Where it’s cheaper to buy than rent

PAM WALKLEY

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It is cheaper to buy than rent in more than 2600 Australian suburbs, according to a report from leading residential market research group RP Data. Falling house prices and rising rentals combined with lower interest rates have added to the number of areas where buying could be a better proposition.

People buying a median-priced house or unit, borrowing 90% with an interest-only three-year fixed rate mortgage at a rate of 5.55%, have the choice of 1295 suburbs in capital cities and 1327 in regional areas where buying is cheaper than renting. The comparison uses median asking rents in each suburb.

If buyers opt for a variable 30-year mortgage at 5.65% paying principal and interest, the number of suburbs they can choose from drops to 494, of which 184 are in city areas and 310 in regional areas. But if a buyer is willing to spend an extra $50 a week over and above the cost of renting, the number of qualifying suburbs increases by 1726 nationally.

Surprisingly, some are close to CBDs. For example, in Enmore, 6km from the Sydney CBD, the median unit value is $310,318 and the median rent $450 a week. Someone borrowing 90%, or $279,286, with a 30-year P&I mortgage at 5.65% would be $338 a year better off buying than renting.

In Carlton, 2km from the Melbourne CBD (median unit price $249,866, median rent $370), a buyer borrowing 90% using a P&I mortgage would be $305 a year better off.

The figures do not take into account property acquisition or ongoing costs associated with owning a property.

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