Where to buy un­der $300,000

The Weekend Post - Real Estate - - Front Page - BIANCA KEE­GAN

CHEAP digs are as rare as hen’s teeth th­ese days, but bar­gains fur­ther afield can still be snapped up for less than $300,000.

Dim­bu­lah, East In­n­is­fail, Raven­shoe and Babinda have been named as the top places to buy cheap prop­erty in the Far North­ern re­gion.

In Dim­bu­lah the me­dian house price is listed at $162,500, ac­cord­ing to RP Data.

Agent Matt Powe said houses priced be­low $300,000 were ex­tremely rare in Cairns, but he re­cently listed a Par­ra­matta Park cottage for of­fers over $290,000.

“We tried the early $300,000s on the prop­erty but had to dip to the high $200,000s to at­tract a buyer,’’ Mr Powe said.

The two-bed­room work­ers’ cottage on Sev­erin St was pur­chased last week by a Cairns-based solic­i­tor.

“It had been ren­o­vated but there was scope there to im­prove it,” Mr Powe said.

“It was two bed­rooms but the sec­ond bed­room is quite small.

“There are a lot of prop­er­ties in the $300,000s be­cause you are ap­proach­ing the me­dian price range but it’s pretty rare un­der that price.”

Ac­cord­ing to re­cent data there are 15 towns and sub­urbs with a me­dian house price un­der $300,000 but many are lo­cated south and west of Cairns. “The more re­mote places are al­ways go­ing to be cheaper,’’ Mr Powe added.

Ma­reeba Prop­erty Of­fice agent So­phie Bozzo said now was a good time to buy with in­ter­est rates be­ing so low.

“You can buy a new home in Ma­reeba in the high $300,000s to early $400,000s and most of the older style con­crete block houses with three bed­rooms sell for around the high $200,000s to $300,000,” she said.

“The ren­o­va­tor homes are sell­ing in the low $200,000s and there has been an in­crease in de­mand for th­ese types of prop­er­ties.” Ms Bozzo said she re­cently sold a house in the low $200,000s to a Cairns res­i­dent and an­other to a lo­cal in­vestor.

An­other cheap prop­erty was sold to in­vestors who lived on the Table­land.

“The buyer from Cairns is go­ing to rent it out for a lit­tle while and even­tu­ally move up to live, Ms Bozzo said.

“You can still find a bar­gain in Ma­reeba.”

Buy­ing prop­erty at a low price point can also lessen debt worry, ac­cord­ing to Mort­gage Choice bro­kers.

Ac­cord­ing to this week’s re­lease of the 2015 Mort­gage Choice Money Sur­vey, 53.6 per cent of Aus­tralians in­di­cated that they were ei­ther “very wor­ried” or “con­cerned” about their fi­nances.

Mort­gage Choice spokes­woman Jes­sica Darn­brough said while the vast ma­jor­ity of re­spon­dents were con­cerned by their fi­nan­cial sit­u­a­tion, the sur­vey showed most Aus­tralians were ac­tu­ally sav­ing more money and pay­ing off debt faster than ever be­fore.

“The ma­jor­ity of Aus­tralians said they liked to keep a close eye on their day-to-day spend­ing habits, with 60.8 per cent ad­mit­ting they check their bank ac­counts at least once a week – up from 55.9 per cent in 2014,’’ Ms Darn­brough said.

“All of this data would sug­gest Aus­tralians are be­com­ing in­creas­ingly savvy when it comes to man­ag­ing their fi­nances and con­trol­ling their spend­ing.”

Pic­ture: JUSTIN BRIERTY

BAR­GAIN BUY: Prin­ci­pal of Powe Prop­erty Matt Powe re­cently listed this prop­erty at Par­ra­matta Park for less than $300,000.

REN­O­VA­TION: 418 Sev­erin St, Par­ra­matta Park, was listed for of­fers over $290,000.

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