House prices are falling, and $1 million is buying more than it did last year | Really Simple Money

House prices are falling but the declines are slowing. 


This could be a sign that the market is close to bottoming out, and that if you are thinking of buying it might be time to get out the chequebook, or at least go to an open inspection.

But what is out there to buy, and for how much? The national median house price for capital cities right now is $787,000 and for the regions it is $581,000. That makes a national average of $721,000.

There is always a huge disparity between the capitals, with Sydney the most expensive as always – median price $1.036 million – down to Perth at $559,000.

So let’s say you have $1 million to splash out on a house. What do you get for your money given that $1 million is higher than the median in every capital with the exception of Sydney.

For the purpose of the exercise let’s look a recently sold houses because that will give us the best guide. We all know that the prices agents put on prior to sale are the stuff of fantasy.

Starting in Sydney, you could have purchased a two bedroom unit in the city’s CBD for $960,000, with one bathroom and a car park. In terms of houses, you’d have to move further out to suburbs like Bankstown to get anything for our $1 million, but for that money you could buy a three bedroom brick home with a lock up garage on a 600 square metre block.

Moving to Melbourne, how about a two bedroom, two bathroom apartment with a garage near the MCG in Jolimont for under $1 million? In terms of houses, for $1 million you could move out to Preston – about 10 kilometres from the city – where a three or four bedroom home could be purchased on a 600 square metre block for our budget price.

Still on the Eastern seaboard in Brisbane, nice three bedroom apartments with garages have been sold in West End for under $1 million recently. Ten kilometres from the CBD is Chermside, where for under $1 million you could buy a three bedroom family home with a garden.

$1 million still goes a long way in the other state capitals, even in Hobart where much has been written about the property boom. Spending $1 million there could still get you a three bedroom townhouse in New Town or a four bedroom two storey family home in South Hobart.

In Adelaide it would get you a large three bedroom apartment in fashionable North Adelaide, or a four bedroom home on more than 1100 square metres in Edwardstown only 10 kilometres from the city.

Across in Perth, where the median price is cheapest, our budget would stretch to a very modern three bedroom, three bathroom townhouse in East Perth with a double garage. Ten kilometres from the CBD in the suburb of Highgate, a four bedroom two storey family home sold in November for just under $900,000.

All of which goes to show that that the stock is out there and prices, while still steep, are not as out of control as they were in 2021.

Getting that $1 million together is, admittedly, another part of the equation but as we’ve seen banks are still desperate to lend. 

Could it be time to have a chat with the bank about getting the finance together, so you can move when you find the right house for you?

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