Victoria’s 10 cheapest towns to buy a house

Murtoa, where 24 Soldiers Ave is for sale, is Victoria’s most affordable town to buy a house.

A town of less than 900 people in Victoria’s wheat country is the state’s cheapest place to call home.

Murtoa, in the Wimmera, recorded a median house value of $156,642 in 2021, according to CoreLogic’s Best of the Best report.

A total of 22 properties were sold in past 12 months in the town, which has a population of about 865 people.

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6 Miller Street, Murtoa, is for sale for $249,000.

The town is famous for its ‘Stick Shed’, which is on the National Heritage List.

Ouyen and Warracknabeal, also in the state’s northwest, ranked second and third for the most affordable spots to live, with median house values of $161,030 and $171,491 respectively.

Nhill ($185,705) and Dimboola ($187,115) also ticked the affordability box, while Boort ($188,720), near Bendigo, and Casterton ($214,542), in the far southwest, also made the top 10.

CoreLogic head of research Tim Lawless said such locations were “affordable for a reason” — which could be both good and bad.

“The reason a lot of these areas are very affordable is that they generally have less mainstream levels of demand and, in addition, a housing environment where new supply is much easier to introduce,” he said.

Mr Lawless said the regional haunts were often “tranquil, quaint towns with cheap housing on large blocks of land”, which he noted was “very appealing” on paper.

But they tended to have “relatively thin job opportunities unless you have a trade in relevant industries”.

“They have a community, but the options are much less than a large town or city,” Mr Lawless said.

118 Anderson Street, Warracknabeal, could be yours for $169,000.

Dimboola Pink Lake

Dimboola, home of the famed Pink Lake, is also among the most affordable spots to buy a house. Picture: Alex Coppel

Ray White Horsham agent Aaron Lewis said Murtoa had a lot to offer buyers, with a thriving agriculture industry about 30km from the rural city of Horsham.

And while still affordable by comparison, the agent said a typical house had jumped from about $100,000 two years ago to $160,000-plus today as city-based buyers, investors and locals continued to hunt for lifestyle properties.

“It’s got everything: a supermarket, a cafe, a medical centre and a good P-12 school,” Mr Lewis said.

“The lake is a big draw feature now too, people ski year-round. It’s got everything to get by but if you need a big shop, Horsham is only a 25-minute drive.”

Mr Lewis is currently selling 6 Miller St for $249,000, with the three-bedroom home attracting interest from four Melbourne-based parties.

“They just want to get out of the city and like a country town with good values,” he said.

Situated on the banks of Lake Marma, the regional town is home to the worlds largest ‘stick shed’ which was built during World War II to store grain that could not be exported.

The site was heritage listed in 1990 and has become a popular tourist spot along the Wimmera Highway, about 305km from Melbourne.

26 Godfrey St, Boort, is on the market for $360,000.

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Canola fields at Boort, near Bendigo. Picture: Zoe Phillips

Buyers’ agent Cate Bakos said regional Victoria was a great option for both lifestyle and price, but warned buyers and investors to take off the “rose-tinted glasses” when purchasing.

“As we start to recover from Covid and get more certainty, some of these further regions as regular commuter options might start to lose their gloss,” she said.

“The regions that are a long way away, you have to be very careful in future proofing. Have full confidence it can be rented, get the assistance of a property manager to make sure, and look at the vacancy rates.”

Ms Bakos said locations more than 90 minutes from a bigger city like Geelong or Melbourne were not viable for commuters.

She suggested buyers looking to make a lifestyle move to a town like Murtoa or Boort should “try before you buy” and rent for a year.

“Get to know the region before you buy there, don’t just buy the cheapest house in the cheapest region,” she said.

Ms Bakos added making sure a town was “supported with jobs, schools, lifestyle and public transport” was important.

Numurkah, Moe and Mooroopna were the cheapest towns to buy a unit, with a typical abode valued at less than $235,000.

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The northwest Wimmera region is home to many of Vicoria’s most affordable towns. Picture: Zoe Phillips


Suburb, Region, Number sold (12m), Median value

1. Murtoa, North West, (22 sales in 12 months), $156,642

2. Ouyen, North West, (36), $161,030

3. Warracknabeal, North West, (65), $171,491

4. Edenhope, North West, (32), $185,216

5. Nhill, North West, (57), $185,705

6. Dimboola, North West, (34), $187,115

7. Boort, Bendigo, (23), $188,720

8. Casterton, Warrnambool and South West, (48), $214,542

9. Wedderburn, Bendigo, (27), $214,610

10. Kerang, North West, (110), $217,544

Source: CoreLogic

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