Perth too expensive?

I still haven’t been to Perth, that’s something I definitely intend to fix in January of next year. I’m sure I’ll come back with lots of photographs, but for now I’ve had to scrounge this one from Wikimedia

Sunset in Perth

From my page on the city though, I do know that it is quite an expensive place to live. It’s something people comment about quite regularly, here are a few examples:

In my experience Perth is the most expensive city in Australia, in terms of being a tourist.” – Jimmy

It’s hard to say, the biggest expense you will have is rent unfortunately, it never used to be this expensive.” – Scott

I have been looking to move from the UK to Perth over the last few years but can’t believe how expensive it is to live in Perth.” – Brian

In fact, the word “expensive” appears 38 times (so far) in the comments, so it’s hard to believe that isn’t something going on.

In the news a few weeks ago though there was a story about an American who had been offered a job in Perth with Curtin University along with a salary of $170,000 a year. He turned it down; he said that Perth was so pricey he couldn’t afford to live here.

He also went on to say that moving to Perth would sacrifice his family’s quality-of-life. Here’s the story.

Pricey Perth

I will definitely be checking out the prices when I pay a visit next year.

What is it about Perth trains?

The last time I featured some videos from Perth was in my post called Perth: Trains, iPhones and Surf Lifesavers. The ‘trains’ part of that title referred to the masses rescuing a man who had been quite literally unable to ‘mind the gap’.

Today we are going to actually get on the train with some passengers and together we will discover that no matter how expensive Perth is, it still possible to have some fun on the cheap. Let’s check out the…

Perth Train Party

Who cares or knows whether this video was a setup or not, it was still fun and has at the end what I think is a really good message.

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{ 9 comments… add one }
  • Kel January 3, 2015, 1:39 pm | Link

    I also live in Busselton. The cost of living is high! We moved from the Eastern states 4 years ago and were astounded at the costs involved in the day to day. Everyone has their hand out for everything and everything has an associated cost.
    Go for a walk on the jetty. Costs $2.50 each. WTF. You need fishing licences to cast a line, another to cast a net and forget about a boat! That’s why for 90% of the year the beautiful bay is empty. Until summer holidays when the well off city slickers head down.
    We have to travel an hour away for the kids to play on a decent play ground, unless you can afford $10-$15 ea to visit the local one.
    Everyone living here assigns costs to EVERYTHING they do, yet are incapable appreciating it’s value.
    Cost living is less about housing costs and more about about the over-inflated costs of everday living driven by the greed and desire of people wanting money for every action they make.
    Find a free camping site in the south west! You won’t. In fact the reason we stayed here was we ran out of money on a trip around Oz. And the fruit picking didn’t cover the local camping fees… Poor form Busso.

    • BobinOz January 5, 2015, 2:27 pm | Link

      You have to pay to go to the park? Just a normal park with a couple of slides, a swing and climbing frame or two? That’s insane, I’ve never heard of that before. I’ve got 5 parks I can walk to from my house and they are all free. Our mayor has a vision that every home in Brisbane should be no further than 500 metres from a park and he’s getting there with that.

      All our parks are free, so I’m shocked at what you are telling me here. I’ll be visiting Busselton this year for sure, so I will be paying special attention to the parks in the area.

    • Ernie in WA January 6, 2015, 12:29 am | Link

      I see your point Kel, but that hasn’t been our experience. We were in Adelaide before for we got to Busselton, and we’ve found our day to day expenses to be about the same. Property . . . now that’s a different story.

      I don’t understand what you are saying about paying for the parks. We have two kids under 3 years old. We routinely take them to the playgrounds here in town and never had to pay a thing. Yallingup has an award winning playground for free. The Busselton foreshore is also building a world class youth precinct this year that will also be free. The Busselton to Dunsborough cycling/walking track is free and passes by all sorts of playgrounds, beaches, and parks; all free. There are free gas bbq’s and no paid parking anywhere in the district.

      Yes, you have to pay $2.50 to walk on the jetty, but it is free in the mornings and evenings. It is also free if you are under 16. Reason for the cost is the jetty was completely refurbished in 2010 because of a fire with over half the structure replaced. So yeah, you have to dig in your pocket for two coins to walk the jetty, but the alternative is having no jetty at all.

      I also don’t understand what you are saying about the fishing. I fish from the beach in front of my house almost every weekend without a licence, and the daily limit is 30 herring or whiting! You do need a licence to fish from a motor boat ($30), but only one person on the boat needs the licence. You do need a licence for nets and freshwater fishing ($40). These fees are set by the state anyway, so Busso has nothing to do with that.

      I do agree that we need more free and low-cost camping in the southwest. I think they’re afraid that since we’ve got the best climate for about 3,000km that people would arrive from all over and live in the bush. But I believe there needs to be options for all kinds of people.

      • BobinOz January 7, 2015, 12:44 am | Link

        Ah, joy. Thanks for clearing that up Ernie in WA, it all sounded very bizarre to me, especially paying to get into a park. Why do people say these things, it’s just misleading?

        Kel?

  • Ernie in WA November 28, 2014, 9:55 am | Link

    I have a hard time believing he couldn’t find a decent place to live on that salary. I think his issue is he is looking to purchase a home, rather than rent. Walking next to King’s Park, my wife and I saw new apartments for sale for $1 million. If that’s the area he’s looking to live in, then yeah, his wife will have to work. But there are heaps of other options if you are willing to rent rather than buy.

    We live in Busselton, about 2 hours south of Perth, and it is expensive to buy here too. A very humble home will run you at least $400k. A nice home will run $700k – $800k. And that nice home within 500m of the ocean will cost $1million+. However, we were able to rent a nice, furnished home across the street from the beach and within walking distance to the city centre for $400 a week. With that rent, my wife can stay at home with our two kids and we can have a dream lifestyle on my very modest salary.

    If anything, I think this says more about the difficulties of first time home buyers these days. We’ll have to save for years before we’ll be able to purchase a home, but that doesn’t mean we can’t live here and have a fantastic lifestyle in the meantime.

    • Ernie in WA November 28, 2014, 9:59 am | Link

      By the way, when you come to Perth, be sure to head down to the Southwest! The Busselton/Margaret River area is beautiful; great beaches, a world class wine region, and Australia’s longest jetty. The weather is far more pleasant too, especially in January.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9RU7g5qrd4Q

      • BobinOz November 28, 2014, 10:55 pm | Link

        Firstly, yes, I will try and get down that way, we certainly don’t want to spend all of our time in Perth city and would like to see some of the coastline and Busselton looks quite good. Thanks for the tip.

        And yes, I think you’re right, sounds like the guy wasn’t interested in living too far out of the city centre and I’m pretty sure he wanted to buy a really nice place. Each to his own, I’m sure he does get much better value in the US, but I know where I would prefer to live.

        Cheers, Bob

  • djmcbell November 24, 2014, 6:23 pm | Link

    I would have imagined Perth being so expensive because there’s a lot of jobs in the mining industry coming out of there, an industry that is booming in Australia.

    At least that’s what I’ve heard.

    • BobinOz November 25, 2014, 1:38 pm | Link

      There are a couple of problems with that though, firstly not everybody (by a long way) who lives in Perth works in the mining industry and secondly, the most recent rumours are suggesting that the mining boom is now over to a certain extent.

      Some people seem to think (or maybe hope) that in time Perth’s cost of living will adjust itself down, we shall see.

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