What do houses cost in the most liveable town in Australia?

Of 752 towns around Australia one stood out to demographer and author Bernard Salt - we look at which one caught his eye and whether there are property bargains to be found

Residz Team 4 min read

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Kiama recently won the gong for being the most liveable town in Australia.

Demographer and author Bernard Salt looked at 752 small towns (up to 50,000 residents) and chose Kiama as his #1 pick in an article for The Australian.

So what is it about Kiama that impressed Bernard, and can I buy an affordable property there? Let’s take a look.

The story of Kiama

Kiama is on the coast, 90 minutes south of Sydney.

According the Kiama.com.au, traditional stories speak of the Dharawal people who first came to the Illawarra, bringing with them the cabbage tree palm (still seen throughout the Kiama area).

Nomadic Wadi Wadi tribes then passed through this heavily bush-clad region, following trails north to Bass Point (Shellharbour) or La Perouse (Botany Bay).

Kiama’s swift growth peaked in the late 1800s, as seen in many of the dates on heritage buildings around town.

Why is it Australia’s most liveable town?

Bernard Salt says in his article that people in Kiama are happy and the living is good.

“This is a caring, co-operative, highly skilled, highly entrepreneurial, well-to-do community that pops up in a seachange area about one hour and a half south of Sydney. It ticks all the buttons,” he says.

Houses for sale in Kiama

Unfortunately for bargain hunters, Kiama has already been discovered. Our research reveals the average property sold price is over $1 million.

Residz Investability Index shows Kiama scores 64 out of 100, above the NSW state average of 59 out of 100.  House prices are robust and crime data shows crime is trending lower.

So, what’s listed for sale right now on Residz?

50 Saddleback Mountain Road

First National Coast and Country has for sale a 5-bedroom home on eight acres at 50 Saddleback Mountain Road.

With a rural outlook and ocean views, this is a beautiful property that last sold in 2018 for $4 million. It’s now for sale as “expressions of interest.”

There are multiple spacious living areas, including a comfortable lounge area with slow combustion fireplace, a large games room with functioning bar, an upstairs loft for either a rumpus or a study area, and a large separate office or media room.

The kitchen is an entertainer's delight with a large island bench, modern appliances and a fantastic butler's pantry. The dining room has space for a large table perfect for family or friends to gather.

18 Girrawheen Avenue

Meanwhile Elders Real Estate has a 4-bedroom house for sale at 18 Girrawheen Avenue for $2.4 million.

The home is a 2 minute walk to tranquil Bonaira Native Gardens, and a 3 minute walk to Kendalls Beach.

Elders say this is a multigenerational home with space for extended family or invited/paying guests. The entire ground level is devoted to a stunningly renovated space with kitchenette, lounge/living area, bedroom and full bathroom.

3 Tingira Crescent

And Stone Real Estate have a home for sale at 3 Tingira Crescent, Kiama, with incredible ocean views.

Last sold in 2007 for $600,000, this 4-bedroom home has a price guide of $3 million to $3.3 million.

The blue-chip coastal address is just a short walk from both Kendalls and Easts beaches, and the agents compare the home to a “holiday resort.”

“With large open plan living areas and a split level design it is the perfect home for a family who enjoys the coastal lifestyle and entertaining family and friends.”

The Bugle Newspaper quotes Matt Brown, chair of Destination Kiama, saying the results confirm what he's been saying for years.

“I say all the time Kiama is the best place to live. And that’s why we are getting a record number of visitors and we see our population increase.

“The trick is to keep our place special.”

Ways to keep Kiama special in Matt’s eyes include people volunteering, continuing to be community spirited, supporting local events, and celebrating the increasingly diverse population.

Residz gives renters and homeowners great data

Residz has lots of research and data for renters, homeowners, and buyers and sellers about Australian real estate:


The Bugle Newspaper

First National Real Estate

Elders Real Estate

Stone Real Estate