Herron Todd White: $750,000 won’t buy you as much as it used to

The surge in property prices since 2020 has left many homebuyers out in the cold, with fewer options under $750,000 according to the latest Herron Todd White (HTW) Month in Review.

In the June report, HTW National Director, Group Risk and Compliance, Kevin Brogan said the fact that property values have held up so well, shows how resilient it has been as an asset class.

“In 2020, $700,000 in Western Sydney would secure a one-year-old, two-bedroom unit in Parramatta, or even a house and granny flat in St Marys, while a two-bed unit in Marrickville went for $655,000,” Mr Brogan said.

“Looking at the 2023 options and you can still buy a unit in Paramatta for $750,000, but it will be a few years older than that 2020 purchase.

“In Marrickville, that same two-bed unit described above would be closer to $750,000 and the home in St Marys would be a small two-bed cottage in need of an upgrade.”

Mr Brogan said it was a similar story across the country.

“In Melbourne, a new house-and-land package in 2020 would have cost between $500,000 and $650,000 in Glenroy, Fawkner and Reservoir, but in 2023 you’ll be paying above $750,000 for most detached homes and even some townhouses,” he said.

“Detached two- or three-bedroom housing would have been available in Ringwood, Warrandyte, Mitcham and Doncaster for $700,000 in 2020. 

“A look at today’s sales suggests buying in those same suburbs with a $750,000 budget will get you a new two-bed unit in an older duplex unit. 

“A stand-alone house will be outside your budget.”

He said In Brisbane, your dollar would have gone even further. 

“Very desirable suburbs such as Hendra, Wooloowin and Clayfield all had entry-level, preand post-war dwellings on 405 square metres in secondary positions for $700,000 back in 2020,” he said.

“In 2023, a detached home for that price is pretty much unimaginable in these suburbs. An older townhouse or unit will be your options.

“Further out, in 2020 you could secure good quality second hand detached homes or newer townhouses in Stafford, Gordon Park or Kedron. 

“In today’s market, your chance of getting a detached home that isn’t small, in poor condition and/or on a main road is slim for $750,000.”

Mr Brogan said despite the economic uncertainty over the past few years, residential property had proved to be a solid asset – whether as a home or investment. 

“The key is always to choose your real estate based on solid fundamentals and sound independent advice,” he said.

“History shows that those who invest $750,000 today will look back in 2026 pleased with their decision.”


In Sydney, options under $750,000 continue to be incredibly limited, according to HTW Director Shaun Thomas.

“With many of the country’s most sought-after suburbs, Sydney’s inner city is not known for its affordable properties, however some properties at $750,000 or under do exist,” Mr Thosmas said.

He said in inner Sydney these are commonly studio or one-bedroom apartments within the CBD or city fringe locations and make popular investments for individuals seeking a strong rental return.

However, South-West Sydney may be one of the few remaining areas within the Sydney basin in which the Australian dream of owning a family home is still achievable.

“Traditionally thought of as secondary locations, there are still plenty of opportunities available within the Campbelltown LGA in Airds, Eagle Vale, Claymore, Kearns, Blairmount, Ambarvale, Campbelltown and Bradbury, however bracket creep means these opportunities are becoming much rarer,” he said.


HTW Director Perron King said with metropolitan Melbourne’s median house price sitting at $956,000 as at the March quarter, a budget of $750,000 is unlikely to secure a family home these days, even in the once-affordable outer suburbs. 

“Many buyers are seeking units and apartments, which currently have a median of $611,000, as an alternative way to buy in their desired location without the premium price tag,” Mr King said.

Mr King said locations like south-east and Peninsula regions, buyers have several options to purchase properties within the $750,000 price range.

As buyers venture further towards the outer south-east, in suburbs such as Cranbourne, Berwick and Clyde, there is a greater opportunity to acquire a family home within this budget.

He said in the Western Subrubs you can still purchase a four bedroom home in a location like Werribee for under $750,000.


HTW Director, David Notley said across Brisbane, $750,000 is a great price point to work with given the median house price is just above $700,000.

He said, in the inner city, the land component on most blocks would be around $700,000 however, there are still opportnuites to buy in New Farm, Teneriffe or Newstead.

In the middle ring you could look at Rocklea,  Bridgeman Downs, McDowall or Albany Creek.


HTW Property Valuer, Nick Smerdon said $750,000 could buy the astute purchaser the perfect owner-occupier abode or investment property in Adelaide.

He said higher density stock such as strata units, mid-to-late-century townhouses and infill development were most prevalent at this price point in the inner ring. 

“In the middle ring, traditional detached dwellings and modern infill development become available at the $750,000 price point,” Mr Smerdon said.

“Strong price growth continues to put a squeeze on the $750,000 price point. Purchasers should remain confident entering the market at this level as the median house price nears parity.”


HTW Director Chris Hinchliffe said the median house price in most areas of Western Australia is well below $750,000 and it gives the purchaser a range of options on how to outlay their hard-earned money.

He said it’s still possible to find a property under that price in places like North Perth, Como, East Perth or even Kalamunda.


HTW Valuer Peter Nichols said Darwin remains one of the most affordable capital city markets to enter.

“Parap is a highly sought-after location with schools, boutique shopping and its close proximity to the beach and the city attracting young and old professionals,” Mr Nichols said.

“If you’re looking for a residential unit or townhouse, the suburb of Rapid Creek with its picturesque surroundings and vibrant community will provide several excellent options and a great product with a budget of $750,000 or even well under.

“Investors are particularly drawn to the Rapid Creek area due to its high rental demand and potential for capital growth.”


HTW Assistant Valuer, Michael Q said with a budget of $750,000, prospective buyers in this area have seen their range of options dwindle in recent years. 

However, with softening market conditions being felt across the ACT and the country, several options have become available to first homebuyers and entry-level investors.

“The best suburbs in Canberra might not be the most affordable suburbs. Some options to consider include Charnwood, Macgregor, Ngunnawal and Richardson,” he said.


HTW Valuer Stephen Liu said $750,000 this time last year would not have given you much choice and you would have needed to have all your ducks lined up before putting an offer forward to the real estate agent. 

“Fast forward 12 months and we are now in a buyer’s market where properties are sitting on the market for twice as long as last year and vendors now have to meet the demands of purchasers,” Mr Liu said.

He said options include Claremont, Berridale, Bridgewater, Glenorchy and Brighton.

Show More

Rowan Crosby

Rowan Crosby is a freelance journalist specialising in finance and real estate.