Region tops poll
The City of Karratha is the most affordable place to own a home in WA, according to a national survey.
Before you spit your drink out in bewilderment, add to that statement that Dampier is the third most affordable place to own a home in Australia.
The claims are the result of a fin der.com.au survey into who has the most money left over after their mortgage repayments.
With an average annual postmortgage repayment household income of $88,027, Dampier homeowners are nearly $13,000 better off than the top-ranking Perth suburb of Brentwood.
Only St Andrews in Victoria and Moranbah in Queensland are better off nationally.
Millars Well ($86,973), Bulgarra ($86,125), Nickol ($85,942), Pegs Creek ($84,773) and Baynton ($79,525) all have a higher postmortgage repayment annual income than every other WA suburb.
Despite the positive data, North West Finance director Belinda Bradshaw warned the statistics did not show the whole picture.
“Insurance is a big cost here because of our cyclone rating,” she said.
“On average it is probably four times more expensive to insure a house up here than in the city and just because you buy a house at $400,000 doesn’t mean you’ll be able to replace it at that price here.
Ms Bradshaw said lenders were another big hurdle when it came to affordability in the region.
“There are more restrictions on buying property and a lot more hoops to jump through here, even for Keystart,” she said.
“The banks still don’t like our postcodes.”
Ms Bradshaw said maintenance costs and utilities also had to be factored in to paint a real picture.
Finder.com.au money expert Michelle Hutchison said it was interesting to see suburbs with both higher and lower median house prices in the mix.
“What this shows is that in some suburbs, Australians are living much more affordable lives than others, regardless of the home values,” she said.
“The main finding was that it doesn’t matter the cost of housing in an area, what matters is how much it costs you to be able to afford living there.
“So borrowers need to do their research and find the lowest cost home loan, use an online calculator to work out the costs involved and how much money left over they will have after paying mortgage repayments.”
Figures were calculated based on a 20 per cent deposit, variable 5.1 per cent home loan rate, median house price of each suburb, 1.5 income earners per household and deducting appropriate tax from the average wage.