Why townhouses are popular among Canberra’s first home buyers

Why townhouses are popular among Canberra’s first home buyers

There has been amazing growth in medium-density properties in Canberra in recent years – and townhouses for sale in Canberra are becoming very popular with first-home buyers.

The team at Maloney’s Property would like to share their years of experience in the Canberra property market and explain the difference between a house and a townhouse and why they are getting popular amongst first-home buyers.

First, let’s look at the difference between a house and a townhouse, and then we will address some of the pros and cons:


A ‘house’ is usually a stand-alone dwelling where the buyer owns the land and the property on the land. The block of land can vary in size, as can the dwelling and any other structures such as sheds, garages, studios, granny flats etc.

Traditionally ‘houses’ have been for families as they provide space for children to play and for a garden or cubby. They are generally more expensive than other property types and attract higher rates and maintenance bills.


The main difference between a house and a townhouse is that the buyer owns the dwelling but has common ownership of the land and property with other owners in the complex. The dwellings can be attached or freestanding and have courtyards and a garage or carport.

These will usually be strata-titled and have a corporate body that looks after property maintenance and other common matters.

Pros and Cons of buying townhouses vs houses

The main reason people buy townhouses is that they are more affordable than houses. A more interesting fact is that younger people are purchasing townhouses, with a large proportion of them being single and therefore having a lower household income because there are fewer family members.

Below is a list of pros and cons, based on the experience of the Maloney’s Property team on buying townhouses and houses:


  • Townhouses are generally less expensive than houses.
  • If you want to live in a good location, you will find it more affordable to buy a townhouse.
  • Modern townhouses are more likely to have a more modern layout and design and light as they have been built recently.
  • Unlike apartments, you will have more freedom to personalise a townhouse.
  • Townhouses are generally larger than apartments and have the same amount of space as a house – because they can include two or three stories.
  • Townhouses are great for all occupants, from singles to families and retirees.


  • They generally experience less capital growth than a house.
  • Most will be smaller than a house in terms of area and garden.
  • As there are usually at least two stories, there will be stairs that could limit access to some buyers and tenants.
  • Townhouses will usually have shared titles, so your capacity to do things at a whim will be limited.
  • You may be limited in layout and design as a group of townhouses may be all the same.
  • A townhouse may also impact your privacy as you might be closer to your neighbours and share walls with them.



  • Houses generally appreciate faster than townhouses.
  • Banks are more likely to lend you more money when they know you will also own the land.
  • Houses tend to be bigger and occupy more land than other dwellings
  • Most houses have a front and back garden that allows for other activities such as gardening or a pool etc.
  • With a house, you are free, within council regulations, to do what you like with the property.
  • You have more privacy with a house because you don’t share common areas, walls, etc.


  • Houses have higher maintenance than townhouses as the owner is fully responsible for repairs, gardening, electrical, plumbing, painting etc.
  • Houses have higher heating and cooling costs which mean higher utility bills. 
  • Higher individual insurance costs.
  • Houses are generally more expensive than other dwellings.

Below is an example of a modern townhouse that Maloney’s Property currently has for sale:

Modern Family Townhouse

6/3 Adventure Street, Harrison, Australian Capital Territory 2914

6/3 Adventure Street, Harrison

This is a great example of a modern family three-bedroom townhouse in a boutique complex in Harrison.

It has modern architecture, high ceilings, floor-to-ceiling windows and lots of light. The kitchen has gas cooking, an electric oven, a dishwasher, and lots of cupboard space.

The open plan provides a seamless connection between the dining and living room and the outdoor entertainment area.  

The master bedroom has a spacious ensuite, and all bedrooms have mirrored built-in wardrobes.

There is a low-maintenance garden with an enclosed double carport and rainwater tank.

Important Numbers:
- Year Built 2014
- Number in Complex 12
- Living Size 109m2
- Parking 36m2
- Rates $522.89 per quarter
- Body Corp Fees $1,088.35 six monthly
- Land Tax (if applicable) $671.43 per quarter
- EER 4.0
- Rental Appraisal $650 weekly

Townhouses, like the one above, can be a great investment for first home buyers or investors. If you would like to view or discuss more about this townhouse or other options, contact Peter Maloney from Maloney's Property at 0418 797 718 or by email.


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