When the Sydney Morning Herald launched its new mortgage calculator, it had to include a little bit of Australian flair.
In particular, it included a number of properties in Melbourne that were considered to be affordable.
The results were, predictably, interesting.
So much so, in fact, that the paper had to update the calculator to reflect the latest information.
The Aussie dollar was in full effect and the paper even included a calculator for Sydney.
And so it was that the calculator revealed that there were, in reality, around 9,500 affordable apartment properties in the capital, but only around 700 affordable apartments available in Sydney.
A couple of years later, the paper also published an infographic to show the latest figures on affordable housing in Australia.
So, what happened?
Why was it so hard to find affordable apartments in Sydney?
In a nutshell, because affordable apartments are often not as readily available as you might think.
Here’s how it all went down:The calculator While the Aussie Dollar was in effect, it was hard to tell if the calculator was telling the truth when it said the median price for an affordable Sydney property was $1.6 million.
It also seemed like Sydney had an even bigger shortage of affordable apartments than Melbourne.
So, while there were 9,000 affordable apartments on the table in Sydney, only 800 were available in Melbourne.
However, there was another issue with the Sydney calculator: it had no real way of finding out the price of a home, let alone a median price.
“If you wanted to buy a house you’d have to look for a median property, which is just a median, and then go and find out how much you’re going to have to pay for it,” says Rachel Kohn, an associate professor of urban planning at the University of NSW.
What’s the median property in Sydney and Melbourne?
It’s a tricky question to answer because it’s not always easy to know exactly what the median is.
But the median home price in Melbourne was around $1,845,000 in 2015.
So you’d need to find a median home in Sydney for around $872,000, or a median house price of around $942,000.
If you didn’t have that much money to spend, you might be able to use a home equity line of credit to buy the property for $1 million.
But if you’re a first-time buyer, it’s unlikely you’d get the sort of loan you’d want to buy in Sydney or Melbourne.
The only exception is if you own a house that’s worth more than the median house in Sydney but less than the price in Sydney; in that case, you can buy the house for less than $1m.
Finding an affordable unit is often harder to do if you can’t afford to buy one.
You can often find apartments that aren’t as good as they should be if you do find one.
“There’s a range of issues that are affecting affordability that have to be addressed,” Kohn says.
“If you’re trying to sell a property that you’ve never lived in, you’re probably going to be really stuck.”
If you can, you could apply to the government for a $1000 loan that will allow you to buy your first home.
And it could also be worth looking into getting a deposit on your first property so that you can afford to rent it out.
“The real issue with affordable apartments is that the cost of the mortgage is still going up, so it’s hard to know what to do,” Kisk said.
Kohn says there are ways to help you out.
“A lot of people have a mortgage to pay and they could go out and find a job and pay that mortgage off.
They could buy a property and buy a deposit so that they can pay the mortgage off, which could also help.”
But even if you aren’t in a position to buy an affordable home, it could be a great way to help people who are.
For example, if you know someone who lives in a place that’s not as affordable, or if they have an older child who can’t live in an apartment, you may want to consider buying them a house.
“They could really save a lot of money,” Kraft says.