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The 10 Cheapest Places to Live in Australia

The 10 Cheapest Places to live in Australia Bendigo1

Housing is the number one financial stressor for Australians. The median house price in Sydney hit $660,000 in February with the national capital city’s median not that far behind at $533,750. We’ve been asking, “Why do it to yourself; why eke out an existence in Sydney when you could have a great life in another regional centre?”

We’ve compiled a list of the most affordable places to live outside of the capital cities. Inclusion in this list included the following criteria: a population greater than 30,000, low unemployment, and access to high-quality education and health care. We’ve ranked them based on the how much extra money you would have in your wallet if you moved from the average capital city costs.

(Property Data

10. Toowoomba, QLD

Toowoomba, QueenslandPopulation: 157,000 Unemployment Rate: 4.5% Average House Price: $339,000 Nicknamed “The Garden City” due to its 150 public gardens and annual flower carnival, Toowoomba is as close to a capital city as it gets. It has restaurants and cafés, cinemas and theatres and major shopping centres.  To top it all off, it’s about 3 degrees cooler on average than Brisbane in the summer. A move to Toowoomba would put an extra $1021 per month back into your wallet.

9. Wagga Wagga, NSW

Wagga WaggaPopulation: 53,000 Unemployment Rate: 5.3% Average House Price: $325,000 Built around the Murrumbidgee River, Wagga (as it’s called by the locals) is New South Wales’ largest inland city. It’s an important transportation hub and the economy benefits from a heavy defence force presence (Army, Navy and Air Force) along with food production commerce around local facilities run by Cargill, Heinz and Fonterra. The town is renowned for producing a disproportionate number of elite athletes, dubbed “the Wagga Effect”. Moving to Wagga Wagga will put an extra $1100 per month back into your wallet.

8. Dubbo, NSW

DubboPopulation: 32,000 Unemployment Rate: 4.8% Average House Price: $297,000 Dubbo is the regional centre for surrounding agricultural industry. It provides business, education and health services to surrounding areas. Dubbo is home to the Taronga Western Plains Zoo. Set upon 300 hectares, Taronga provides an open-range home to many endangered animals, including both African elephants and white and black rhinoceros. Moving to Dubbo will put an extra $1250 per month back into your wallet.

7. Ballarat, VIC

BallaratPopulation: 95,000 Unemployment Rate: 4.9% Average House Price: $290,000 If culture is your thing, then Ballarat is your town. A Victorian gold rush town, Ballarat has a wealth of beautiful, historic architecture. As the historical home of the Eureka Stockade, a defining moment in Australian history, Ballarat is also home to the Museum of Australian Democracy. It has several theaters, art galleries and lots of live music. The weather in Ballarat is pretty amazing with an average high of 25°C in summer and 10°C in winter. Moving to Ballarat would put an extra $1275 per month back into your wallet.

6. Greater Taree, NSW

TareePopulation: 46,500 Unemployment Rate: 8.3% Average House Price: $278,000 If you’ve long held dreams of a sea change, then Taree is the town for you. Taree is the only coastal community included in the top ten, and many will find the pull of a surf beach to be a major draw card. Taree is a major Oyster farming region, producing almost two million oysters in 2013. With both oyster and surf you should be calling your real estate agent now. Moving to Greater Taree would put $1350 per month back into your wallet.

5. Albury-Wodong, NSW-VIC

Albury WodongaPopulation: 85,000 Unemployment Rate: 6.3% Average Property Price: $270,000 Albury-Wodonga is actually twin cities located on each side of the Murray River and therefore located in different states, with Albury in New South Wales and Wodonga in Victoria. Due to its proximity to Melbourne, it has more of a Victorian flavour with AFL predominating. Lake Hume is only 10km away—it’s stocked with fish and popular for water skiing. Moving to Albury-Wodonga would put $1400 per month back into your wallet.

4. Tamworth, NSW

TamworthPopulation: 41,000 Unemployment rate: 6.5% Average Property Price: $269,000 Tamworth is the country music capital of Australia, hosting the Tamworth Country Music Festival in January. It’s also the sporting horse capital of Australia. If you like big hats and ponies, this may be the town for you. Tamworth provides services for 200,000 people located in the region who mainly work in agriculture. Moving to Tamworth would put $1400 per month back into your wallet.

3. Shepparton, VIC

SheppartonPopulation: 48,000 Unemployment rate: 5.7% Average Property Price: $245,000 Shepparton, the ‘Food Bowl of Australia’, is a farming and food manufacturing powerhouse, with SPC Ardmona, Campbell’s Soup and United Dairy all operating factories in this town. Shepparton has extensive parkland, shady river beaches and red gum bushland. Shepparton is home to the PS Emmylou, a paddle steamer available for long cruises on which you can discover your new neighbourhood. Moving to Shepparton would put $1515 per month back into your wallet.

2. Mildura, VIC

MiduraPopulation: 30,000 Unemployment Rate: 8.5% Average Property Price: $225,000 Wine, in a word, is the reason to move to Mildura. Mildura is home to Lindemans, Oak Valley Estate, Trentham and Deakin Estate. Mildura produces 80% of the grapes grown in Victoria. When you’re tired of visiting cellar doors (and who could get tired of this), then check out the two-time Chef’s Hat winning Stefanos for some amazing modern Italian. Moving to Mildura would put $1620 per month back into your wallet.

1. The Latrobe Valley, VIC

Latrobe ValleyPopulation: 125,000 Unemployment Rate: 4.8% Average Property Price: $215,000 The Latrobe Valley has a diversified economic base. The Valley produces 85% of Victoria’s power, and many manufacturing and engineering businesses have chosen to be close to this region’s power plants. Hazlewood Pondage offers sailing, jet-skiing and swimming, and Tara Bulga and Morwell National Park offer bushwalking. All this, and it’s only an hour and a half from Melbourne. Moving to the Latrobe Valley would put $1700 per month back into your wallet.

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