Buying can be cheaper than renting in mining towns

DESPITE an overall downturn in property prices, Moranbah and Dysart remain two of the top five suburbs in regional Queensland where buying a house is cheaper than renting.

Moranbah topped the list, followed by Blackwater in Fitzroy, Dysart, Miles on the Darling Downs and Kunda Park on the Sunshine Coast.

In August, the Daily Mercury reported that the median weekly rent for a house in Moranbah was $1900.

That price has since dropped to $1500, according to a report by RP Data.

The median weekly rent for a house in Dysart was $1400 in August and this price has also fallen – to $980.

In Australia, Queensland has the highest number of suburbs and towns where it’s cheaper to buy than rent – greater Brisbane accounts for 42 suburbs while the remaining 105 can be found in the regional areas of the state.

Based on principal and interest payments on a variable mortgage rate, the difference between buying and renting a house in Moranbah could save you $2859 a month, and $1253 in Dysart.

But they weren’t the only suburbs in the region where buying could be cheaper than renting.

Buying a unit at the Mackay Harbour could save you $565 a month compared to renting, while buying a unit in Blacks Beach could save you $413.

You could also save $309 on a house in Ooralea and $298 on a unit in East Mackay. Buying a house at Bakers Creek could save you $280 and buying a unit in Eimeo could save you $166.

According to RP Data national research director Tim Lawless, the Australian housing market experienced one of its toughest years during 2011 and the early months of 2012.

“In some suburbs it (buying) may actually be cheaper than renting, especially where we are seeing evidence of tight rental markets resulting in rental increases and lower home values,” Mr Lawless said.