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What $1million can buy you in 8 major Australian cities

Living in the heart of a city can have its advantages. You’re close to many places of business and work, public transport, shopping centres, restaurants, and all the things that make a city great. Not to mention, the views can be pretty spectacular.

We’ve compiled a list of just what kind of property $1 million will buy you in the state and territory capitals. The results may surprise you...

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sydney-edgecliff Ranked 10th on Mercer’s list of the world’s most liveable cities, the competition for property in Sydney is fierce. For $1 million, you’re likely to be stuck with a cosy one bed, one bath apartment in the CBD, and maybe one parking space if you’re really lucky.

It’s a similar story in the surrounding suburbs, areas like Bondi, Rose Bay, Mosman, Maroubra and Arncliffe, for example. Those beautiful old Victorian terraced houses in suburbs like Paddington, Darlinghurst and Edgecliff will cost you closer to $2.5 million than $1 million.

Out west, however, in suburbs like Parramatta, Wetherill Park, Beverly Hills and Strathfield that are a bit further away from the CBD, you can find spacious 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom houses with garages for around about $1 million.

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melbourne-skyline Known for its laneway cafes, tramlines, vibrant culture and enviable shopping scene, Melbourne has been ranked the world’s most liveable city by the Economist for six straight years. Sydney did not even make the top 10 on this particular list. Additionally, Melbourne is apparently Australia’s fastest growing city. Perhaps the fact that Melbourne is more affordable to live in than Sydney has something to do with this?

It’s by no means cheap to live in the city, but property listings show everything from 1 or 2 bedroom apartments for less than $500,000, to a 3 bed, 2 bath apartment for less than $900,000. In close-by suburbs like St Kilda, Richmond and Brunswick, you’ll find apartments and even a few small 2-3 bedroom houses with an asking price of $1 million or less.

Alternatively, you could invest in one of the iconic bathing houses along Brighton Beach, which would set you back just $250,000.


The capital city of Queensland is constantly drenched in sunshine, so if you’re a shorts and thongs kind of person, Brisbane is the city for you. Of course, the consistent heat does have its drawbacks. For example, mosquitoes and other bugs do tend to thrive here, and severe thunderstorms are a regular occurrence.

However, the weather doesn’t seem to detract from the value of property in the city. In Brisbane you’ll find central 1 and 2 bedroom apartments with stunning views of the Brisbane River often on the market for under $1 million. The median property price for many nearby suburbs, like Paddington, Ashgrove and Balmoral is also just under $1 million (circling around the $950,000 mark).

Do you live near a good school? House prices are skyrocketing in areas with desirable schools. Find out how much your house could be worth with our free property report.


perth-house Sitting on the banks of the Swan River is Perth, the capital city of Western Australia. Perth ranked 7th on the Economist Intelligence Unit’s list of the world’s most liveable cities for 2016. With a warm, sunny climate, plenty of stunning, white sand beaches and an undeniably laid-back character, Perth has become a popular place to live among young, independent adults.

With a median house price of $830,000 in central Perth, you might be surprised by the kinds of property you can find on the market for $1 million or less. There are 2-3 bedroom apartments, terraces, duplexes and houses, located in the CBD and in its surrounding suburbs, with price listings anywhere between $400,000 and $900,000.

Overall, the Perth housing market has experienced a steady decline over the last few years, with an oversupply of properties being met by a lack of demand from buyers. While this is bad news for investors, it does present an opportunity for the residents of Perth and surrounding areas who might be looking, perhaps, to relocate to or upsize in the state capital, without having to spend millions.


adelaide Adelaide is Australia’s 5th largest city, and a majority of the population is made up of independent young people and working professionals. The median house price currently stands at $582,800, while the average price for a unit is $387,500, making it one of the most affordable Australian mainland cities.

Currently, the Adelaide property market lists 2-3 bedroom, 2 bathroom penthouses, apartments and refurbished warehouses for less than $900,000, right in the heart of the city. $1 million, or in many cases less than that, will buy you a modern 2-3 bedroom house in surrounding suburbs, like Norwood, Dulwich and Richmond.

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hobart Hobart is one of the most underrated and beautiful Australian cities, as well as one of the most affordable. The median house price of the second oldest capital in Australia, after Sydney, is $621,000, and while this is less than Adelaide, for example, you’ll likely get the most amount of space for your money by purchasing a property in Hobart.

In the city itself, there are 2-3 bedroom houses and apartments on the market for around about $800,000. However, there are also listings for 5-6 bedroom houses in nearby suburbs like Mount Stuart, West Hobart and Sandy Bay with an asking price from a little under to a little over $1 million.

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The mother of all Australian capitals is growing, in terms of population and infrastructure, and in levels of attractiveness to potential home buyers and investors. The nation’s capital offers an attractive alternative for those who may not be able to buy into the increasingly impenetrable Sydney housing market.

You’ll find your typical 1-2 bedroom, 1 bathroom apartments in the CBD, however they are significantly cheaper than in Sydney or Melbourne, with properties listed from $400,000 - $600,000 as opposed to the $1 million you’d pay for the same thing in the NSW capital. For $800,000-$900,000 you can find 3 bedroom apartments as well.

You’d be hard-pressed to find a house in Canberra Central for less than $1 million, however in nearby suburbs like Narrabundah, Red Hill, Kingston and Griffith, you might have more luck.


australian-house Perhaps better known for its stunning, rugged geography than a sparkling city skyline, Darwin is the capital of the Northern Territory. It is the smallest Australian capital, with approximately 142,300 people living in the greater Darwin area as of 2015, but also the second fastest growing, after Melbourne. While the Northern Territory as a whole is greatly underpopulated considering its size, the capital is experiencing rapid population growth as people flock from more rural areas for a taste of the city life.

Half a million dollars or less can buy you a 1-2 bedroom unit in the capital, while slightly over $600,000 will get you a 3 bedroom place. In suburbs like Bayview, Woolner and Fannie Bay, $1 million (or slightly over) can get you a beautiful modern house with up to 5 bedrooms and stunning ocean views.

Sometimes it's easier to hop on the property ladder by investing. Find a great investment loan rate with Lendi.

Tags: first home, property, melbourne, brisbane, adelaide, perth, hobart, canberra, darwin, sydney, new purchase, investment, investing

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