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Land

A while ago I wrote a piece on buying cheap land in Australia. Most average size building blocks, within a reasonable distance of a suburbia or a large town, sell for well over $100,000. But there are a few places, if you really sift through the listings, where you can pick something up for well less than that. In fact, I saw a block in Rosebury, Tasmania, the other day, listed for $6,000!

Over the past few years its become a bit of a common publicity stunt to rent out farm houses or sell blocks in rural towns in distress for a nominal amount. Well, Richmond in QLD has become the latest Australian town to sell blocks of land for $1. That’s right, a buck will get you 600sqm of planet earth!

The point of the exercise is to encourage people back into the town, especially people with trades and experience that the town requires. Apparently they need a vet, and they’re short on truck drivers and people with general skills. There are conditions, as you would expect: “[I]nterested parties must have less than $500,000 in combined assets and pre-approval from a bank to build a home. They must complete the dwelling within two years and occupy the residence for at least a year.” The whole “pre-approval from a bank to build a home” throws me off a little bit. This, to me, implies that they will only allow certain homes of a certain size and value to be build on the blocks. Types of homes that banks are willing to finance–which, at least in the States, excludes most tiny houses. It doesn’t sound like a promotion suitable for those wanting to go debt-free and perhaps build a smaller (or tiny) house themselves. I have emailed the Richmond Shire Council asking them whether one is still eligible if they do self-fund and owner-build. I’ll report back if they reply.

Land is expensive in Australia. It’s hard to find a 1/4 acre block, as is so desirable as part of the Australian Dream, for under $100k. However, there are a few places in Australia that buck this trend. In fact, there are a few places where you can score a block for under $20,000.

Let me be straight up with you, there is a common theme amongst these places where you can buy cheap land.

– They tend to be in areas where there are few services
– They tend to be well away from capital cities and large regional centres; and
– They tend not to be in the prettiest places.

Here are two areas I have found with land listed at under $20,000:

Zeehan / Rosebery / Gormanston, Tasmania

Situated on the West Coast of Tasmania, Zeehan, Rosebery and Gormanston have one two things in common: their history is in mining and they ain’t what they use to be. The reason that the land in and around these towns is so cheap is to encourage people to move back. They’re largely holding on by a thread and need people to move in to survive.

Here’s an example of what’s on offer. You can get a 900m2 block in Gormanston for $10,000.


Pinnaroo, South Australia

Pinnaroo is a major towns in South Australia’s Murray Mallee region. And it’s actually quite well service. Sure, it is right on the border and hundreds of kilometres from anything, but it has everything most people will need. It has a hospital, a full-size Foodland supermarket, pubs, a bakery and a library. You’ll even be able to hook up to high-speed broadband!

An example of what you can buy in Pinnaroo for under 20 grand: 1012m2 of planet earth, connected to mains water, for $13,000.