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While Canberra may be Australia’s third most expensive city, there are still plenty of affordable spots to get your foot in the market.

Driving the growth in our property market is urbanisation, strong economy and a high employment rate thanks to the plethora of government departments. Another factor in liveability is how quick it is to get around: Canberra was designed around town centres, meaning all suburbs are close to shops, entertainment hubs, business districts and schools.

Compared to Sydney and Melbourne, Canberra is still considered an affordable competitor in the Australian housing market. With a higher median house price of $595,000, where are the most affordable areas to live in one of the nation’s most expensive cities?

North Canberra

The North of Canberra houses the majority of affordable suburbs, which is why many first homebuyers end up nesting on this side of the lake. From here, it’s quick to access the airport, drive to the coast and get to Sydney. Five noteworthy suburbs to keep an eye on are:

  1. Taylor: $364,270
  2. Belconnen: $403,288
  3. Charnwood: $460,103
  4. Holt: $477,137
  5. Ngunnawal: $515,263

Furthest north, Taylor and Ngunnawal are within a five-minute drive of the Gungahlin end of the Light Rail corridor. Belconnen and its neighbours, Charnwood and Holt, are close to the University of Canberra, Westfield Belconnen, Lake Ginninderra and a number of local schools. Whether you’re coming from Gungahlin or Belconnen, the commute to the city centre – where you’ll find the Canberra Centre, Australian National University, and the most of Canberra’s nightlife – is no more than 15 minutes.

South Canberra

A car trip from South Canberra to the snow takes two hours, the same amount of time as it would to get to the beach from the north. Those with a preference for southside living will notice a slightly higher median house price, but that’s not to say there’s a massive jump in prices. Consider these five suburbs:

  1. Phillip: $447,017
  2. Richardson: $499, 911
  3. Isabella Plains: $518,111
  4. Kambah: $519,560
  5. Chisholm: $526,956

South Canberra residents are lucky to have a number of nature parks and reserves close by, including the Cotter River, Pine Island Reserve and Mt Urambi. Many southern suburbs appeal to young families, with bigger blocks, established homes and a higher recorded quality of life. The South’s top five are also all within 15 minutes’ drive to the city centre and major universities.

Surrounds

If you don’t mind a commute and prefer an area with a slower pace of life, there are a few options outside Canberra.

  1. Yass ($462,250): popular with families of all ages, Yass is under an hour’s drive from Canberra and provides more of a country lifestyle.
  2. Queanbeyan ($517,500): just 20 minutes from Canberra, Queanbeyan is popular with independent buyers.
  3. Karabar ($520,000): close to the centre of Queanbeyan and less than half an hour to Canberra City, Karabar residents are usually older families.
Please note prices are subject to fluctuation.

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