Finder makes money from featured partners, but editorial opinions are our own.

Calculate the income needed to buy a home in any suburb in Australia

Find out how much you need to earn in a year to afford a home in your dream suburb.

Minimum income calculator

Start here

Required Household Income To Stay Below Mortgage Stress Level

20% Deposit =
Loan Size =
Monthly Repayment =
Yearly Repayment =
Source: Finder analysis of CoreLogic, RBA data. Calculations are based on median home price from the last 12 months, current average variable home loan interest rate, a 80% loan to value ratio with a 20% deposit, and 30% of gross income as the threshold for mortgage stress.

Most expensive suburbs

The mortgage stress threshold

A home loan repayment is typically the largest household expense per month. Finder’s Consumer Sentiment Tracker shows that the average monthly repayment is over $1900 in Australia in 2023, up from a low of almost $1400 in April 2022.

Mortgage stress is typically defined as a household paying more than 30% of their pre-tax monthly income in mortgage repayments. When households exceed that threshold, it means they will need to lower their standard of living by cutting down on expenses in other areas, and that they will be vulnerable to increasing interest rates.

Finder’s Consumer Sentiment Tracker shows that Aussies consistently report mortgage payments as the most stressful monthly bill. In April 63% of Aussies with a home loan reported their monthly repayment as stressful from a low of 37% in April 2021.

The effect of interest rate increases on housing affordability

A monthly home loan repayment is always made up of a payment on the principal and an interest payment. The chart below shows the relative levels of both components over the last 12 years.

Pre COVID-19 (2009 to 2020)

From the global financial crisis up to 2014, Australian households have generally seen the interest charged every month slowly decrease and then stay flat. However, a steady increase in home prices after 2014 has seen the principal repayment component steadily increase as well.

During COVID-19 (2020-2022)

The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic saw a rapid surge in the principal paid by households. At the same time, interest payments reached 10 year lows as the RBA decreased the cash rate to historic lows of just 0.1%. As home prices continued to soar, household principal payments remained high for the duration of the pandemic.

Post COVID-19 (2022-23)

However, currently Aussie households are facing pressures from both components. Home prices are still close to their record highs and interest rates having rapidly increased since May of 2022. This has meant record highs for the principal and interest components of their monthly mortgage bill.

We can see the the pressure of rising interest rates as excess payments on housing loans have plunged to 16% of the total monthly loan repayments, as interest payments have increased to 48%.

Minimum income over time in Australia

Finder’s data shows that the minimum income required to buy a home is at its highest in 10 years all around Australia. Aussies need at least a $100,000 salary to afford the average home loan in each state. New South Wales is the least affordable, requiring $193,340 on the average loan size in that state, and the Northern Territory the most affordable at $118,568.

Saranga Sudarshan's headshot
Analyst

Saranga Sudarshan was an insights analyst at Finder. He has a PhD from the University of St Andrews in political philosophy. Previously he was a research analyst at Frost & Sullivan. Saranga loves cricket, sports analytics and the way data can provide novel insights. See full bio

Saranga's expertise
Saranga has written 24 Finder guides across topics including:
  • Personal finance
  • Data analysis
Matt Sayer's headshot
Co-written by

Writer

Matt Sayer is a technology writer and editorial engineer for Finder, combining industry expertise with data-driven solutions to help people make better decisions. His extensive portfolio spans investigative reporting on the roll-out of 5G, statistical analysis on the legacy of E3 and guides for popular products like mobile phones and smart speakers. Matt has a Bachelor of Computer Science from RMIT University and is passionate about finding ways that technology can better our lives. See full bio

More guides on Finder

Ask a Question

You are about to post a question on finder.com.au:

  • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
  • finder.com.au is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
  • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
  • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked

Finder only provides general advice and factual information, so consider your own circumstances, or seek advice before you decide to act on our content. By submitting a question, you're accepting our Terms Of Service and Finder Group Privacy & Cookies Policy.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.
Go to site