Written by Stefan Kostarelis

Last week, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) released figures for residential property prices across the nation’s eight capital cities.

The figures showed that in the period spanning from December 2015 to December 2016 housing prices in Sydney and Melbourne have grown at an alarming rate, further igniting fears of a bubble.

The big Four banks and RBA have been avoiding the “b” word, but they have expressed concern and warned that investors should exercise caution.

In that one-year period, Sydney’s prices grew 10.3 percent and Melbourne saw a rise of 10.8 percent.

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Adelaide posted a steady growth of 4.1 percent, making it more attractive to investors happy with conservative returns.

Sally Cameron of Toop and Toop Real Estate told Domain that she is seeing a lot of investors buying Adelaide property for their superannuation funds due to prohibitively high prices in Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane.

She also noted that expats moving back from Singapore and Hong Kong are buying up big in Adelaide’s blue-chip inner-city suburbs.

Adelaide is also becoming an increasingly viable option for those who are realizing that home ownership in Sydney or Melbourne is slipping beyond their reach.

By the end of last year, median house prices skyrocketed to over $1.1 million and Sydney and just under $800,000 in Melbourne. Compared to those numbers, houses in Adelaide are a steal with a median house price of around $500,000.

With a deposit of around $80,000 to $110,000 required in Sydney and Melbourne, it’s no wonder the first home buyers, in particular, are shying away.

In addition, first home buyers in SA have the benefit of seeking assistance from HomeStart if necessary.

HomeStart is a state government-backed lender that helps South Australians purchase their first home either through a low deposit or shared equity loan.

The low deposit loan means that first home buyers only need to come up with as little as 3 percent of the total value of the home upfront. With the shared equity loan, HomeStart buys a portion of the home’s equity, thus easing the burden of what the buyer must borrow.

According to HomeStart’s website, it has assisted over 66,000 South Australian households into home ownership since it was first introduced back in 1989.

We now have definitive proof that schemes such as HomeStart can make a substantial difference, too.

Earlier this month, a University of Adelaide study found that home ownership in many Adelaide suburbs is up to 8 percent higher than equivalent New South Wales’ suburbs.

The research, conducted by the university’s Centre for Financial Services, found that for every 1 percent rise in the penetration rate of share equity loans, home ownership in the sample areas of Salisbury, Playford, and Onkaparinga increased by approximately 0.6 percent.

In addition to boasting steady growth, lower prices and greater financial assistance, Adelaide is also considered one of the world’s most liveable cities.

Combined with the greater SA region, Adelaide offers a cosmopolitan and multicultural city, great beaches, excellent schools and world-class wineries all within a stone’s throw of each other.

Life in Adelaide is so good that Economist Intelligence Unit ranked the city 6th best in the world in its Global Liveability Ranking for 2016. The report used five key criteria to rate each city: stability, healthcare, culture and environment, education and infrastructure.

Meanwhile, Melbourne topped the list, Perth came in at 7th and Sydney failed to make the top ten.