NAB puts a spotlight on affordable suburbs for first home buyers

By Fergus Halliday 19 August 2021 | 1 minute read

One of Australia’s biggest banks has shared its shortlist for first home buyers looking for suburbs where it’s cheaper to buy a property than rent one. 

NAB puts a spotlight on affordable suburbs for first home buyers

New data shared by one of Australia’s biggest banks has revealed which suburbs in each state are cheaper to afford on a mortgage than rent.

Speaking on the release of the data, NAB executive for home ownership Andy Kerr pointed out that first home buyers have been the biggest beneficiaries of new incentives of the last 12 months, driving demand upwards.

“We have seen through the pandemic, particularly with first home buyers, that flexible and hybrid working is providing more options than they have historically had,” he said.

However, Mr Kerr noted that the parts of Australia that are attracting the attention of first home buyers aren’t the same as previous generations.

Highlighting the more tepid price growth seen in outer-metro suburbs, he said that first home buyers have always been “very good” at picking up on where property prices have been more subdued.

While the price growth seen in Sydney and Melbourne means that first home buyers in those states are better off turning their gaze to regional areas, NAB said that every other state and territory capital has a healthy handful of suburbs where it’s possible to buy cheaper than to rent.

“House prices are rising, but there’s still plenty of opportunities for Australians to buy their dream home rather than rent it,” Mr Kerr said.


In Queensland, NAB highlighted a number of suburbs in the north and west of Greater Brisbane.

According to NAB, “areas such as Logan, Bald Hills, Redbank PlainsRedbank Plains, QLD Redbank Plains, QLD, RedcliffeRedcliffe, WA Redcliffe, QLD and CabooltureCaboolture, QLD Caboolture, QLD all provide opportunities for buying a house over renting”.

For unit buyers, there are also a number of affordable suburbs located within a three-kilometre radius of Brisbane’s CBD. These include Brisbane City, Fortitude Valley, Spring Hill and South Brisbane.

Western Australia

When it comes to Western Australia, NAB flagged locations like ArmadaleArmadale, WA Armadale, VIC, Greenfields, Port Kennedy, Clarkson and Baldivas as potential options for those looking to mortgage a house for less than the average rent.

Based on the current median unit value, the bank said that PerthPerth, TAS Perth, WA CBD, East Perth, South Perth, Rivervale, MaylandsMaylands, SA Maylands, WA and Fremantle are ripe opportunities for those looking for investments that are cheaper to buy than to rent.

South Australia

As for Adelaide, NAB found that suburbs Elizabeth and SalisburySalisbury, SA Salisbury, QLD provide greater opportunity for those who would prefer to buy rather than rent a house.

“Unit markets, providing greater affordability, present themselves in the Adelaide CBD and Glenelg. Additionally, Mawson Lakes also provides buyers with good opportunity,” NAB said.


Unit buyers looking for suburbs where it’s cheaper to buy than rent aren’t exactly spoiled for choice in Tassie.

NAB noted that “only Glenorchy units provide a cheaper opportunity to buy than rent”.

First home buyers have a few more options on the table, with Sorell, Howrah, Moonah and KingstonKingston, QLD Kingston, ACT Kingston, TAS all making NAB’s suburb shortlist.

North Territory

When it comes to Darwin-based opportunities for first home buyers, NAB said that Zuccoli, Gunn, DurackDurack, QLD Durack, NT and Leanyer all offer houses that are more affordable to buy than rent.

Meanwhile, those looking at investing in a unit have a few options to choose from.

NAB highlighted markets such as Darwin City, Stuart Park and Larrakeyah as opportunities for those who would like to reap the benefits of a more affordable mortgage.


NAB found that there are over 40 suburbs in the ACT that are cheaper to buy than rent. For houses, this includes Kambah, Ngunnawal and Bonner.

For units, they recommended buyers direct their attention towards Braddon, Belconnen, FranklinFranklin, ACT Franklin, TAS and Kingston.

“Despite the rapid pace of value growth over the past 12 months, an even split between housing and unit markets was seen,” the bank said.

About the author

Fergus Halliday

Fergus is a journalist for Momentum Media's nestegg and Smart Property Investment. He likes to write about money, markets, how innovation is changing the financial landscape and how younger consumers can achieve their goals in unpredictable... Read more

NAB puts a spotlight on affordable suburbs for first home buyers
NAB puts a spotlight on affordable suburbs for first home buyers
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