • Units – $559,500

House and unit data provided by, https://www.realestate.com.au/vic/sunshine-west-3020/

Ideal for young families and professionals seeking value for money, Sunshine West is an affordable haven that doesn’t compromise on lifestyle or convenience.

9. Salisbury, South Australia – Total Score: 74/100

Salisbury, with its tranquil ambiance and affordability, is a suburb that offers more than meets the eye.

Scoring Criteria:

  • Housing Costs: 8/10
  • Cost of Living: 7/10
  • Income Levels: 6/10
  • Employment Opportunities: 8/10
  • Transportation and Commute: 7/10
  • Schools and Education: 7/10
  • Safety and Crime Rates: 6/10
  • Healthcare Facilities: 8/10
  • Community Amenities: 8/10
  • Future Growth Prospects: 9/10

Salisbury is notable for its affordable housing market, providing a cost-effective alternative to Adelaide’s pricier suburbs. It shines with its variety of schools and healthcare facilities, making it a great choice for families. The suburb has seen a surge in local employment opportunities, as noted in the “South Australia Business Review” 2023 issue. Additionally, Salisbury’s investment in public transport and road infrastructure has significantly improved accessibility and commute times. The community spirit is strong here, with numerous parks and local events fostering a sense of belonging.

Median prices for Salisbury, South Australia (5108), as of December 2023:

  • Houses – $520,000
  • Units – $325,000

House and unit data provided by, https://www.realestate.com.au/sa/salisbury-5108/ 

Ideal for families and those seeking a suburb with a strong sense of community and ongoing development, Salisbury is a smart choice for those valuing both affordability and quality of life.

8. Frankston, Victoria – Total Score: 76/100

Frankston is a coastal gem that marries affordability with a vibrant lifestyle.

Scoring Criteria:

  • Housing Costs: 7/10
  • Cost of Living: 8/10
  • Income Levels: 7/10
  • Employment Opportunities: 7/10
  • Transportation and Commute: 8/10
  • Schools and Education: 8/10
  • Safety and Crime Rates: 6/10
  • Healthcare Facilities: 8/10
  • Community Amenities: 9/10
  • Future Growth Prospects: 8/10

Frankston’s appeal lies in its balance of affordable housing and a high-quality lifestyle, particularly attractive for beach lovers. The suburb offers excellent schools and healthcare facilities, contributing to its family-friendly reputation. Employment opportunities in Frankston are on the rise, especially in the healthcare and education sectors. The suburb’s transport infrastructure, including its efficient train line to Melbourne, is a major plus, as highlighted in a recent “Victoria Transport Report.” Frankston’s beachfront, parks, and vibrant arts scene offer a leisurely lifestyle rarely found in such affordable suburbs.

Median prices for Frankston, Victoria (3199), as of December 2023:

  • Houses – $730,000
  • Units – $470,000

House and unit data provided by, https://www.realestate.com.au/vic/frankston-3199/

Frankston is most suitable for those who desire a balance of seaside tranquillity and suburban convenience, all within a budget-friendly framework.

7. Ipswich, Queensland – Total Score: 78/100

Ipswich is a burgeoning hub that offers an exceptional mix of affordability and opportunity.

Scoring Criteria:

  • Housing Costs: 9/10
  • Cost of Living: 8/10
  • Income Levels: 7/10
  • Employment Opportunities: 7/10
  • Transportation and Commute: 7/10
  • Schools and Education: 8/10
  • Safety and Crime Rates: 6/10
  • Healthcare Facilities: 8/10
  • Community Amenities: 8/10
  • Future Growth Prospects: 10/10

Ipswich stands out with its highly affordable housing market, making it a great choice for those looking to enter the property market. The suburb has witnessed significant growth in employment opportunities, particularly in the health and education sectors, as reported in the “Queensland Economic Review” 2023. The local schools are well-regarded, and the suburb is investing heavily in healthcare facilities, enhancing its appeal to families. Ipswich is also known for its rich cultural heritage and community events, providing a vibrant lifestyle for its residents.

Median prices for Ipswich, Queensland (4305), as of December 2023:

  • Houses – $695,000
  • Units – $380,650

House and unit data provided by, https://www.realestate.com.au/qld/ipswich-4305/

Ipswich is ideal for first-home buyers and families seeking a suburb with a strong sense of community, ample amenities, and significant growth potential.

6. Glenorchy, Tasmania – Total Score: 80/100

Glenorchy, a suburb of Hobart, offers a unique blend of natural beauty and affordability.

Scoring Criteria:

  • Housing Costs: 8/10
  • Cost of Living: 9/10
  • Income Levels: 7/10
  • Employment Opportunities: 7/10
  • Transportation and Commute: 8/10
  • Schools and Education: 8/10
  • Safety and Crime Rates: 7/10
  • Healthcare Facilities: 8/10
  • Community Amenities: 9/10
  • Future Growth Prospects: 9/10

Glenorchy’s real estate market is attractively priced, offering a cost-effective option for those seeking proximity to Hobart. The suburb boasts excellent schools and healthcare facilities, as well as a variety of local shops and eateries. It has a strong community focus, with numerous parks and recreational facilities, as highlighted in a recent “Tasmanian Mercury” article. The suburb also benefits from efficient public transport links to Hobart, making it a convenient choice for commuters.

Median prices for Glenorchy, Tasmania (7010), as of December 2023:

  • Houses – $570,000
  • Units – $443,500

House and unit data provided by, https://www.realestate.com.au/tas/glenorchy-7010/

Glenorchy is perfect for those seeking an affordable lifestyle in a scenic setting, combined with the convenience of city proximity.

5. Armadale, Western Australia – Total Score: 82/100

Armadale offers a blend of urban convenience and rural charm, making it an affordable choice for many.

Scoring Criteria:

  • Housing Costs: 9/10
  • Cost of Living: 9/10
  • Income Levels: 7/10
  • Employment Opportunities: 7/10
  • Transportation and Commute: 8/10
  • Schools and Education: 8/10
  • Safety and Crime Rates: 7/10
  • Healthcare Facilities: 8/10
  • Community Amenities: 9/10
  • Future Growth Prospects: 10/10

Armadale, with its attractively low housing prices, is a standout for affordability in the Perth area. It offers a range of educational and healthcare facilities, making it a practical choice for families. The suburb’s investment in public transportation and road infrastructure has made commuting and travel more efficient. The “Western Australia Business Journal” 2023 highlighted Armadale’s growing employment opportunities, particularly in retail and healthcare sectors. The suburb’s parks and community centers contribute to its appeal, offering a wholesome lifestyle.

Median prices for Armadale, Western Australia (6112), as of December 2023:

  • Houses – $385,000
  • Units – $315,000

House and unit data provided by, https://www.realestate.com.au/wa/armadale-6112/

Ideal for families and professionals looking for a mix of rural serenity and urban amenities, Armadale is an excellent choice for those seeking value for money.

4. Wyndham Vale, Victoria – Total Score: 83/100

Wyndham Vale is an emerging suburb offering a harmonious blend of affordability and lifestyle.

Scoring Criteria:

  • Housing Costs: 9/10
  • Cost of Living: 8/10
  • Income Levels: 7/10
  • Employment Opportunities: 8/10
  • Transportation and Commute: 9/10
  • Schools and Education: 8/10
  • Safety and Crime Rates: 7/10
  • Healthcare Facilities: 8/10
  • Community Amenities: 9/10
  • Future Growth Prospects: 10/10

Wyndham Vale presents a compelling option for those seeking affordable housing in the Melbourne vicinity. The suburb is characterised by its excellent transportation network, including a reliable train service to Melbourne’s CBD, as mentioned in the “Victoria Transport Review” 2023. It boasts high-quality schools and healthcare facilities, adding to its family-friendly reputation. The suburb’s numerous parks and recreational facilities make it an ideal place for outdoor enthusiasts and families.

Median prices for Wyndham Vale, Victoria (3024), as of December 2023:

  • Houses – $575,000
  • Units – $435,000

House and unit data provided by, https://www.realestate.com.au/vic/wyndham-vale-3024/

Wyndham Vale is perfect for young professionals and families seeking a suburb with robust growth potential and a balance of affordability and lifestyle amenities.

3. Maitland, New South Wales – Total Score: 85/100

Maitland is a historic town that has evolved into an affordable and desirable suburb.

Scoring Criteria:

  • Housing Costs: 8/10
  • Cost of Living: 9/10
  • Income Levels: 8/10
  • Employment Opportunities: 9/10
  • Transportation and Commute: 8/10
  • Schools and Education: 8/10
  • Safety and Crime Rates: 8/10
  • Healthcare Facilities: 9/10
  • Community Amenities: 9/10
  • Future Growth Prospects: 9/10

Maitland, with its rich historical background, offers affordable living without compromising on modern conveniences. The suburb is known for its relatively low cost of living, as compared to other parts of New South Wales. It has seen significant development in healthcare and education, making it a great choice for families, as reported in the “Maitland Mercury” 2023. The town’s commitment to preserving its heritage while fostering growth has resulted in a unique blend of old and new, attracting a diverse population.

Median prices for Maitland, NSW (2320), as of December 2023:

  • Houses – $585,000
  • Units – $472,500

House and unit data provided by, https://www.realestate.com.au/nsw/maitland-2320/

Maitland is an excellent choice for those who appreciate the charm of a historic town combined with the amenities of a modern suburb.

2. Logan, Queensland – Total Score: 87/100

Logan stands out as an affordable suburb with a strong sense of community and diversity.

Scoring Criteria:

  • Housing Costs: 9/10
  • Cost of Living: 9/10
  • Income Levels: 8/10
  • Employment Opportunities: 8/10
  • Transportation and Commute: 8/10
  • Schools and Education: 9/10
  • Safety and Crime Rates: 8/10
  • Healthcare Facilities: 9/10
  • Community Amenities: 9/10
  • Future Growth Prospects: 10/10

Logan offers an impressive mix of affordability and quality of life, making it a desirable location for a wide range of residents. The suburb is known for its diverse community, as highlighted in a 2023 feature in the “Queensland Community Journal.” It offers excellent educational institutions and healthcare facilities, contributing to its family-friendly atmosphere. Logan’s investment in public transport and road infrastructure has significantly improved its connectivity. The suburb also boasts a variety of parks, cultural centers, and shopping precincts, catering to a diverse range of interests and lifestyles.

Median prices for Logan, Queensland (4114), as of December 2023:

  • Houses – $515,000
  • Units – $260,000

House and unit data provided by, https://www.realestate.com.au/qld/logan-central-4114/

Ideal for families, young professionals, and those seeking a culturally rich and affordable suburb, Logan represents the best of Queensland living.

1. Thornlie, Western Australia – Total Score: 91/100

Thornlie, a suburb of Perth, emerges as the top contender in our list, striking a perfect balance between affordability and quality living.

Scoring Criteria:

  • Housing Costs: 9/10
  • Cost of Living: 10/10
  • Income Levels: 8/10
  • Employment Opportunities: 9/10
  • Transportation and Commute: 9/10
  • Schools and Education: 9/10
  • Safety and Crime Rates: 8/10
  • Healthcare Facilities: 9/10
  • Community Amenities: 10/10
  • Future Growth Prospects: 10/10

Thornlie is the crown jewel for those seeking affordability without sacrificing quality. Its real estate market is a standout, offering some of the most competitive prices in the Perth area. The suburb boasts excellent schools and healthcare facilities, as highlighted in a recent “WA Today” feature. The community spirit in Thornlie is palpable, with numerous parks, community events, and shopping districts that cater to all lifestyles. Additionally, its potential for future growth, with new developments and infrastructure projects underway, makes it an enticing prospect for long-term investment.

Median prices for Thornlie, Western Australia (6108), as of December 2023:

  • Houses – $538,000
  • Units – $300,000

House and unit data provided by, https://www.realestate.com.au/wa/thornlie-6108/

Perfect for couples and families looking for a suburb that offers a harmonious blend of affordability, community, and growth potential, Thornlie is the epitome of value in Australian living.

How I Scored Each Suburb

In the following sections, you’ll discover how I evaluated each suburb against specific criteria to determine their overall affordability and livability.

Housing Costs

Housing costs are a critical metric, reflecting the direct expenses associated with buying or renting in a suburb. This criterion is vital because it significantly impacts the overall affordability of living in a suburb. A suburb scoring 1 on this criterion would have exceptionally high median house prices and rent costs, such as Vaucluse in Sydney, where the housing market is notoriously expensive. Conversely, a score of 10 would be attributed to a suburb with remarkably low housing costs, like Collie in Western Australia, known for its very affordable housing market.

Cost of Living

The cost of living encompasses daily expenses like groceries, utilities, and transportation. This measure is important because it affects the disposable income of residents. A suburb scoring 1 would have exorbitant daily living costs, such as Mosman in NSW, where residents face high expenses. On the other hand, a suburb like Broken Hill in NSW, known for its significantly lower cost of living, would score a 10.

Income Levels

Income levels reflect the economic wellbeing of the suburb’s residents. This is a crucial metric as it indicates the financial health and purchasing power of the community. A suburb scoring 1 would have notably low median income levels, such as Doomadgee in Queensland, indicating economic challenges. In contrast, a suburb like Roxby Downs in South Australia, known for its high average income due to mining industries, would score a 10.

Employment Opportunities

This criterion assesses the availability and diversity of jobs within or near the suburb. It’s important because it influences residents’ ability to find work and sustain their livelihoods. A suburb scoring 1 would have limited job opportunities, like Queenstown in Tasmania, which has faced economic downturns. A suburb scoring 10, such as Macquarie Park in NSW, known for its booming business park and diverse employment options, would be at the other end of the spectrum.

Transportation and Commute

Effective transportation options and reasonable commute times are crucial for residents’ convenience and quality of life. A suburb scoring 1 in this category would have poor transportation links and long commute times, like Drouin in Victoria, which is somewhat isolated. On the other hand, a suburb like Parramatta in NSW, with its excellent transport connectivity and short commutes to major hubs, would score a 10.

Schools and Education

The quality and accessibility of educational institutions are vital for families. A suburb scoring 1 would have limited or lower-quality educational options, such as Wilcannia in NSW. In contrast, a suburb like Indooroopilly in Queensland, boasting high-quality schools and educational resources, would score a 10.

Safety and Crime Rates

Safety and low crime rates are paramount for a suburb’s livability. A suburb scoring 1 would have high crime rates, adversely affecting its desirability, like Mount Druitt in NSW. A suburb scoring 10 would be one with exceptionally low crime rates, such as Margaret River in Western Australia, known for its safe community.

Healthcare Facilities

Access to quality healthcare is a crucial aspect of a suburb’s infrastructure. A suburb scoring 1 would have limited healthcare facilities, like Birdsville in Queensland. On the other hand, a suburb like Clayton in Victoria, home to major healthcare facilities including Monash Medical Centre, would score a 10.

Community Amenities

Community amenities like parks, recreational centers, and shopping areas enhance the quality of life. A suburb scoring 1 would have minimal amenities, such as Warburton in Victoria. In contrast, a suburb like Subiaco in Western Australia, known for its vibrant community life and plethora of amenities, would score a 10.

Future Growth Prospects

This criterion evaluates the potential for future development and appreciation in property values. A suburb scoring 1 would have limited growth prospects, like Port Augusta in South Australia. Conversely, a suburb like Ballarat in Victoria, which is experiencing rapid development and growth, would score a 10.

My Research: A Blend of Data and Local Insights

The foundation of this article is built upon a meticulous blend of quantitative data and qualitative local insights, ensuring a comprehensive and reliable guide for those seeking their ideal, affordable suburb. The rankings are not just numbers on a page; they are a representation of the vibrant, diverse, and dynamic communities that make up the Australian suburban landscape.

My journey began with a deep dive into statistical data from reputable sources such as the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), real estate websites like Domain.com.au and Realestate.com.au, and government reports on employment, education, and healthcare. These platforms provided invaluable information on housing costs, income levels, and other critical metrics. To complement this data, I referred to recent articles from local newspapers and journals, like the “Melbourne Times” and “Western Australia Today,” which offered current updates on community developments and local amenities.

However, to truly understand the essence of each suburb, I engaged in field research, visiting numerous locations across Australia. In Thornlie, Western Australia, I savoured the bustling energy at the local Thornlie – Square Shopping Centre, where the community’s vibrancy is palpable. The suburban charm of Sunshine West in Victoria was evident in its cosy cafes like The Westies, which encapsulates the suburb’s welcoming spirit. In Glenorchy, Tasmania, the scenic beauty of the Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens left a lasting impression, highlighting the suburb’s natural allure.

Conversations with local residents and business owners added a personal touch to my research. I discovered hidden gems, like the vibrant arts scene in Frankston, Victoria, through chats with local artists at the Frankston Arts Centre. The community-focused events in Ipswich, Queensland, came to light during discussions at popular local cafes like Fourthchild. These interactions provided invaluable insights into the daily life and culture of each suburb, influencing their rankings in this list.

In Conclusion

In my journey across Australia, I’ve explored a diverse range of suburbs, each offering its unique blend of affordability and livability. Here’s a recap of my top picks for the most affordable suburbs to live in Australia, based on my comprehensive evaluation of various crucial factors:

  1. Thornlie, Western Australia – Score (91/100)
  2. Logan, Queensland – Score (87/100)
  3. Maitland, New South Wales – Score (85/100)
  4. Wyndham Vale, Victoria – Score (83/100)
  5. Armadale, Western Australia – Score (82/100)
  6. Glenorchy, Tasmania – Score (80/100)
  7. Ipswich, Queensland – Score (78/100)
  8. Frankston, Victoria – Score (76/100)
  9. Salisbury, South Australia – Score (74/100)
  10. Sunshine West, Victoria – Score (72/100)

Each of these suburbs stands out for its unique attributes, from Thornlie’s harmonious blend of community spirit and growth potential to Sunshine West’s hidden gem status offering a balance of affordability and quality living. Whether you are a family looking for a friendly community, a young professional seeking career opportunities, or someone who cherishes a quiet, scenic environment, these affordable suburbs offer something for everyone.

If you’re on the quest to find a home in one of these affordable Australian suburbs, remember that navigating the property market can be a complex and time-consuming process. Utilising a professional residential buyer’s agent can be an invaluable decision and can provide expert guidance, from selecting the right suburb to negotiating the best deal, ensuring that you find a property that not only fits your budget but also suits your lifestyle and future aspirations.


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