Calculating Your Comfortable Family Income in Australia

How much do you need?

I do get asked some quite strange questions at times, but they are usually one-offs. But this one pops up quite regularly and every time it does, there is never enough information given to me to answer it.

moneyEven with lots of information, it would still be an impossible question to answer, but when the question is something like

I’m moving to Australia next month with my wife and two teenage children, what would be a good salary to ensure a comfortable lifestyle for me and my family?

What chance do I have?

Calculating YOUR comfortable family income

Here’s what I think you need to take into consideration when calculating a comfortable family income for you and your family. You might be able to think of many more.

  • Cost of mortgage or rent.
  • Cost of running a car or cars.
  • Cost of food for your family.
  • Cost of utilities; electricity, gas, water and rates.
  • Cost of additional shopping items; clothes, gadgets, health and beauty, jewellery, computers and toys.
  • Cost of insurances, for the home and for private medical insurance.
  • Cost of telephones, both home and mobile.
  • Cost of entertainment items, like holidays, alcohol, digital TV, going out.
  • Cost of unexpected maintenance bills, for your home, for your car and other things that break.

So to answer these sort of questions, you’d have to offer me a lot of information or I’d have to ask you a lot of further questions.

As you can see, it really is an impossible question for me to answer, but you can answer it for yourself.

Check out my page about The Costs of Stuff.

A simple solution.

If you are coming here from the UK though, this works quite well. However much you spend per month over there in pounds, you’ll probably need twice the amount here in Australian dollars. So if you need £4,000 a month in the UK, budget $8,000 a month here.

Sounds stupid doesn’t it? But I bet it wont be far out.

How can I make sure I earn twice as much in AUD as I currently earn in GBP?

Salaries in Australia are higher than those in the UK, by my estimates over 30% higher; click on the third link below under the title “More useful links:” to my post comparing UK and Australian salaries to see how I got to that.

Once your salary is adjusted to Australian dollars and taking into account the high salaries, you will see from the salary comparison charts on that page that it is quite easy to earn double what you earn in pounds in the UK here in Australian dollars.

Check it out for yourself, and I’ve even updated that post with a 2012 version, you’ll see a link to it from the original post.

More useful links:

My report about The Cost of Living “Comfortably” in Australia

My entire category on the Cost of Living in Australia.

My posts about jobs and salaries:

{ 428 comments… read them below or add one }

Ash February 6, 2016 at 6:28 am

Dear Bob ! I m working in singapore and got offer from Surfer paradise as a bar manager with 457 visa and 60k+super package . I am moving with my wife , we do not have kids yet .
Do you think is it a good package ? And as a dependent visa , is my wife can work anywhere without restrictions ?



BobinOz February 8, 2016 at 3:18 pm

It’ll be quite tight for you I think, it very much depends on how much you need to spend on accommodation and travel expenses. You would need to check the specific terms of your visa, but usually the dependent partner is able to work. Speak to a MARA migration agent if you’re not sure.

A second income will allow you to live more comfortably.


Arun K December 21, 2015 at 9:30 pm

Hi Bob,
Me Arun, from India, Recently I have got an offer letter. The company located in Melbourne, and the pay is 63 K (Sub class 1401). The company offer letter says that they will provide Housing, Telephone, medical, Official Transport,2k for 2 children school fee for an year, visa ex pence, etc,.
I m planning to travel alone now,
Can u tel me is the pay is good enough to live in Australia and take care of my family in India (They need about 10 K per year)
Also it is mentioned as basic salary as 63 K, dose it including tax? if yes, how much % should I pay as tax?


BobinOz December 22, 2015 at 10:22 pm

Well, with just yourself to look after and your housing and many other expenses covered by your employer, I think you will have a chance of sending back $10,000 a year. It’ll be close though, you won’t be able to go out and eat you fancy restaurants much.

Tax will need to be deducted, I’m pretty sure that, salaries are almost always quoted before tax deductions. How much, check out this post…

Good luck, Bob


Tuji G December 30, 2015 at 5:31 pm

Hi Arun,

can you tell me, how can I get a job like yours ?
I´m living in Germany and need some help to find a new company.

Thank you


Arun K December 30, 2015 at 5:41 pm

Through job portals.


sid January 7, 2016 at 10:03 pm

Hi Arun,

i am siddarth from tamilnadu,india. I am looking for australia migration. can u adivce. how u got offer from here, any spornsership or through company requirment,



iwannabeurmate December 11, 2015 at 8:03 pm

Here is a tricky one, I live in India & work for a top American MNC here. Have about 13 yrs experience in IT. Here is a little bit about me…
I don’t have a mortgage as it’s been paid off, I don’t splurge much on anything, don’t eat out regularly(don’t feel it’s healthy to) but take good care of my family(wife a home maker & a 9 month old baby) I buy my clothes from M&S mostly, shoes from Clarks etc.. Basically I live within my means.

I enjoy the outdoors/traveling/adventure instead of say, going to the mall, I don’t watch TV. But occasionally go out to watch the latest blockbuster.
I don’t party but I do luv cars & we own 2 cars here(outright purchases), one being an used European Octavia Mk2 & the other a Korean hatch driven by mom.
We live with my mom who is a retired person on her own pension & her own house(she’s not dependent on us financially!) we don’t owe anyone!

I’d say we are very comfortable out here in India. Then why move at all?

Now the twist, my only other sibling my sister is settled in Aust(VIC) with her family(husband + 3 kids) since the last 10 yrs. We want all of us to live closer as we miss her & family from out here plus the general desire to live in a developed country(where everything works hopefully) as opposed to out here where corruption is rampant.
Would I be able to maintain my lifestyle in on a single income in Australia? This is my only concern..
I visited Aust & Tasmania for holiday this June & I loved it.
(PS I’ve lived in US & UK before on company transfers & I loved it too)
I already have a letter of approval from ACS(Aust Computer Society)
My house here & savings are worth 200K AUD.

Let me know you thoughts?
kind regards!


BobinOz December 11, 2015 at 9:51 pm

I’m not really sure what kind of thoughts you’re looking for. With $200,000 you will pretty much be coming here and starting over. You will have a deposit for a house (100k at most, save the rest for other stuff), but you’ll need to take out a hefty mortgage to pay for the rest of it which could vary massively depending on where you want to live.

You’d really want to get a job sorted as soon as possible to start learning money and this isn’t the best of times to find a new job here, so do your research on that one. Don’t assume you will fall in to a job.

So, moving would represent a risk, only you can calculate whether it’s worth giving it a go. Hopefully your sister can also give you some guidance. If you do take the risk though, and it works out for you, I believe the rewards would be well worth having taken that chance.

Good luck, Bob


Anita December 8, 2015 at 9:00 pm

I am Anita. My husband have applied the family visa for PR Australia (Sydney ) and now we are on medical stage .
I have done diploma and degree in Textlie design and My husband have done Diploma and degree in Civil engineering and now we are working in India. Please advise what is the job scope for us in Sydney. when we can get the job and what we can get the salary in starting .


BobinOz December 9, 2015 at 11:00 pm

You can research the information you need on my page called Getting a Job or a Sponsorship. Good luck, Bob


Anita December 10, 2015 at 4:46 pm

thanks bob. Plesae also advise me that what is the minimum cost of living for a three member (me,my husband and my 4 year child )family in Sydney.

what is the minimum rent for 1 bhk flat @month.


BobinOz December 10, 2015 at 11:35 pm

I couldn’t possibly calculate that magical sum for you, you would need to do your own budget, see my pages Cost of Buying or Renting a House in Australia and The Cost of Living in Australia of Everything.


Arun K December 21, 2015 at 9:35 pm

Hi Anita,
Can u tell me what happened finally? I got an offer letter from an Australian company. Me done diploma in Civil Engineering. I like to share your family experience.
Arun K


Baaz December 8, 2015 at 12:13 am

Hi, I am from India and I wanted to know if I would be offered with a year’s salary of 53K AUD, then how can i expect my life to be there in Australia. By the way I am still not married and shifting alone to Australia.


BobinOz December 9, 2015 at 10:11 pm

The answer much depends on which city and how much you will need to pay for accommodation. As a single person though, you should be okay if you can keep those accommodation costs down.


Bincy November 23, 2015 at 7:19 pm

Hi Bob,

I have been offered a 457 visa with salary of 110k including super.Can I manage with this salary(6 year old son,4 year old daughter and wife) in Melbourne.What is the cost of education and house rent in Melbourne.




Marianne November 24, 2015 at 4:28 am


Im in the same position as you. We have 145k final offer and moving to Melbourne. Looking forward to your advise from others. All the best .


BobinOz November 30, 2015 at 8:34 pm

Both are pretty good salaries, all you need to do is budget wisely. Every one of my pages about Melbourne have links on them to find out about rental costs of housing, that would be the first part of working out your budget.

Then you can find the cost of other things on my page called The Cost of Living in Australia of Everything and you’ll find some useful links about school fees on my page called Which school?.

Hope that helps, Bob


Phil November 22, 2015 at 3:17 pm

Hi Bob, I just came across your website and it seems to be a good place to get some basic info about life in Australia.

I will be transferring with my job from Canada to Darwin. My starting salary will be $85,000 AUS. I am planning to rent for now (as I won’t have enough $$$ to buy for awhile). I’m just wondering if this will be enough to survive as I understand Darwin is quite expensive. Any help, guidance and advise would be much appreciated.

Take care, and I hope you get well soon!



Phil November 22, 2015 at 3:18 pm

Sorry, I should also mention that I am single without a family.


BobinOz November 30, 2015 at 7:43 pm

Yes, I think you’ll be just fine Phil. That’s quite a healthy salary for a single person, and even though rents in Darwin are quite high, I still think you’ll be okay. Cheers, Bob


Phil December 8, 2015 at 12:51 pm

Thank you Bob. I’ve been asking around and the consensus is that I will be more than okay on that starting salary.

Thanks again for your input and I hope you are getting better fast!



Jade November 16, 2015 at 4:20 pm

Hi Bob,

Just want to inform you that your blog is really helpful and informative for those who wish to settle in Australia.

I just want to ask to your opinion, what would be the best state to live in Australia for young people, I mean I am just 28 and husband is 26. Specifically, we are looking for a place where we can start anew, easy to find jobs and cheap since we haven’t saved a lot money cause like I said, we’re still young and just got out of college had only 5 years of experience. Is having odd jobs temporarily enough to sustain day to day living? We are preparing ourselves with the possibility of not being able to find work immediately cause from what I’ve read, competition is tough more so fro Accoutnants like me


BobinOz November 27, 2015 at 7:42 pm

There isn’t a particular city that suits a certain age, so if I were you I would just pick wherever it is you want to go. Everybody, like yourself, wants somewhere that is cheap to live but easy to find work, that just doesn’t happen.

Examples, currently Adelaide and Hobart are probably our cheapest cities, they are the ones with the highest unemployment as well. Sydney is our most expensive city, it probably offers the most in terms of job opportunities.

That’s the way it goes. I suggest you check out my page called A Quick Guide to Choosing a City in Australia to see what takes your fancy. Good luck, Bob


Yezdan Irani November 7, 2015 at 11:56 pm

Hi Bob,

Hope you are doing Great!!

I am from India. My wife has just migrated to Sydney on a PR Visa. She has got a permanent job with 47K annual salary + super. I was thinking of coming over in Jan 2016 an start looking for jobs. If 47K good enough to ensure the house is running at least until I find a job. We do not have kids are not very high on spending.



BobinOz November 23, 2015 at 7:23 pm

47K is not a great salary, you will need to budget very very wisely if you are hoping to support two of you, and even then much will depend on how much you need to pay for your accommodation.

I think you will need to find a job very quickly, until then you will need to watch every penny, or should I say, cent.


Vasim November 1, 2015 at 5:58 pm


My wife and I are planning to come to Australia.

My wife has completed her Diploma and Bachelor in Pharmacy in India and wants to opt for a Postgraduate course in Healthcare. Courses which we have searched costing somewhere around 30k-35k AUD.

If she gets Student VISA then I (her husband) will get full time work permit.

Just wanted to know if I work full time and if she works 20 hours a week, will we be able to earn enough which will suffice the requirement of her tuition fee (30k-35k AUD a year) and our monthly expenses?

Also, if you can suggest relevant postgraduate course.

Thank you.


BobinOz November 2, 2015 at 6:06 pm

That’s quite an impossible one to answer, there are so many variables. Whether you both will or will not get jobs being the most crucial and of course if you do, will it be one of you or both and what will you earn? The city you go to, the cost of your accommodation, it’s simply impossible to give you a yes or no on this one.

For help with a relevant postgraduate course, I suggest you ask my expert on my page about Student Visas.

Good luck, Bob


Vasim November 2, 2015 at 6:50 pm

Thank you for your reply Bob ?


Marianne October 30, 2015 at 2:57 am

Need some advise. Husband been offered job on a 457 sponsorship. Been offered $150k a year. Should this be enough for a family ( 2 adults, 9 yr old & baby).

Job is in Melbourne.



Igor October 30, 2015 at 5:01 am

From my point of view, you will be having really nice life with that money, if not spendind 1000 per week for rent eat outside many times. You have to know that day care on sponsorsiip will cost you 100 $ per DAY. You will pay for school 4500$ per year per kid…. It depends where. I found this informations in Gosford. Life in Australia is expensive, but with his sallary you will not have to work, unles you want to buy a house. It is all up to you. If I would been offered 150, we would probably save at least 30 per year or more with wife and three kids. We are not hardcore spenders.
Good luck


BobinOz November 1, 2015 at 8:36 pm

Yes, I agree with Igor, this is a good salary, you should be fine.


Mariannr November 2, 2015 at 3:19 am

Thank you for the advise. Still negotiating, but hoping for as close to $150 as possible. M x


Igor October 27, 2015 at 9:59 am

Hello Bob

I found company in Somersby, offering me 457 Visa sponsorship and 57kS annual. Is that even enough to survive. We have three daughters 9, 6 and four years. I think is not. Actually I am from Slovenija.

Thanks for help


BobinOz October 28, 2015 at 12:03 am

You are right Igor, that’s not a great salary, especially when you have three kids and, I assume, a wife to support. But your question is would you survive?

That’s a really tricky one to answer, survival is something we humans tend to do, and some do it better than others. For some people, 140 K a year isn’t enough, that’s what Heythere complained about in this comment.

Then others chipped in after it explaining how they survive on much less. You should have a good read of that thread, it will help answer your question. Elsewhere I know I’ve had a comment by somebody with a family saying they’ve been surviving on 50 K and still manage holidays. Unfortunately I can’t remember where that one is.

I think the question you need to ask yourself is would you be better off here in Australia on 57K a year than you currently are on what you earn at the moment in Slovenia. How you can work that out, I don’t know, but that’s what you need to try and do. Factor in as well that, I would imagine, Australia would be the better country to live in out of the two.

If you agree with that statement, then maybe you should give Australia a go, because although I think it might be tough, I do think you will survive. And if you can survive for a couple of years, who knows what you might be earning in the future.

Good luck, Bob


Igor October 28, 2015 at 4:36 am

Thank you Bob for your quick response.
We are not hard money spenders. But more I calculate less I will have if I compare with Slovenija. In Slovenija we do not pay for the school, except lounch and breakfast what costs us 54 euro per month per kid. We pay day care for youngest one 120 per month. What includes all food. Till I am here in Sidney I am also seeking for an other company, which maby can offer sponsorship. Australia was my wonderland since childhood, but as I am here for two weeks studying how living is going about, more disapointed I am. It is really hard for sponsorship visa holders. For PR visa holders is much easier. Do the PR visa holders get the beneffits for their young kids or only citizens do.
Thanks again Bob.


BobinOz October 28, 2015 at 11:39 pm

Yes, there are some advantages for PR holders, I don’t know them all. But, for example, you could get free schooling with a state school in Sydney as a PR holder, currently 457 visa holders do have to pay.

I don’t know what the other differences are, but I do feel that if you are looking to survive in Sydney on 57 K, you are going to find it tough.


paolo October 21, 2015 at 7:01 pm

What a fantastic blog!

We are from Europe and I’ve been offered a job in Melbourne (457 sponsorship) and a salary of 125KDollars, superannuation included.

do you think we can have a good life quality with a single income? E.g. living at about 30 minutes from the city center and being able to enjoy life during the weekend?


djmcbell October 21, 2015 at 9:17 pm

paolo – I’m looking at moving near Melbourne soon (not in Australia yet, though we’ve just got the visa).

Please have a look at the Melbourne page for ideas on places to move to, and also consider places along the train line for an easy commute into the CBD (for instance, Werribee – it’s not part of Melbourne but you may well find it cheaper and quieter).


BobinOz October 22, 2015 at 5:35 pm

Just so that you know Paolo, 125 K is a very good salary, so you should be okay on that single income. Much though does depend on how much you spend on accommodation and transport, so if you think it’s going to be tight then djmcbell’s suggestions will certainly come in useful.


Paolo October 23, 2015 at 12:33 am

Thank you BobinOz, I know that is a good salary but I had a lot of doubts if it’s OK or NOT for a couple.


BobinOz October 23, 2015 at 7:39 pm

Paolo, it’s always difficult to give advice about money, everybody spends it in different ways and has different ideas of what is comfortable and what isn’t. If your other half goes shopping in Prada every day, then you’re going to struggle. :-)

What I think you really need to work out is would you be better off here on that salary than you currently are where you currently live on whatever you’re currently earning.


Paolo October 23, 2015 at 8:43 pm

That’s not the case ?

But what you said in the second paragraph is correct, it’s not easy to understand if we’ll love to live in melbourne.


BobinOz October 26, 2015 at 11:04 pm

Well, I hope you get to love Melbourne is much as I love Brisbane, but you’ll only get to find out about that by giving it a try. There is simply no other way of knowing. But then you knew that :-)

Good luck, I hope it all works out well.


Dino October 18, 2015 at 6:10 pm

First of all, thanks for a great article. My family and I are planning to come back to Australia (we’ve been in Europe for the last 5 years) and I would like to know your thoughts on our financial situation. We believe that are salaries will be somewhere between 80k and 100k each. We have HECS debt to pay as well. The kids are 6 and 2 so one would go to school and the other one to kinder (childcare or private nanny). Is this going to be enough for us? We are planing to rent for starters (Melbourne) and later maybe buy some property…thanks in advance! Dino


BobinOz October 19, 2015 at 5:23 pm

Yes, with two incomes, both of which are above the national average, you should be just fine. Many people would be envious of that kind of household income so if you can’t make it work, we should all be in trouble :-) good luck, Bob


Dino October 21, 2015 at 9:23 pm

thanks a lot for your comment! As I said, it’s been a while since we left Australia and the circumstances have also changed – it was only two of us before so it is harder to get the exact picture of how much money you need to live decent life…also, I’ve been reading that childcare is very expensive so will have to have that in mind. Thank you again for your comment!


BobinOz October 22, 2015 at 5:41 pm

You may want to read this post then, you can find out information about childcare costs…


SV October 8, 2015 at 9:22 pm

I am from India. My niece is living in Melbourne with PR. They are going to start a firm. Is it possible for them to hire me as a worker. In that case, do I need to meet the points requirements for the visa. In which visa they can hire me.


BobinOz October 9, 2015 at 8:06 pm
QLD LIFE October 8, 2015 at 8:10 am

Hi Bob !

Is a salary of around 170000 AUD after tax a good salary ? I mean to live in the Small cities like Gladstone and Mackay etc. Not in the major ones though… Thanks


BobinOz October 8, 2015 at 8:25 pm

Yes, it’s very good. If you can’t survive on that, you must have a serious gambling/cocaine habit :-)


Me October 6, 2015 at 8:28 pm

I would like to know more about the monthly municipal bill . Can someone please send me a copy.
I would like to see , electricity consumption and cost , water , rates and tax.



BobinOz October 6, 2015 at 9:40 pm

Dear Me

You sent me a personal email with the same question and I responded. I asked you to use the Google search function that you will find on every page, towards the top on the right-hand side.

I asked you to search for the subjects you’re interested in because, as I explained, I’ve written about every one of these things. Why are you not doing that?

Is it so hard for you to type the words electricity costs, water costs, rates and tax into a small box and press enter? Nobody is going to send you a copy of any of their bills, not just for privacy reasons but particularly because they do not have your email address to do so.


Me October 7, 2015 at 5:03 pm

I am sorry.


SV October 6, 2015 at 3:39 pm

Hi Bob,
Thanks for this excellent Blog. I am from India. My niece is living in Melbourne with PR. I am planning to apply for Australian visa. I need your inputs in choosing one. If I apply for relative sponsored visa (489 subclass) does she need to pay any amount. If so how much?. which is better option skilled independent visa (189 subclass) or PR. Which has more job opportunities?. Which is easy to get in your view?.


BobinOz October 6, 2015 at 9:29 pm

You need to speak to a MARA migration agent about this, see Would I Qualify?


Lourens Smit October 5, 2015 at 11:39 pm

Hi Bob,

Thank you so much for this incredibly helpful site.

I have been offered a position at a company in Sydney. We are a family of 4 from Cape Town. They are offering me $120 000 a year with 9.5% super annotation on top of that. This is then a sponsored visa. I assume we can apply for PR after 2 years.

My son is currently 2 years old and my daughter 6 years old and set to start school next year. My wife is currently a stay-at-home mom and would like to stay that way until our son goes to primary.

Would we be able to comfortably live on the proposed salary? I am finding very conflicting reports on the internet.

We are not very luxurious spenders. A decent (not fancy) car, a standard 3 bedroom house and obviously schooling would be my highest priorities.

Would we have to take a drastic dip in lifestyle? Any advice would be highly appreciated.

Kind Regards!


BobinOz October 6, 2015 at 8:28 pm

Sydney is our most expensive city, but as long as you keep your accommodation costs as low as you can there is no reason why you should not get by on that salary. Many people do.

I think you will need to pay for state schooling whilst on that temporary visa, so do factor that in. But if you are able to at some stage successfully apply for PR, then state schools would be free for your children.

Do have a good read of the comments here and maybe also on my page about Sydney because quite a few people are talking about how much is enough to get by. You can check out the cost of buying or renting a house on my page called rather fascinatingly Cost of Buying or Renting a House in Australia.

Good luck, Bob


katie August 28, 2015 at 11:15 am

I am UK radiographer and have been offered a job in Melbourne with a 71k salary plus super. I would be a single no kids living by myself does that seem like it would be a good enough salary for a comfortable life. I know rent will be high I was budgeting for between $300_$450 a week.


Jake August 29, 2015 at 11:23 am

$71k seems pretty low for what I imagine is a skilled job. As a single person you will be able to live ok but you will struggle to save and build anything for the future. Your rent figures sound sensible. Maybe your earnings will rise to a higher level with experience ??? Otherwise why leave thee UK? The cost of living here is high so you need to earn a lot of money for the move to bee worthwhile.

I earn double what you will earn as a blue collar worker so you will be pretty low on the food chain by Oz standards to give you an idea.


BobinOz August 29, 2015 at 5:41 pm

I disagree with Jake Katie, the cost of living here is no higher than the UK at all, it’s about the same. Housing is expensive in Melbourne, but no more so than the really expensive cities in the UK. I am not going to comment on your salary, I don’t know what a radiographer should earn, but it is enough money for a single person to live quite well.

If you’re going to be earning twice the amount in dollars as you can in pounds in the UK, you’ll be as comfortable here as there.

Good luck, Bob


From INDIA August 6, 2015 at 10:14 pm

I am Planning to come for Australia for work. I am single. I am software developer from India with two years experience. I have knowledge in C & C++. I need to know how much the maximum I can earn. what are the deductions in the salary ?. How much I can save at the end of the month ?. Is it okay to join on contract?.


BobinOz August 7, 2015 at 8:04 pm

You can see how much you might be able to earn if you check out my page called Getting a Job or a Sponsorship and I’ve written about tax deductions in the following article…

You may want to check with the Australian Tax Office for the latest figures though, but I don’t think they have changed much.

Only you can work out how much you can save each month and I can’t help you about the contracts. I can tell you you will need a visa though, otherwise you will not be able to work in Australia.


Guy in Syd July 30, 2015 at 8:00 pm

Hi all,

Reading through the comments, there seems to be a lot of myths about living in Australia (especially the eastern states).

1) living on 80k is not only enough, but quite a good lifestyle- especially without children. I don’t know where poverty comes to play- stop making a fool of yourself. It allows a lot of luxury items such as an overseas holiday a year or 1 new gadget a year.

2) I started off in Sydney with a salary of $57k, rising to $58.5k and then $70k, and after renting for 3 years, I had a deposit of $100k- enough back then to buy a 2 bedroom 2nd hand appartment. I am quite a big saver, but still if I can do it, I don’t understand why others can’t (assuming you don’t have kids).

3) Do appraise the post on $68k living in Canberra- not because it’s tough to do, but more because he/she understands there are people doing it tougher than him/her (his/ her circumstances are even more unique than the average due to special needs requirements for the children). Forget Canberra, even Sydney in its current day where rent and house prices are well known to be excessively expensive, $68k will get you an average lifestyle while squeezing in a short holiday every year (or a long holiday every 2 years). I’m lucky my salary is now 80k+, but I have friends with 2 babies earning $65k packaged (including super) and they are doing just fine.

For those considering Australia, the key should not be the $$ made, but whether you like Australia and want to live here. That alone is worth more than the 1 or 2 take-aways you may (or may not) have to forego to achieve this dream.


BobinOz July 31, 2015 at 6:52 pm

Sensible advice Guy, and I agree, poverty is not a word that can be associated with any of the salaries people have been speaking about earning here.

Your final paragraph is probably the best advice of all, it isn’t always about the money. I’d rather be less well off living in Australia than being comfortable in the UK. The countryside, the beaches, the blue skies, they are all free.


Rob July 20, 2015 at 10:16 pm

Hello Bob,

I have been reading your website and it is quite useful.

I have been offered a job in the gold coast on a 457 visa. the whole package is 85K + annuation + private insurance. We are a family of 4 with two babies ( 2yrs and 8 months). You did reply to Irene back in May 2015 that a family of 4 (with teenagers) will need 6,000$ to cover expenses (no including rent) and according to my calculations my net income will be around 5,200$. I am concern reading how expensive live is that with my salary can be enough being the only income…even if my children are now babies…

I have also read how expensive childcare is so I am not sure if there is any point for my wife to work although if we want to integrate fully into the society I believe working is one of the best ways, I read something about child care rebate. Does this apply to 457 visa holders? I don’t know…I read some other people being offered salaries of 120,000K and I am scare that we will struggle…

Finally, which area will you recommend to live in?

Looking forward to your reply.



BobinOz July 21, 2015 at 9:08 pm

Hi Rob

Firstly, I don’t know how the childcare rebate works for 457 visa holders, so I can’t help you with that. You would have to speak to Centrelink about that one.

Secondly, 85K is a pretty decent salary, I’m pretty sure you will get by, but much would depend on how much of that money you need to pay for rent or mortgage. The other thing about money is you have to compare it to how ‘well off’ you are where you live now.

As I think I’ve said before, I would rather struggle a bit and live here than be slightly better off and live where I used to live, because part of the fun of living here in Australia is enjoying the outdoor lifestyle and the weather. Beaches are always free.

There is a comment somewhere on this website from a woman who I think says she has four children and she survives on $50,000 a year in Perth. If she can, you can.

There is no real answer to this one though, I think the only way you will find out is by giving it a go. As for where to live, I don’t know the Gold Coast well enough to advise, I suggest you check out the comments on my page about that area.

Good luck, Bob


Rob July 21, 2015 at 9:24 pm

Hi Bob,

Thank you very much for your reply. I guess like you mentioned the best thing is to try and see If I survive!!

In regards of where to live, I was looking more for advise to either stay in the gold coast or to live in the southern suburbs of Brisbane and commute every day. It has to be an area which can be reach by public transport from Brisbane this way I might need only one car and we can be close to both the city and the beach.




Ashok July 6, 2015 at 9:53 pm

Hello Bob,

I am new to your page and had been looking out for a better guidance on monthly expenses in Australia for a family of 4. I hope I would take up a position there sooner, I would need your guidance about what will be the standard salary range for a Sr. IT Engineer/Consultant in the region and the other expenses to lead a better life. Your guidance will really be helpful to me negotiate the offer from the employer there.


BobinOz July 7, 2015 at 7:10 pm

Check out my page called Getting a Job or a Sponsorship, you’ll see some advice about how to check out salaries for your occupation. Good luck, Bob


Joe June 28, 2015 at 8:08 am

Hey Bob, how difficult do you feel it would be to live in Sydney with my wife and a baby on the way with my salary $72k (including superannuation) I am a recruitment consultant so will be earning commission on top of that but on that salary, could we rent a 2 bed house/flat plus eat well? Also, where is a decent place to live within 45 minutes of CBD? Thanks


BobinOz June 28, 2015 at 11:59 pm

Hi Joe

It’s difficult to say, but I think you should be able to get by on that income but much would depend on how much you end up paying for rented accommodation. I reckon you would need to run a tight budget though. As for where to live in Sydney, you’d be better off asking that question on my page about that city which you will find a link to underneath the main navigation menu at the top of each page for Australian Cities.

Hopefully somebody who knows Sydney well would be able to recommend a good suburb for you. Also, read the comments that are already there, there’s a lot of talk about where to live in Sydney.

Good luck, Bob


Joe June 29, 2015 at 5:29 am

Thanks for the reply Bob! Your website is so helpful and has helped me plan for my new life enormously. It’s good to know it is possible although not as comfortable as we are here. The lifestyle is what we are after so that’s all good.


Michael June 29, 2015 at 8:38 am

Good Morning Joe

you would be able to live outside of Sydney CBD not far from the Beach. It would take some time to get used to catching the fast trains to the city to work out where to live. I lived for a time in the Sutherland Shire. I worked in Parramatta so I caught an express train in the morning into the CBD then an express to Parramatta. Took just over and hour. However 72K would be about the average income. you would probably be looking something around the $300-$400 per week for apartment. If you prefer mountains you could always look at somewhere like Penrith it also has an express train to Sydney. I used to live out that way, not as good as Sutherland but it is cheaper and I love the mountains.


papoo June 22, 2015 at 4:56 pm

HI, I am planing to move to Australia on visa class 186. We are three family members. We are living a pretty good life here financially, earning good, but due to some social reasons we intend to migrate to Australia. I and My wife, we both are professional bankers with MBA (financial management) . I have two questions

1. should i consider migrating to OZ or drop this idea.?
2. what is the minimum cost of living for a three member family in Brisbane?

I have no issue with doing Odd jobs, i am not a royal person…..i mean to say, doing odd jobs would suffice my living or not.


Mike June 22, 2015 at 11:20 pm

Visa 186 is an employer nomination visa. You would have to find an employer that would nominate you as having a skill set that is required for the job they have

“The Employer Nomination Scheme visa (subclass 186) is for skilled workers who want to work in Australia. This visa involves a two-step process, firstly, nomination by an approved Australian employer and then an application under the nominated stream. It is part of the Permanent Employer Sponsored Visa programme.”

you wouldn’t qualify for this visa doing “odd jobs” it would have to be, while you are a skilled worker you would still have to get nominated by an “approved” employer before you could apply for this visa.


Haman Harry June 3, 2015 at 7:19 am

Hie sir .. I am from India having my family business of ayurvedic herbs from many years..But I want to shift with my wife in Australia Melbourne.So can u please guide How can I make it possible ..And how much salary can make us survive in Melbourne. .


BobinOz June 3, 2015 at 4:23 pm

This website is chockablock with pages and pages of information to help you with both of the questions you have asked. Please have a good read, in particular have a look at Visas and The Cost of Living in Australia of Everything.


Nalin June 1, 2015 at 4:35 am

Hello Bob,

First of all a nice & very informative blog. Keep up the good work.
I am originally from India, but working in UK since last 5 years. I am planning to move to AU & just wanted to check with you about the lifestyle changes/challenges that you experienced when you started living in AU as compared to UK. I currently have a choice to settle down in UK or AU & will appreciate your comments regarding any challenges that i should be aware of before i take the plunge. My areas of concern are social security, my daughter’s schooling & overall job market (i am from IT background).



BobinOz June 1, 2015 at 5:30 pm

I didn’t really have any challenges Nailin, but even if I did, my challenges wouldn’t represent your challenges. Everybody is different.

I have written articles about everything you mention though, check out Which school?Getting a Job or a Sponsorship and


Nalin June 3, 2015 at 7:26 am

Thanks for the response Bob. I will go through the links provided by you.


Irene May 25, 2015 at 8:55 am

Could you please give me an idea of what university fees cost in Perth or Brisbane? (For a teaching degree)

Also a rough idea of net income needed for a family of four (two teenagers) using 2 cars, excluding rental costs?


BobinOz May 25, 2015 at 9:34 pm

I can’t help you with the University fees, I think universities set their own fees so you would need to talk to them direct. As for your budget, excluding rental costs (and those university fees) I’d say you should budget around $6000 a month, but that is a wild guess, everybody’s spending is different.


Irene May 28, 2015 at 6:12 am

Thanks – that gives me an idea. Also, is private health care necessary?


BobinOz May 28, 2015 at 9:00 pm

Plenty of people do not have private health care, but I am very reluctant to describe it as unnecessary. I’m sure there are situations where people who don’t have it find themselves in a situation when they wished they did.

The healthcare system is quite complex, but I have tried to explain it as best I can in this post which you might like to read…


Anita May 13, 2015 at 10:19 pm

Hi Bob,

I am anita from India .My husband will be moved to Australia in NSW.for a job of civil engineer . Please confirm that how many chances to get the job in NSW and what about salary package as have 7 year experienced.


BobinOz May 14, 2015 at 6:40 pm

It’s not possible for me to confirm anybody’s chances of getting a job, I couldn’t even do that for me :-) Check out my page called Getting a Job or a Sponsorship, you might find some help there.


Anita June 5, 2015 at 8:02 pm

Hi Bob,

Thanks your reply ..Please can you confirm that how many dollar will be enough to spend in a month for normal life


BobinOz June 7, 2015 at 9:23 pm

Another impossible question Anita. How many in your family? Where will you live? Will you be running a car? Two cars? Do you smoke? Is at 20 day each or 50 a day? Do you drink alcohol? Do you like eating out in restaurants?

All hypothetical questions, I don’t want you to answer them, I’m just saying that everybody is different but if you visit my page called The Cost of Living in Australia of Everything you will get a good guide on prices here in Australia and therefore be able to work out your budget.

Good luck, Bob


Riji Hari May 11, 2015 at 1:48 am

I am a PhD holder in Nutrition and Food Science and now looking for a job in Australia. How much can I ask as a decent pay and perks?


BobinOz May 11, 2015 at 11:22 pm

You can find out how you can look into that over on my page called Getting a Job or a Sponsorship.


Matty baker May 5, 2015 at 7:29 am


Been offered a job in Perth 70k a year to start with the promise of progression , will be coming over with my partner who is expecting our first child end of August so she will not be able to get a job for a year or so

From reading this I can’t see that 70k is going to get us by ?

Any comments appreciated



BobinOz May 5, 2015 at 6:51 pm

I think it might be tough Matty, but maybe not impossible, a great deal depends on how much you need to spend on housing and transport. I think you also have to compare it with how well off you are now where you currently live and try and make a comparison.

What I’m saying is, I’d rather struggle a bit in Perth than be slightly better off somewhere in the UK.

Don’t give up on the idea yet, I suggest you do much more thorough research. If nobody else chimes in here who knows more about Perth costs than I do, maybe it is worth asking this over on my page about Perth to see what they say about it there.

Good luck, Bob


simon April 30, 2015 at 7:12 am

Hi there

I have been offered a job in Dubbo for $98k + super. I would be moving over on my own and sponsored by the hospital. Is this a good wage? Does anyone have anything good to say aboit Dubbo….some things I’ve read aren’t great,but i guess it may all be over exaggerated. I was just wondering if it would be better there than living in Nottingham UK on £32k.


BobinOz April 30, 2015 at 6:29 pm

Well, I can’t tell you what Dubbo is like to live in, I drove through it once on a road trip and did pop into their zoo, but I have no idea what it’s actually like to live in. You may be better off asking about that on my page about NSW.

As for the money, I’m very confident you will be much better off coming to Australia at $98k, which is a good salary here, than staying in Nottingham on that salary you’re currently getting.

Good luck, Bob


Simon April 23, 2015 at 5:12 am

Hi all,

Can anyone please help me figure out;

1- If its said that a position’s salary is 80K per annum, is it mostly net or gross for NSW Sydney?

2- Does employers make the deduction from the weekly wage and pay the tax on behalf of the employee? Or taxes paid by employees themselves end of year totally?



BobinOz April 23, 2015 at 7:37 pm

Hi Simon

As far as I am aware, the vast majority of quoted salaries are before tax is paid and usually the employer does deduct tax from you. Wages are often paid fortnightly here, so you may want to bear that in mind as well.


Mike April 24, 2015 at 8:35 am

Bob Is correct most quoted salary figures are pre tax. You will have to look closely also to see if the figure says $80K plus super as that is another part of your salary that may or may not be included in the figure. Tax is taken out by the employer each week. You then do a tax return at the end of the financial year to claim back any excess tax you may have paid or in order to pay any tax shortfall.


Ramy March 24, 2015 at 3:13 pm

Hi Bob,

I am civil Engineer, been living in Melbourne four years now, started with wage $45K and now getting $53k, what are your suggestions specially the market is too bad!!!!



BobinOz March 24, 2015 at 6:57 pm

I would have thought a civil engineer would have been able to earn more than that, but I don’t work in recruitment so take no notice of me.


Mike April 7, 2015 at 5:41 am

Hello Ramy

I would look for another job. Civil Engineers working for the government in NSW start at graduate level (Have just received their degree) on around $70K in NSW at least the government is neither the highest paying employer nor the major employer of Civil Engineers. I couldn’t imagine that there is a 40% difference in wages between NSW and VIC


Tommy stewart February 15, 2015 at 8:00 am

I am a subsea engineer by job title. I don’t have a engineer certificate and my wife is a after school play worker manager with a svg3 certificate.

We are looking to more to Australia. What is out chances for getting a visa. With my job I can live anywhere.



BobinOz February 16, 2015 at 3:09 pm

Chances of qualifying are best not guessed at, you would get a much more accurate idea of your chances of qualifying if you were to go through my Visa Assessment Service.

It is conducted by my MARA registered migration agent, the only people with the necessary knowledge and skills to answer these kinds of questions.

Good luck, Bob


Shubham February 10, 2015 at 4:58 pm

Hi Bob!!

i am a chef and got an offer from perth, WA of 65000 aud + super. The company is sponsoring my 457 visa. I will be coming there with my wife and 2 kids. kids are 1 year and 4 year old. I was wondering is it a good salary to live a descent life. Considering few facts that it will be difficult for my wife to work with a small kid. That means i will be the sole bread earner. My hotel is located in perth CBD , i will be looking for an accomodation within 10 KM radius. I come to know if the family income is less than 75000aud, state run school dont take tution fee from 457 visa dependents. Is it true? How much monthly do i have to spend on medical insuarance?


BobinOz February 10, 2015 at 8:04 pm

I can’t help you with these specific questions, you would have to phone up to get those medical insurance quotes based on your personal situation and I’m not sure what the tuition fees are for 457 visa holders in W.A. these days or whether you would be exempt in your situation.

I do know that Perth is quite an expensive city and you will have to budget well to live within your means on one salary as it is. You might like to visit my page about Perth (under the Australian Cities main navigation button above) and have a read of the comments to see what others are saying.

Good luck, Bob


Estelle February 9, 2015 at 7:51 pm

Just read the comments you suggested and found them really encouraging.I have also spoken to some social work professionals today! All in all, a good day and another step closer to some Aussie sunshine :-)
Your blog (and ebook) have been an invaluable source of information so far, a big thank you to you and the other contributors.


BobinOz February 10, 2015 at 7:33 pm

Thanks Estelle, good luck with your journey, one step at a time :-) it’s a long way.


Sydneyuk February 9, 2015 at 6:51 pm

Hii, i have been seeing the comments here regarding livng expenses. Just to mention to those who aee planning to come to suburbs of Sydney the average cost for family of 4 living in a decent 3-4 bedroom house is nearly AUS$9000-10000 per month! So be prepared


Mike February 10, 2015 at 7:01 am

you do know that 9000-10000 per month in expenses would put you in the high income bracket. So far from average and decent. That puts your pre tax income at between 120,000 and 180,000 hardly average…even for Sydney. People’s ideas of average and decent vary wildly. Some people consider a Ford Falcon average and decent..others consider and Audi A4 average and decent and still some other consider a hiring a driver to do sort of thing average and decent.


Jnr February 10, 2015 at 8:59 am

SydneyUK is right. If you are new to the market, renting costs around $1500 a week for a family of 4 home in Sydney. Plus the rest of your living expenses, takes this to around $9000 a month.

Then there is child care, health insurance, etc etc

Apartments are no problem, but 4 bedroom homes are expensive.

Ps – I drive a Holden and aspire to buy a ford falcon !! :-)


BobinOz February 10, 2015 at 7:32 pm

Again, using Granville (see my other post on this subject just 10 comments above this one) I found 4 four-bedroom houses for rent from $400 per week to $600. Then in a suburb called Merrylands, another six or so properties from $460 per week to $650 per week. All of them four-bedroom except one which was five bedroom at $575 per week.

So I need to ask the question, what’s wrong with Granville? Or Merrylands?


Jnr February 10, 2015 at 9:54 pm

Granville – easy answer… schools.

Check out the school rankings – the lowest score a school can get is 60. The primary schools in Granville score in their 60’s (2014 – Better Education Website). There are over 400 Primary Schools scoring over 93, so this give an indication of how far down the list of performing public primary schools.

So, a parent is left with placing their child in a public school which is on the lowest part of the list of schools, or pay private.

Also, the homes are offer over $750k, and when we spoke to an estate agent, this usually meant the owner was looking for $75k to $100k above the asking price.

Bob, I understand your website promotes Australia, and wants to see it in a positive light, but there are parts where the reality is a lot tougher than the perception which is viewed from back in the UK.

I am someone who wants to stay, but I can really understand why some people return back to the UK as a result of the ‘paradise tax’ of expensive housing vs salary in parts of Australia.

Rather than splitting hairs over $100k in house prices, I think I have made my case. Could someone like a School Teacher or Nurse new to Sydney buy a house for a young family? unless they have a very large deposit, probably not.


BobinOz February 11, 2015 at 1:04 am

Well, actually, no, you haven’t made your case.

You came here and made two bold claims; the first that you cannot buy a four bedroomed house within a one hour commute of Sydney CBD for less than $1 million and secondly, it costs $1500 a week to rent the same.

Within five minutes of starting my research I found a house for sale for $799,000 just 19 kilometres from the CBD; as I understand it about 40 minutes drive. That wasn’t an ‘offers over’ price, that was a buy it now price. I made that quite clear.

I have found a house for you to buy for $201,000 less than you thought you’d ever get one for. You should be thanking me.

After five more minutes research I found around over 10 four-bedroom properties available for rent from between $400 a week and $650 a week in the same area and all easily within a one hour commute. How many houses would I have found if I’d spent five hours looking?

Ah, yes, but, you say, the schools are no good there. That’s not the point, the quality of schooling has nothing to do with it, if it does, change your statement to include some kind of information the kind of things you expect from this suburb. What next? Will you dismiss suburbs because the bus is only one every half hour, or it doesn’t have a decent pub?

You made two statements and I have proved them both to be untrue. You then have the audacity to suggest that I am trying to paint Australia in a positive light as though you are some kind of knight in shining armour bringing truth to this website.

You are the one who is misleading my readers by talking of this nonsense about million pound houses and $1500 a week rent. My job is to make sure I put my readers straight about this because I am not, as you say “promoting Australia”, the government and the tourist industry does that, I talk about what it’s really like to live in Australia. It’s in my banner and has been from day one.

Sounds to me as though you’re whingeing about house prices in Sydney because you can’t live exactly where YOU want to live. That’s fine, moan as much as you like, but please do not mislead my readers.

Cheers, Bob


Mike April 7, 2015 at 6:19 am

I laugh at these comments sometimes. Sutherland shire, around 45minutes by train to the CBD plenty of Houses around the 600-800k mark with rentals in the 500-800 per week mark. It also has schools that rank in the high 90’s based on that better schools website. There are even places on the north shore that are inside the rental band given such as Wahroonga. Generally speaking no bank will lend money to a new person to Australia unless they can pay upfront a substantial portion of the loan, risk is too high. The banks don’t care if the house is 250k or 1250k they won’t loan new arrivals money no history of savings is the problem. A graduate level teacher in NSW earns around $65K and so does a Graduate Registered Nurse. Being that there are lots of nurses and teachers living in Sydney with families I suspect that they have been able to survive on much less than $9000 a month. Being that I lived in Sydney as a Graduate Geologist before moving to the Northern Rivers on much less than $9000 a month I know it can be done…that said I don’t smoke, get tatts, do drugs or gamble which could easily lead you to spending $9000 a month.


BobinOz April 7, 2015 at 6:44 pm

Yes, it is laughable, but it’s also a bit of a worry because some people reading this actually believe it when people like Jnr make these sort of claims. In some cases false information like this can actually prevent people from moving to Australia because they think they won’t be able to afford a house.

So it’s important that people do expose these exaggerations and that readers know what’s really going on, so I appreciate you taking the time Mike to do that.


Estelle February 9, 2015 at 12:32 am

Hi Bob,
I am trying very hard to learn about whether my aim of bringing myself and my teenage daughter to live in Oz is achievable. I am a qualified Social Worker in Wales and this in itself is not a straight forward conversion of skills, but assuming my skills assessment is successful, I would expect to earn at least $70,000/annum. The only thing concerning me slightly is that I have not seen any other post/blog/comment anywhere, that suggests single parents make the move. Am I missing something? I would have $100,000 deposit for a house (in the suburbs) and I am aware I would have to find extra costs for schooling, but it would just be reassuring to hear from someone who says it can be done!
Much appreciated,


Mike February 9, 2015 at 6:44 am

Good Morning Estelle

70,000 is around the average for income in Australia. The key factor in how easy it would be to live in Australia would be where you are going to live. If you need child care (I am assuming that you daughter is old enough to look after herself when school finishes). Median house prices in Sydney hit the million dollar mark late last year and many banks have issues with loaning money to people without a savings track record. For example the bank wouldn’t loan money to my wife (not a permanent resident yet) until she had a proven 6 month savings history in Australia. In this case it didn’t bother us as they bank was happy to loan me the money as I am a citizen with a proven good financial history.

The biggest problem you will have by far is housing. Me Personally I love that I don’t live in Sydney anymore, I am about 4 hours from Brisbane which sometimes I think is too close to a big city. Short trip to the beach or mountains, low house prices. High rental yield for long term investors.


Estelle February 9, 2015 at 8:51 am

Thank you Mike, that’s really helpful to know.
I guess renting for 6 months is likely to be a necessity then while I prove myself financially. I won’t have childcare costs as my daughter will be 16, so it’s her education that will pose the most challenges I guess. I hope she will be able to do her ‘A’ levels (equivalent) in Australia, but I hear the cost of University courses are likely to soar, so we may need to consider her return to the the UK to complete her education.
As for housing, I have been scanning the house market online. It would be my preference to move to Queensland I think, but not too close to the cities. There are so many lovely areas a bit further out, and I have seen property that seems to be within my price range at the current exchange rate??? (Fingers crossed the pound doesn’t weaken!) If housing is the biggest problem, I might just be able to get away with it…. :-)


BobinOz February 9, 2015 at 6:37 pm

Somebody called Heythere caused a bit of a stir with her comment a while back on this very page, you may be interested in reading what she had to say but more importantly, the answers other readers have given. Specifically a single mother earning 70K with three kids. To read these comments, click here.

Also bear in mind that this person was living in Canberra and if you go somewhere more rural, things will be even cheaper for you.

You have a good chance :-) cheers, Bob


Mike February 10, 2015 at 6:35 am

I have a mate living in South Western Sydney he earns around the 60k mark with a wife and 3 Children..he still goes away on holidays he kids still have a good life…(his wife is magic with the finances) so you should be able to get away with it. University can be expensive, however if you plan to become a permanent resident your daughter will be able to use HECS and pay off the University debt once she has a job. Which Is what most of us poor students have done or are doing. My Mother raised my sister and I in Sydney on 60K both of us living away from home at University. My sister paid off her HECS and I went back to get some more I am still paying off the last of my HECS debt.


Estelle February 10, 2015 at 7:09 am

Hi Mike,
I know, student debt is a nightmare. However, things are looking up all the time! I didn’t assume my daughter would be able to access a student loan in Australia, but if she can that would be amazing…. bring on the student debt I say :)
Also, it’s much better than trying to have a foot in the UK and Australia at once, if you know what I mean. My daughter really wants to be a languages teacher so it’s great that she has options and hopefully I can help her from what you’re saying. I will definitely enquire further now that you have shared that….
Many thanks


Lc April 25, 2015 at 5:42 pm

It can be done [ 70k with child and single parent], but its going to be very tough and high risk. As mentioned, housing is the biggest cost driver. By far, and especially in Sydney.
Why Sydney? the most unaffordable housing market in Australia. Why not a cheaper housing market such as Adelaide? Its also more family friendly in other areas such as Adelaide, cairns etc.
Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Canberra, are very expensive and salaries do have to be high as well.
Start off in a lower risk place like Adelaide, and then after some experience and after you have settled, see if its right to goto Sydney.


Jnr February 7, 2015 at 11:51 am

We moved to Australia 6 months ago, and it’s amazing… There is a but…

The salary is slightly higher than the UK in Sydney, but the level of tax is higher.

We have been looking for houses around Sydney and there is nothing left for less than $1 million. All houses advertised are ‘offers over’ or auction, and there are planet of cash buyers who are speculating on house price rises.

I already know of 3 families this year who have returned to the UK because of the price of housing vs salary in Sydney. If you are starting a family or thinking of having more children, it’s near impossible to live or get a mortgage for a house on one income.

We have been trying to buy now for 6 months in Sydney and as a person on $180k a year we will struggle until my wife starts earning.

The price of goods out here is about the same as the UK, but it’s the housing and taxation which reduces your standard of living.


Mike February 9, 2015 at 6:34 am

Hi Jnr

There are plenty of houses in Sydney that are less than 1 million. Though it depends where in Sydney you want to live..It would be like saying there are no homes sub-600,000 pounds in London…but your target area is Kensington.

Median house prices in Sydney hit 1 million at the end of last year which means half of the homes for sale were below 1 million


Jnr February 9, 2015 at 7:06 am


I am here in Sydney and registered with all of the estate agends. You can get a small 3 bed town house for around $800k, and apartments for less, but there are no 4 bedroom homes within a 1 hour commut of Sydney which are going for less than $1 million; this includes the north west Hills district.

All go for auction and they are going for around $250k above the reserve. I’ve been looking to buy for months, and living approx 1 hour commute away.

Willoughby release new land last week, in the south west, and there was a waiting list to get land to build a house in two years time. This would cost approx $900k for house and land package and the door to door journey would be 1 hour 20 mins.

There are so many cash buyers who are buying to rent and speculating on further increase in prices, that it’s forcing out new buyers with a budget.


BobinOz February 9, 2015 at 5:34 pm

Jnr, it was Mike who replied to your comment, not myself.

I know property is expensive in Sydney but like Mike, I am also pretty sure that you can buy houses there for less than $1 million within a one hour commute.

Going back to the UK because property is expensive in Sydney is a little extreme though, there’s more to Australia than just Sydney and housing can be a good deal cheaper elsewhere.


Jnr February 9, 2015 at 10:37 pm


re going back to the UK seems a bit extreme – the three couples I mentioned all had one child, and wanted to extend their family (or already had) to two children. There is 3 months maternity in Oz, and then there is the price of two child care places, which in Sydney is more than one salary; so straight away, you are paying more than working, or, one doesn’t work and you have to pay an extremely high mortgage on one salary.

Then there is the cost of housing for a 4 bedroom house; It’s not extreme, this is the reality in Sydney at the moment. When you say you are pretty sure, have you been online recently and checked?

I have been living here for 6 months, and after moving from London, I find Sydney expensive and challenge anyone to find a decent house for less than $1 million with less than an hour commute.

You have to keep in mind that the average price of homes includes apartments, plus, these numbers are usually 6-12 months behind the current trend. Go onto Domain or Real Estate website and take a look, then find a house (not a town house) for less than $1 million. Sydney saw an increase of 15% last year (on top of higher growth in the previous 3 years); then take out apartments, and houses went up by over 20%.

Saying there is more to Australia than Sydney is like saying there is more to the UK than London…. it depends on the industry that you work in, otherwise we could all live in Adelaide or Alice Springs.

My point is that people really need to research why the current government stated this week that one of its priorities was acting on affordable home ownership, but until they do, Sydney and Melbourne are extremely expensive due to rent or mortgage (and that’s compared to London)


Mike February 10, 2015 at 6:27 am

Try looking in the Sutherland Shire. (South East)

Train travel to Sydney 45 minutes quicker if you get the express train.

Looking in the hills district and places on the North Shore are the expensive areas of Sydney.


Jnr February 10, 2015 at 9:13 am


Already looked around here, and the 4 bedroom homes are mostly auctions, which I’ve attended. Most are going for over $1million (unless the house needs renovating); those not on Austin are asking offers over $900k.

If a person bought in Sydney 3 years ago, they are ok, if a person is new to the market today (2015) it is difficult to get a family home without over exposing yourself.

The Sydney housing over the past years has been driven by low interest rates, negative gearing, cash buyers, foreign investors (speculating), and demand outstripping supply. This has created the perfect storm in dramatically increasing house prices.

Apartments are ok, but family homes… Are getting to the point where a family now needs two good incomes to survive. Check out the link below, there is enough on Google to get a feel for how exposed Sydney is right now with house prices vs salary


BobinOz February 10, 2015 at 7:25 pm

Jnr, in answer to your earlier question whether I have tried this recently, yes, I did this exercise about six months ago and because I know you will say that’s out of date, I’ve just done it again. First I search Google for “best value suburbs in Sydney within 20 kms to CBD”. That took me to a website with the heading “Cheap suburbs within 20 KM of the CBD” and they offered just the name of one suburb per major city. For Sydney they suggested Granville which is 19 km from the city.

So I searched for houses with a minimum of four bedrooms in Granville and found two properties, one for $799,000 and the other for offers over $750,000. The whole exercise took me less than five minutes and already I have found one definite house for under $800,000 that you could buy tomorrow. They are there.

I haven’t included a link, because as soon as it sold it will disappear. The property is there now and it’s at 27 Granville Street.

Underneath this house listing there is a further list of 10 properties sold in the area in the last three months, all were under $1 million. The dearest was $936,000 and that was a four bedroom house sold at auction. Then there was a five bedroom house that sold for $925,000, again at auction. The other eight houses were all three-bedroom houses, but prices ranged from $809,000 down to $366,668. The median house price in Granville at the moment (four-bedroom) is $680,000.

I don’t know what Granville is like or even if you will come back and suggest that these 19 km are not within a one hour commute, but remember I have done minimal research to come up with this information. There must be more out there.

That said, I do understand the problems in Sydney when it comes to house prices and rental costs, and it is right for you to bring this to people’s attention.

Cheers, Bob


Colby January 15, 2015 at 5:49 am

Hi Bob,

Great idea for this website, it’s very helpful.

I am moving with my gf in April, we’re relocating to Darwin from Manila on TR visas. My company is flexible enough to offer me a job although I’ll be working remotely. Is $60k a good enough salary to get us by in the few months until my partner finds a job? Her field is in human resources btw. We’re looking to rent a 1-bedroom apartment, no car. We plan to live modestly but I heard Darwin rental rates are one of the most expensive in the whole Australia.

Thanks and more power.


Mike January 15, 2015 at 7:33 pm

Hi Colby

$60k is about the average income you should be able to get buy on that sort of income in a one bedroom can look at rental prices for Darwin on websites like or that should give you some idea. Darwin is a little more expensive than some other places but you should be able to find a place. My wife relocated from the Philippines around 18 months ago she found a job pretty quickly. Good Luck on the move


BobinOz January 15, 2015 at 10:09 pm

I agree with Mike, I think you will be able to get by on this, but I do also think that life will become much better when you land that second job. Good luck, Bob


Colby January 16, 2015 at 12:17 am

Great, thanks both for the help!


Margaret January 11, 2015 at 4:45 pm

Hi Bob, My partner and I are Kiwis and are considering shifting to Melbourne with our teenager for a few years. We would be renting, and I noticed you mentioned rentals being a hot commodity. We would be shifting with our 2 elderly dogs, and I’m wondering if that would make it difficult to find a rental. We hope to maintain our current lifestyle of having 1 car and using public transportation and bikes to get us all where we need to be each day. Where we live currently, rentals with dogs are hard to find, and often not very nice. Any opinions on what we might find out there in the rental market? Just want to walk in with our eyes open.


BobinOz January 12, 2015 at 5:56 pm

I think you’ll find the same story here really Margaret, rentals that allow pets are definitely harder to find and although I don’t know for sure, I suspect that possibly they are the not so nice ones. It’s certainly not impossible though, plenty of people with pets do rent here, I think the only way you can get a true understanding of the situation is to start hunting for a rental to see what happens.

Good luck, Bob


Helen January 12, 2015 at 10:27 pm

Hi Margaret
As Bob says, best thing is to start looking. My home is rented out while I work overseas and I deliberately rented it out as dog friendly because I thought that dog people were likely to be nicer people than non dog people and therefore be good tenants. So there are dog friendly rentals out there My tenants did say it was a much harder search though. ( and yes, they are nice so the theory has worked for me :) )


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