Buying first home with view to IP in Canberra

I?ve been browsing the past posts on Canberra and I thought it was time to post our situation. We?re looking to buy our first home as a PPOR with a view to future IP in Canberra.

My OH currently works in Barton and rents in Kingston. He has been in Canberra just over 12 months. I?m currently based interstate but aiming to move to be with him in about 6 months.

Our budget is $425-$500k. We are looking for something to live in for 3-5 years and then use as an IP.

We are looking for an area that has a great community feel, has good local shops/cafes and access to green space. Because it?s a PPOR primarily and we don?t know a huge amount of people in Canberra, lifestyle is a priority for us. We will be a one car family so we would like to remain close to the city/parliamentary triangle if we can. We don?t mind apartment living. We're quite into the idea of small space living and like the idea of the security and no house maintenance but are conscious of opportunities for CG.

Because neither of us are from Canberra and we haven?t spent that much time there either we?re unsure where to look to find the combination of budget and desires. We love the Kingston area but it is expensive and there seems to be a glut of apartments on the market. I?m just not sure of the CG opportunities and IP potential here compared to other suburbs. There are some reasonable OTP opportunities that suit our budget and timeframe and give us access to FHOG and stamp duty savings, but I?m thinking oversupply is probably an issue.

We?re not looking to buy immediately, but rather get an idea of suburbs/types of property to be actively researching and looking at so we can act quickly when the right home comes along. We can continue to rent when I move down but we feel Canberra is where we want to be in the future so want to get on the property ladder before too long.

Suggestions/thoughts/feedback on our plan?
Inner north on the way.

I'm biased - it's where I live and work but I love it.

It's a bit more than $500k though. Entry level properties will be in the mid $500s - and will probably need some work (it's an older, established part of Canberra and many of these properties are ex gov).

There's plenty of cafes, etc. Most suburbs have their own local shops that have cafes/bars such as Ainslie, Lyneham, Watson and Hackett. The Downer shops are supposed to be refurbished soon.

It's very central - Civic is only 4kms down the road.

There's a good community feel - lots of old residents who have been around since the 50s coupled with younger families moving into the area.

With it being a PPOR converting to an IP - please set up the loan correctly. Without knowing the finer details of your situation, I'd be leaning towards an IO with offset setup.


You can't go wrong with a house in Woden. A lot of developers are knocking them down and building duplex's and units on the big blocks (if you'd prefer a unit). Do a search on Mawson. It isn't far to Woden Plaza and Southlands for shopping. And there are still many houses on big blocks so it isn't as claustrophobic as the Kingston/Manuka area.
It's a great time to buy, prices have gone down a lot and will probably stay down for a while, especially with the budget announcement next week.

If you are working in Barton, Narrabundah is a good option, there are some great deals at the moment, check out on
I'm seeing clients pick up decent deals in the $500k+ bracket due to a lack of competition from first home buyers.

Having said that, I don't think prices have gone down a lot.

Rental vacancy rates have increased due to the high number of new stock on the market - which is a bit of a bummer.