If you’ve got about $85,000, you can buy a house in an oceanfront suburb right now. In Rocky Cape, Tasmania, that is.

While Tassie is undoubtedly one of our prettiest locations, I can’t see hordes of beach lovers heading across Bass Strait to get a cheap house close to the beach. But nonetheless, Rocky Cape is the country’s cheapest oceanfront suburb according to a new report from RP Data. The report lists the most affordable suburbs in oceanside areas nationally and it’s a great read.

Living by the sea is a fantasy many Australian homeowners share and here are the cheapest areas to buy.

  • Stuarts Point, Mid North Coast – median price $250,000
  • Lake Tabourie, Illawarra –  $280,000
  • Moruya, South Coast –  $282,500
  • Warilla, Illawarra Region –  $287,500
  • Lake Illawarra, Illawarra Region –  $289,000
  • Golden Beach, East Gippsland – $150,000
  • Loch Sport, East Gippsland –  $170,000
  • Toora, Gippsland –  $192,500
  • Walkerville, Gippsland – $202,500
  • Corlo, Barwon – $220,000
  • Port Wakefield, Yorke and Lower North Region – $147,500
  • Port Pirie West, Northern – $150,000
  • Cape Jervis, Outer Adelaide – $177,500
  • Minlaton, Yorke and Lower North Region – $186,000
  • Port Augusta, Northern Region – $190,000
  • Withers, South West Region – $257,000
  • Mandurah, South West – $309,500
  • Usher, South West – $312,500
  • Castletown, South Eastern Region – $330,000
  • Port Denison, Central Region – $340,000
  • Rocky Cape, Mersey-Lyell Region – $85,000
  • George Town, Northern Region – $170,000
  • Currie, Mersey-Lyell Region – $178,500
  • White Beach, Southern Region – $180,000
  • Strahan, Mersey-Lyell Region – $185,000
  • Wagait Beach, Northern Territory – $230,000
  • Tiwi, Darwin – $483,250
  • Rapid Creek, Darwin – $585,000
  • Nightcliff, Darwin – $742,500
  • Fannie Bay, Darwin – $1 million

N.B. We’ve purposely omitted Queensland due to the impact of the flood crisis.

If you’re looking at regional areas – particularly coastal markets, for investment or retirement – my advice is to move soon. Property prices in blue-ribbon regionals fell substantially during the GFC and now they’re on the way back up.

Take Byron Bay in NSW. Pre-GFC, the median house price was $860,000. Fast forward to 2009 and it was $710,000 – that’s a pretty big drop. Today it’s $812,500. In other words, savvy buyers are back and they’re getting great value at the negotiating table. But it won’t last long. I give it six months.

If you’re looking to buy regional, I encourage you to act quickly because demand is picking up and this is starting to have an impact on prices. Here’s why demand in regional areas is increasing: 

  1. Investors have realised the value available – there are many good quality regional areas offering positive gearing opportunities right now.
  2. Semi-retirees are increasingly buying in coastal and country towns with fast commuter access back to Sydney by plane or train. For example, our McGrath Port Macquarie office estimates 40 per cent of buyers are coming from Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.
  3. We’re seeing new anecdotal evidence of young families swapping the city life for regional living. Lifestyle and affordability are their priorities.
  4. Add to the mix local homeowners who are looking to upgrade to a bigger home while good value is available.

It’s hard to go wrong buying property near the beach in Australia. Start your research now and good luck!