Bargains with a view: the best beachside suburbs for under $1 million

Beachside property can be bought for less than a million dollars and here's five areas identified as having the best potential for property investors seeking sea and affordability.

Port Coogee Marina in Western Australia, with boats and restaurant in background.
At a quarter the price of its Sydney namesake, Coogee in Perth offers a coastal lifestyle close to the city at a relatively affordable price. (Image source:

For most property investors, the idea of living near the water just doesn’t float financially.

A beach lifestyle invariably comes with a price increment but there are capital city and regional locations close to the water that won’t necessarily sink the budget.

Buying in a beachside or bayside location will always attract a premium price but as the valuers say, they aren’t making any more beaches.

With that in mind, five locations have been identified as presenting the best investment prospects for buyers looking to have enough spare change from $1 million dollars to splash out on a new swimwear outfit.

Top five affordable seaside locations

1. Wynnum and Manly (Brisbane)

Wynnum and Manly are located on the bayside, south of Brisbane, with easy access to the CBD and airport. Wynnum has a median house price of $965,000, while Manly Bayside’s median tips over that slightly at $1,075,000.

Both areas have great investment upside, as they offer a family friendly lifestyle and have a high demand for tenants. Investors can expect rental yields above 3 per cent in these suburbs and uplifting returns amidst the rental crisis.

2. Glenelg (Adelaide)

Glenelg, a seaside suburb in Adelaide, has a buzzing nightlife with a plethora of trendy bars and restaurants and stunning waterfront sunsets.

Investors can look to units, where the median price is $610,000 and expect a nifty rental return of 4.5 per cent. This market has also grown by 17.3 per cent over the past 12 months.

Glenelg is a popular suburb for all, and investors cannot go wrong here. Even though the median house price is a tick over $1 million, there are still some good free-standing house buys under $1 million for the astute investor willing to spend the time searching.


Glenelg’s predominant age group is 60-69 years, but a younger cohort is now seeking out unit and other property investment options in the area.

3. Bellambi and Fairy Meadow (Wollongong)

Heading south of Sydney to the popular city of Wollongong, Bellambi and Fairy Meadow are extremely popular beachside suburbs only 10 minutes from the CBD and university.

These suburbs attract families looking for amenity, convenience and a coastal lifestyle on a budget.

Bellambi, once an area lacking infrastructure and riddled with some undesirable pockets, has now become a sought-after location that has started gentrifying.

With a median house price of $1,057,000 and unit price of $622,000, it should be on investor watchlists.

Close by, Fairy Meadow also ticks over $1 million for houses but units attract a median of just $560,000, making it an easy entry point for investors looking for an eye-catching rental return outside of Sydney.

4. Coogee (Perth)

Over in Western Australia, the seaside suburb of Coogee also had a bad rap in years gone by.

Once known for light industry, cheap long-term caravan parks, and an unpleasant stench from the abattoirs, those days are gone and in its place are modern homes, new streets, upgraded beach facilities, and a marina, dive trail and nature reserve.

With its proximity to Fremantle (around 10 to 15 minutes) and a half hour drive to the city, the area has a lot to offer, especially for investors looking to capitalise on the hot Perth market while remaining beachside.

Coogee has a median house price of $950,000 and an average rental yield of 3.9 per cent. The average yield is even higher for units at 5.6 per cent.

5. Warana (Sunshine Coast)

Southeast Queensland’s Sunshine Coast, sometimes overlooked as an area for investment, is another locality that should be on investor watchlists.

In particular, the beachfront suburb of Warana is central to this coastline strip and only a short journey to the canals and marinas with pubs, cafes and all the amenities a family could want.

Investors won’t be short of demand from tenants here and can expect yields just below 5 per cent in the unit market, with a median price of $580,000.

Sunshine Coast

The Sunshine Coast real estate market is benefiting from growing international and interstate migration.

Article Q&A

Where can you buy coastal property for less than $1 million?

A beach lifestyle invariably comes with a price increment but there are capital city and regional locations close to the water that won’t necessarily sink the budget, including those in Queensland, New South Wales, South Australia and Western Australia identified by API Magazine as investment hotspots.

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