The way to get positive cash flow is very simply, dual occupancies. My definition of a dual occ is two dwellings on a single title. Both have separate water and power meters and each with their own separate private backyards.
There is only one set of rates. It stands to reason that if you have one block of land but are getting two lots of rent it’s always going to be strongly cash positive. Two of my adult children have dual occs south of Sydney and both are around $150pw cash positive AFTER tax and after paying all expenses. Dual Occs are cheaper because you don’t have to pay $40k for strata titling. Because of this, the dual occs have higher yields because the rents are the same but cost less and and have lower costs e.g. only one lot of rates. If you want higher yields to build a retirement income then dual occs are the way to go.
A duplex is pretty much the same as a dual occ but you go one step further. You start out with a single block of land and build two dwellings on it but the builder goes one step further and strata titles it. You now have two dwellings on two separate titles! It is similar to subdividing the lot because you now have two separate saleable properties whereas with a dual occ they can’t be sold separately. In the process you have added value. Typically, once the strata titling is complete (builder pays at cost of around $40k) you will have added around $80-100k to the value of the property. For example, I have currently a duplex priced at $474k with a market appraisal on resale after strata titling at $555k! It’s strongly positive cashflow as well.
Duplexes have a higher purchase price and have higher costs (two lots of rates and insurances) but they have instant capital gain. Duplexes are great if you want instant equity in order build your portfolio more quickly.