• Personal Finance Basics

The 10 Cheapest Places to live in Australia

Housing is the number one financial stressor for Australians. The median house price in Sydney hit $1.4 Million in February with the national capital city median not that far behind at $1 mil. We’ve been asking “why do it to yourself?” Why eke out an existence in Sydney when you could have a great life in a regional centre? We’ve compiled a list of the most affordable places to live outside of the capital cities.  

Our criteria for inclusion in this list included; a population greater than 30,000, low unemployment, access to high quality education and health care. We’ve ranked them based on the how much extra money you would have in your back pocket if you moved from the average capital city


10. Ballarat, VIC

Population: 95,000

Unemployment Rate: 4.1%

Average House Price: $620,000

If culture is your thing then Ballarat is your town. A Victorian gold rush town Ballarat has wealth of beautiful historic architecture. It has several theatres, the museum of democracy, art galleries and has lots of live music. Ballarat is the home the Eureka Stockade, a defining moment in the development of Australian democracy. The weather in Ballarat is pretty amazing too with an average high of 25 in summer and 10 in winter.

Moving to Ballarat would put an extra $1100 per month in your back pocket.


9.Wagga Wagga, NSW

Population: 53,000

Unemployment Rate: 2.2%

Average House Price: $560,000

Built around the Murrumbidgee River, Wagga as it’s called by the locals is New South Wales largest inland city. It’s an important transport hub and the economy benefits from a heavy defense force presence (Army, Navy and Airforce), and food production with Cargill, Heinz and Fonterra having facilities in the town.

The town is renowned for producing a disproportionate number of elite athletes, dubbed the “Wagga Effect”.

Moving to Wagga Wagga will put an extra $1250 per month in your back pocket.


8.The Latrobe Valley, Vic

Population: 125,000

Unemployment Rate: 4.8%

Average Property Price: $531,000

The Latrobe Valley has a diversified economic base. The Valley produces 85% of Victoria’s power and many manufacturing and engineering businesses have chosen to be close to the power plants. Hazlewood Pondage offers, sailing, jet-skiing and swimming and Tara Bulga and Morwell National Park offer bushwalking. All this and it’s only an hour and a half

Moving to the Latrobe Valley would put $1275 per month in your back pocket.


7. Tamworth, NSW

Population: 41,000

Unemployment rate: 4.3%

Average Property Price: $530,000

Tamworth is the country music capital of Australia hosting the Tamworth Country music Festival in January. It’s also the sporting horse capital of Australia. If you like big hats and ponies this maybe the town for you. Tamworth provides services for the 200,000 people located in the region who work mainly in agriculture.

Moving to Tamworth would put $1350 per month in your back pocket.


6. Dubbo, NSW

Population: 32,000

Unemployment Rate: 3.8%

Average House Price: $495,000

Dubbo is the regional centre for surrounding agricultural industry. It provides business, education and health services to surrounding areas. Dubbo is home to the Taronga Western Plains Zoo. Set of 300 hectares, Taronga is an open-range design home to many endangered animals including both White and Black Rhinoceros, and African Elephants.

Moving to Dubbo will put an extra $1400 per month in your back pocket.


5.Albury-Wodonga, NSW/Vic

Population: 85,000

Unemployment Rate: 6.3%

Average Property Price: $462,000

Albury-Wodonga is actually twin cities located on each side of the Murray River and therefore located in different states, with Albury in New South Wales and Wodonga in Victoria. Due to its proximity to Melbourne it has more of a Victorian flavour and AFL predominates. Lake Hume is only 10km away it’s stocked with fish and a popular for water skiing.

Moving to Albury-Wodonga would put $1400 per month in your back pocket.


4.Greater Taree, NSW.

Population: 46,500

Unemployment Rate: 8.3%

Average House Price: $454,000

If you’ve long held dreams of a sea change then Taree is the town for you. Taree is the only coastal community included in the top ten and many will find the pull of a surf beach a major draw card. Taree is a major Oyster producing region, producing almost 2 million oysters in 2013. If you weren’t sold by the beach you should be calling real estate agents now.

Moving to Greater Taree would put $1515 per month in your back pocket.


3.Toowoomba, QLD

Population: 151,000

Unemployment Rate: 4.6%

Average House Price: $443,000

Nicknamed “The Garden City”, due to its 150 public gardens and annual flower carnival Toowoomba is as close to a capital city as it gets. It has restaurants and cafés, cinemas and theatres and major shopping centres. To top it all of it’s on average about 3 degrees cooler than Brisbane in summer.

Moving to Toowoomba would put $1600 per month in your back pocket.


2. Mildura, Vic

Population: 30,000

Unemployment Rate: 6.4%

Average Property Price: $400,000

Wine, in a word is the reason to move to Mildura. Mildura is home to Lindemans, Oak Valley Estate, Trentham, and Deakin Estate. Mildura produces 80% of the grapes grown in Victoria. When you’re tired, and who would get tired, of visiting cellar doors, check out the 2 Chef’s Hat winning “Stefanos” for some amazing modern Italian.

Moving to Mildura would put $1620 per month in your back pocket.


1.Shepparton, Vic

Population: 48,000

Unemployment rate: 2.8%

Average Property Price: $380,000

Shepparton, the “Food Bowl of Australia” is a farming and food manufacturing powerhouse, with SPC Ardmona, Campbell’s Soup and United Dairy all operating factories in the town.   Shepparton has extensive parkland, shady river beaches and red gum bushland. Shepparton is home to the P.S Emmylou, a paddle steamer available for long cruises so you can discover your new home.

Moving to Shepparton would put $1700 per month in your back pocket.

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