Three best property investment suburbs in each capital city uncovered

When it comes to investing in houses priced under $1 million across six Australian capital cities, these interactive maps, and the data that crunched multiple variables in thousands of suburbs, have unearthed the top three prospective investor hotspots in each city.

Aerial view of suburbia
Perth and Adelaide emerge with flying colours when it comes to potential property investment locations. (Image source:

In the quest for houses under $1 million across Australia’s capital cities, the varying distances to CBDs and diverse market conditions offer unique insights and opportunities for property investors and home buyers alike.

Starting with Sydney, the outer suburbs like Blackheath, Rosemeadow and Cranebrook showcase high potential investment properties below the $1 million mark, with Blackheath standing out for its remarkable 10-year capital growth of 110 per cent and a significant distance from the CBD, offering a unique blend of value and lifestyle away from the city hustle.

Melbourne’s options, such as Chirnside Park and Endeavour Hills, present closer CBD proximities and solid growth figures, making them attractive for those seeking suburban living within reach of urban amenities.

Brisbane introduces Brighton, Alexandra Hills, and Manly West as contenders, where Brighton offers the highest median list price but benefits from a coastal location.

Adelaide’s Flagstaff Hill and Highbury demonstrate remarkable 10-year growth rates, with Flagstaff Hill offering a closer distance to the CBD and a higher socio-economic ranking, making it a prime choice for investors looking for long-term value.

Perth’s Landsdale, Harrisdale and Wattle Grove highlight the city’s affordability, with Landsdale offering the highest growth potential among the three.

Lastly, Canberra’s Dunlop, Kambah and Ngunnawal are notable for their proximity to the CBD and strong market conditions, presenting a blend of urban convenience and suburban tranquility.

The metrics measuring investment success

These diverse options across Australia offer a spectrum of investment opportunities, each with its unique advantages, from coastal living in Brisbane to the scenic, mountainous regions of Sydney’s outskirts, and the balanced urban-suburban lifestyle of Canberra, highlighting the varied tapestry of Australia’s real estate market.

To highlight the interesting differences in key data statistics for houses under $1 million across selected capital cities in Australia, let’s focus on a few crucial metrics: distance to the CBD, median list price now, 10-year growth percentage, average household weekly income, and the socio-economic ranking.

These metrics offer insights into affordability, investment potential, income levels and overall desirability of the suburbs.

The leading candidate suburbs from each capital city for investment potential with an asking price below $1 million were identified as follows in these tables (with information from the interactive maps above in these tables below for ease of comparison).

Distance to CBD and median list price

Suburb City Distance to CBD (km) Median list price now
Blackheath Sydney 89 $821,100
Chirnside Park Melbourne 32 $880,000
Brighton Brisbane 19 $900,000
Flagstaff Hill Adelaide 13 $799,000
Landsdale Perth 16 $717,100
Dunlop Canberra 14 $835,000

10-year growth and average household weekly income

Suburb City 10-Year Growth (%) Average household weekly income
Blackheath Sydney 110% $1,332
Chirnside Park Melbourne 93% $2,084
Brighton Brisbane 95% $1,981
Flagstaff Hill Adelaide 96% $2,080
Landsdale Perth 67% $2,439

Socio-economic ranking

Suburb City Socio-economic ranking
Blackheath Sydney 7
Chirnside Park Melbourne 8
Brighton Brisbane 8
Flagstaff Hill Adelaide 9
Landsdale Perth 9
Dunlop Canberra 9

These tables reveal distinct differences between the cities in terms of proximity to the CBD, median list prices reflective of local market conditions, and the long-term growth potential.

Sydney and Brisbane offer higher growth percentages, indicating strong investment potential.

Melbourne, Adelaide, and Canberra present a mix of growth and high average household incomes, suggesting a balance between affordability and quality of life.

Perth shows the lowest 10-year growth rate but the highest average household income, highlighting a potentially undervalued market. Socio-economic rankings uniformly suggest high-quality living conditions across these suburbs, making them attractive for diverse buyer profiles.

Exploring affordability across the selected capital cities unveils a multi-faceted picture of the Australian real estate landscape, especially for houses under $1 million.

Affordability can be dissected into various components, such as median list prices, rent affordability, buy affordability, and average household weekly incomes, which provide a comprehensive view of what residents might expect in terms of living costs and investment potential.

Median list price and rent affordability

Suburb City Median list price Rent affordability (%)
Blackheath Sydney $821,100 37.54%
Chirnside Park Melbourne $880,000 26.87%
Brighton Brisbane $900,000 31.80%
Flagstaff Hill Adelaide $799,000 27.64%
Landsdale Perth $717,100 28.70%
Dunlop Canberra $835,000 25.97%

Buy affordability and average household weekly income

Suburb City Buy affordability (years) Average household weekly income
Blackheath Sydney 11.85 $1,332
Chirnside Park Melbourne 8.12 $2,084
Brighton Brisbane 8.74 $1,981
Flagstaff Hill Adelaide 7.39 $2,080
Landsdale Perth 5.65 $2,439
Dunlop Canberra 6.42 $2,503

Affordability analysis:

Median list price and rent affordability: The data suggests a clear gradient in median list prices, with Perth presenting the most affordable entry point and Brisbane nearing the top end of the budget range.

Rent affordability percentages reveal how much household income is dedicated to rent, with Sydney’s Blackheath and Brisbane’s Brighton showing higher percentages, indicating a tighter squeeze on budgets for renters.

Buy affordability and income: Buy affordability, measured in years of household income needed to purchase a home, highlights significant variances across cities. Perth’s Landsdale and Adelaide’s Flagstaff Hill emerge as the most accessible, requiring less than eight years of household income for a home purchase.

In contrast, Sydney’s Blackheath demands nearly 12 years, reflecting the broader challenge of entering Sydney’s property market.

Income insights: The average household weekly income provides a backdrop to these affordability measures. Perth stands out with the highest income levels, aligning with its favourable buy affordability figures. Canberra’s high income further supports its market’s accessibility despite higher list prices.

Perth, Adelaide deliver affordable investment potential

In summary, while median list prices give a snapshot of upfront costs, the combination of rent affordability and buy affordability with average income levels paints a fuller picture of what it means to live and invest in these areas.

Perth and Adelaide show notable advantages in overall affordability, whereas the Sydney and Brisbane markets pose challenges that require careful financial planning and consideration for potential homeowners and investors.

How the rankings work and the category's stand outs

When evaluating the top three cities for affordability, investor scores, and distance to the city based on the provided data, we must consider each factor to rank the cities effectively. The criteria for affordability include both the median list price and buy affordability, while the investor score reflects the investment potential of properties, and the distance to the city highlights connectivity and potential lifestyle benefits.

Perth emerges as a leader in affordability, with Landsdale showing a median list price of $717,100, the lowest among the selected suburbs, and a buy affordability factor of just 5.65 years, reflecting the quickest path to homeownership based on the average household income. Adelaide follows closely, with Flagstaff Hill’s median list price at $799,000 and a buy affordability of 7.39 years, making it an attractive option for those seeking value within a reasonable distance from the CBD.

Canberra, despite its higher median list prices (e.g., Dunlop at $835,000), offers a relatively good buy affordability rate of 6.42 years, supported by the highest average household weekly income among the cities, enhancing its overall affordability.

Adelaide stands out with Flagstaff Hill and Highbury both scoring high on the investor score metric, indicating strong potential for investment returns.

Perth and Canberra also showcase strong investment potential, with suburbs like Landsdale and Dunlop featuring investor scores that suggest solid growth and yield prospects.

When it comes to distance from the CBD, Adelaide’s Flagstaff Hill offers an appealing compromise between city proximity (13 km to the CBD) and affordability, presenting a blend of lifestyle and investment appeal.

Perth’s Landsdale provides a reasonable distance to the CBD (16 km), combined with the highest affordability and a solid investor score, marking it as a prime candidate for those prioritising proximity without compromising on cost.

Canberra, with suburbs like Dunlop positioned just 14 km from the CBD, ensures residents and investors enjoy close access to urban amenities alongside a favourable investment climate.

The top three cities for property investors

  1. Perth - Best for affordability with a strong investor score, offering the most accessible entry point into the housing market and reasonable city proximity.
  2. Adelaide - High investor scores and good affordability, coupled with close CBD proximity, make it highly attractive for both living and investing.
  3. Canberra - Despite slightly higher prices, its high average income, good buy affordability, solid investor scores, and closeness of suburbs to the CBD present a balanced opportunity for investors and homeowners alike.

These cities showcase a mix of affordability, investment potential and urban accessibility, catering to a range of preferences and financial capabilities for those considering property investment or home ownership in Australia.

Article Q&A

Which are the best capital cities for property investment?

Perth ranks best for affordability with a strong investor score, offering the most accessible entry point into the housing market and reasonable city proximity. Adelaide achieves high investor scores and good affordability, coupled with close CBD proximity, make it highly attractive for both living and investing. Canberra, despite slightly higher prices, has high average income levels, good buy affordability, solid investor scores, and closeness of suburbs to the CBD presenting a balanced opportunity for investors and homeowners alike.

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