How much does housing cost?
There are some raging debates going on over at the blog about the cost of housing here in Australia. The debate, of course, is are houses cheaper in the UK or in Australia?
Go back to 2007, for me there was no debate. Australian houses were a fair bit cheaper and much bigger. By 2011, with the pound a little weaker, there was probably not that much in it in terms of cost, but you still got a much bigger house for your money here. Of course, I’m talking about the difference in prices between the UK and Australia, so it very much depends which country you’re coming from.
What the future holds, who knows? For those of you who are exchanging British currency from the sale of your UK home and changing it into Australian dollars, or any currency to buy a house here, the exchange rate is everything. As exchange rates can change fast, how the prices compare largely depends on what day you turn up.
With the Brexit vote in June 2016, the value of the pound against the Australian dollar tumbled. Unless the pound manages to recover significantly over time, those of you coming here from the UK will most likely find our house prices to be quite expensive.
All you can do is shop and compare. And the best place to do that is on Australia’s number one real estate portal, realestate.com.au.
It’s easy to go shopping for houses:
- Click on either the Buy or Rent link below.
- In the main search box, type in the state, city or any of the suburbs you are interested in, or highlight them from the drop-down menu.
- Then select your preferences; number of bedrooms, type of property and a minimum and maximum price.
- Hit the big red search button.
Do you want to buy or rent?
Happy house hunting!
More useful links:
Some of these posts are a little out of date now, but they are still worth a look….
Finding a Job and Somewhere to Live in Australia
Australia vs England at House Prices
The Cost of Living in Australia: House Prices
The Cost of Living in Australia: House Prices Revised
The Cost of Living in Australia: House Prices Part Four
Cost of Living in Australia: Stamp Duty
UK and Australian House Prices Compared; Cities and Regions 2016
Average Rental Prices by Capital Cities in Australia
Think Facebook Groups seems pretty big also. For finding rentals, items and jobs.
Good suggestion, thank you.
I m moving to Tasmania from India in August with my wife. Currently looking for a job and for a house on rent too. I really don’t know where to start from!! I have hotel f&b experience and 2 years automobile..can you help me in job search .. also I m very confused how to start on rental accomodation. Can you please advise me ..
Also initially we will stay at Melbourne for few days. Now on a intentional flight after paying extra we can 80 kg luggage. Now I need to know how much luggage I can carry on a ferry as domestic flight to Hobart will not allow me 80 kg of luggage..is there is any other option do I have in terms I can carry 80 kg of luggage later on to Tassie.
Well, I can’t help you personally, but my page Getting a Job or a Sponsorship will help you search for work and this page will help you search for a rental.
As for that extra luggage, you really do not want to be getting on the ferry to Tasmania, I think it’s about an 8 or 10 hour journey across what can be incredibly rough seas. I’m sure if you pay for excess baggage you will be able to find a flight that will allow you to take it, if not, pay some kind of carrier service to deliver it for you.
Good luck, Bob
I wonder if you can help. We are moving to Sydney for a year in feb. We have two primary school age children – and on the 457 visa. My question is regarding school fees. For attendance at catholic school I see that the fees are around $1300, do you know if you also have to pay the $5000 for state schools on top of this?
Well, as you probably know, if you were to send your children to a state school, you would have to pay a fee in NSW, for more about this see…
My understanding is that private schools get some kind of subsidy from the government because they know they are taking the pressure off of the public school sector. So I’m pretty sure you will have to pay something, maybe it will be the full amount, maybe it will be a little bit cheaper. To be safe, I think you should check this directly with the school or the state government. Good luck, Bob
This is a thread on buying and renting Australia.
Renting and buying are different in each of the five states and two territories.
In NSW for example, you will face paying out six weeks of rent if you break your lease, even if you have a tenant who can move in straight way. Six weeks of rent can be a lot of money in Sydney.
You can find standard tenancy agreement documents via the tenancy boards of each state online. I suggest to prospective renters that you start there.
Typically a bond will be four weeks deposit.
If you plan to share a house with people you do not know, please be aware of how utility bills are paid, so you don’t end up paying for someone else, for example, if they leave.
It may be preferable to buy. In this case, work out the potential costs of the purchase, which include stamp duty, bank fees, insurance, mortgage insurance if your deposit is less than 20%, builder report, conveyancing.
Read the contract carefully before signing. It will be different in each State. It is best to spend some time understanding the legal issues or get a solicitor, BEFORE you sign.
There are many books and free sites online for buying a property in Australia. Not much has changed over the years.
Be aware of boom and bust issues. Be careful of catching a falling knife. Presently there is an emerging apartment glut in Brisbane. There is a major sports event in a few years I think on the Gold Coast, which may influence prices for a short time.
Otherwise, my reading of the market is that it is a seller’s market in most places. It is hard to find anything good at the prices available 3-4 years ago.
Some places at the lower end have specific issues. For example, Lismore has flooded earlier this year. Do you want to live in a place that floods your basement? Coastal Queensland has issues with wood-boring insects. This may affect the foundations of older buildings.
In general, you will be able to buy a home almost anywhere for a million AUD. If you plan to live in Melbourne or Sydney this is unlikely to buy a really good home at the moment. I looked at Canberra today and could not find anything I’d buy for that price. Eg, the suburb Barton (named after the first rime minister of Australia), which a few years ago had a few nice properties, now has absolutely nothing at any price.
If you choose almost anywhere else in Australia, a million will buy a really good home or a truly outstanding one.
600k will generally buy a nice home outside of the big cities, 350-600k will buy an average home up to a nice home.
Below 350k it is possible to find a quite nice home, but there will probably be significant issues – usually the geography or the type of people in the suburb.
Example, Maryborough, an area north of the Sunshine Coast, maybe a half hour from the beach, is a flood zone, very hot and a prison is nearby. On realestate.com.au there are some really sweet looking Queenslander properties there for 400-450k, but they are right on the river which flooded the CBD in 2013. Worse, it floods in summer. That can be very stinky with loads mosquitoes. I could not imagine what it would be like if the power failed.
An example of a cheaper place in the below 350k where an acceptable but average home would be found is Launceston, Tasmania. This has an airport so if most of your work was at home and you only needed to go to Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane infrequently, it is even better situated than Hobart. It is an architecturally well preserved town, if you like that.
In Victoria, there are quite a few large rural towns to the west of Melbourne that also look pleasant at this price, with spacious streets and homes which are cared for, with backyards. They looked safe. It would be a cold winter if you don’t mind that.
The value for money these properties offered looked better to me than those south and west of Sydney, e.g. Blue Mountains, which is lovely, e.g. Leura, or further west, e.g. Mudgee, which has a nice old colonial town feel and surrounding vineyards. Also close to the historic goldfields. South of Sydney on the way to Goulburn are some really lovely looking towns such as Bowral, Moss Vale and Bundanoon, but they are not cheap.
Orange, a pleasant if somewhat staid town, seems to have quite a few average places in this price range.
On the south coast of NSW it looks like there is little to buy in the 350-450k range.
It is also harder to find unrenovated properties. I actually think the UK offers (gulp!) better deals than Australia atm tbh.
oops six states – forgot little Tassie, usually left off the map. Sorry all!
Poor old Tassie, how could you forget them? Ah, but you did mention Launceston, Tasmania, so we’ll let it go 🙂
Some sound advice you have given here, and as you have rightly said, there are different rules in different states and territories. Certainly a good idea to make sure you know what you are signing up for. Good to see you mention a few non-coastal towns as well, plenty are worth looking at and they do offer much better value for money.
My husband and I just arrived in Australia (5 days ago) and are staying in an AirB&B near Sydney; tomorrow we’re off to another AirB&B in Newcastle. Our main goal is to find a house and of course location is the big thing. We can afford no more than $550,000AUD, but after looking around my head is spinning. I’ve looked for homes in and around Adelaide, Canberra and Coffs Harbour. Part of my concern is having excellent Internet connectivity (my husband is a self-employed computer consultant and needs to have a fast connection 24/7). If we live further away from any of the larger cities, i.e. Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide (he’s ruled out Perth, thinking it’s too isolated) will Internet be an issue?
What I’d like to know is this: are there any websites that describe how safe areas are, what property values have been over the past several years, what upper education schools are nearby, etc. Because I’m unfamiliar with the hundreds of small towns along the coast, it’s hard to know where to look. Also, does anyone know about PropertyNow? I saw a house online, sent some questions to the listing agent and got a reply saying my questions would be forwarded to the owner – PropertyNow helped home owners sell their property without an agent.
Ideally I’d love to find a knowledgeable real estate agent who would sit down with us and give us basic info on areas that we can afford and where we would like to spend the rest of our lives. Anyone like that around?
Many thanks to Ozimandias for all the info and to Bob for hosting this forum.
Not being rude but shouldn’t you have researched all this before arriving in Australia?
Funnily enough, it’s often the more rural areas and outer city suburbs that have faster internet, because the NBN has been rolled out there sooner. What you need to do is Google the NBN rollout map and make sure, wherever it is you choose to live, is all hooked up.
I live in western suburbs of Brisbane, you can get houses here for $550,000, check out Moggill, Bellbowrie, Mount Crosby and Karana Downs. I think this area could be a good choice for you, and it is very safe around here. I pay $69 a month for the medium plan, and I get about 25 MB per second. For an extra $30 a month I could get the faster plan which usually gives about 50 MB per second or more.
To check out other safe suburbs, see…
I have heard of PropertyNow, but never used it. I don’t think it is overly popular here yet. The best portal for looking for housing is realestate.com.au and you can find a link to them on my page Cost of Buying or Renting a House in Australia.
Hi, we are hoping to move to Brisbane next year. But dont know where to start, have 2 children age 7 and 14, partners a carpenter and im a recent graduate. Anyone know where i can get more information? I.e types of visas to apply for? Where best for work? And best places to live. Thank you
This website is the best place you will find the info for now Use the drop down menu above I domt think there is much thats not been covered on here
Thanks Mark, you’re too kind. Yes Alanta, I do have to agree with Mark, even though I am obviously biased 🙂 There are over 1400 pages here, everything is covered. Have a good look around.
I am planning to move to Sydney from India on SC 190 Visa in couple of months from now. I would really appreciate if you could help me with some advice on renting a place for short term while making the first entry. The plan is to get my family (Two kids…) along for a month and stay back to look for work. Am really lost as to what is best…trying to look for a budget hotel or rent a place beforehand?
Thanks in Advance!
This is always a tricky one, it’s very difficult to rent anything long-term before you get here. Most rental agencies insist that you personally inspect the property before they will allow you to rent it, in some states that’s the law.
Short-term though, Google gumtree, Airbnb and homely, all three are worth a look. On each of those sites you can either rent a whole house or apartment, or share with the owners. In your situation, sharing with the owners might be an advantage, it’ll give you a chance to glean some local knowledge from them, as I’m sure you will have many questions.
Hope that helps, Bob
im looking for some advice please anybody?! Moving from the Uk to hopefully take up a position at royal childrens in melbourne any advice on suburbs and schools would be really appreciated as im struggling to work out where best to rent!!! thank you
Have a read of the section on here Melbourne and South East in the drop down menu on Australian Cities just under Bob in OZ at top of page. That’s a start, if you have read some of that then an idea of budget and what you looking for will help. Just you or whole family, beaches, nightlife, commuting method and happy commute method? All will help us narrow down some suggestions.
Thanks for the speedy reply…budget of around 6500 pcm until my partner can secure work! us and 2 kids aged 9 an almost 12 so need to be close to good primary and high schools! Used to commutting an hour each way to work now I so don’t mind up to that although if it could be reduced i wouldn’t complain! Public transport initially as Im not sure how ill feel driving in a completely new place at first! main priority is an area with good schools and family activities, the nightlife i can find anywhere haha! Any advice would be so appreciated feel like im losing days researching but getting nowhere! Have a good day Hayl
Hi Hayley I am a bit stuck here, torn between advising you on places with a shorter commute like Moonee Ponds Brunswick which are Ok but not great, Or places where you will really thrive, I think and have the 1 hour commute..Have a read of the post on Melbourne sent to Kirsty Davies. Shes has been before and found some decent areas giving beach availability and so on but its an hours commute…Im also guessing at odder times than most if its shift work. Sorry more questions… Are you coming out permanent as in even a sponsored visa or so on and wanting to stay if so trying to get it right is more important, if your only on a 1 yr medial posting then its not so important. Have a look at areas mentioned but also start and look down the East Side avoiding Dandenong Dont go that far east if you can avoid…Have a look down from say Brighton to Mordialloc even they are all decent places. As Kirsty has said she would love to live on the Mornington peninsula but it may be just too far a commute. I am assuming you are looking at somewhere tu live temporary then rent for maybe 12 months so the temporary is not so important as the rental. Do you have a temporary yet ? At least when you have that you can then look round for a more permanent rental… You could even go further north but I think the children will love the beach being 10 or 15 minutes and there are some really decent schools. What does your husband do as whilst I have said avoid Dandenong to live there is a lot of business that way…Sorry for more questions but it all helps guide…When we came out we were going to live in Point Cook but the reality was I hated it there and so we live about as far from there as possible in the end not because of ist far away as possible but just we liked the place when we found it, hence my comment temporary is good then you find what feels right for you. You really need to be here to actually rent anything 12 month ish I am assuming you are looking to rent not buy. Renting can be hassle and is not like UK turn up say yes and away sometimes there can be 15 people interested there is a trick to get you to front of queue though.
I am moving to OZ May 1st from the US. Can you tell me how real estate agents work in Oz. In the US, the interested party (buyer/renter etc) doesn’t pay for the agent’s service. That cost is beared by the seller. Is it the same in Oz. Can i get an agent to show me rental properties?
Having come form the UK but lived 20 years In USA growing up, the.realtors here as petty what the mirror image of USA but they do have some quirky differences Rental In many areas when a place goes up for rent a number of people may turn up at open house, usually 15 minute window and then several applications may go in that day…The owner will likely decide who they like from the applications but and here is the big but..Its the realtor who has the applications so its kind of them that will put the best suggestions forward to the deciding owner… Rentals are usually 12 months here some 6 exist and some take over or a renatl eg balance of above preior also occur Buying is much the same as well the first trick is find an agent to get on with….They are not well liked here 3rd most un-trusted profession Im not I am not sure its much higher in USA… They have council rates, like UK used to and no Summer and Winter taxes. State and Federal government normally pay in Australia I assume from employment tax..Council rates are a lot less Hope this helps for now
I’ve just moved house myself Toni, you can read about it here, although it is not quite yet the full story…
More to follow.
As you have suggested, buyers do not pay anything to real estate agents, the only expense a buyer has is to pay stamp duty on the new house and their own solicitors conveyancing fees.
Thank you for this site. It has helped alot!
Myself, hubbie and 2 small children are looking on moving to Oz and have everything riding on the outgoings as my husbands work does not give the same pay increase it does for most coming over. So we are trying to work out costs to see if it is all managable.
We are hoping to rent a 3 bedroomed house in the Castle Hill area in Sydney. Do you have any ideas on monthly rates (gas/electric/water/other) that are required? It is so hard to work out costs that we need to account for. Any help or advice would be much appreciated..
Have a look at my page The Cost of Living in Australia of Everything, you will find lots of helpful links on there and if you search for property in the suburb you’re looking at through the link on this page, then I think the rates applicable for each individual house are given in the listings.
It’s always wise to spend some time doing a full budget that suits your family’s needs so you know where you are likely to stand when you get here. Good luck, Bob
First of all your Blog is inspiring and perfect for me.
I was just wondering if you could help with the average cost of rent in Australia compared to the UK. I’m finding it difficult researching the average wages I could earn and the average cost of renting. The weekly costs of rent seem really high to the UK but so does the income which is ok. Do you know roughly the average cost of rent for a small family decent home in the northern territory (as this is where we may be moving to, for the visa we could get :/ ) just so I can get a rough idea of the type of property we could afford.
For instance I’m not too sure what is classed as an expensive rent or a typical rent in australia. In the UK an average rent where I live for a decent area and house is around £500-£600 pm.
Do you know what I can expect to pay in Australia? I’m sorry if i’m not being too clear.
I look forward to your reply
I think you can argue bothe ways which is more expensive to rent here.or UK It is different by area. In the UK where we lived you would be hard pushed to rent a house for under a 1000 per month….Anyway all that’s irrelevant really, have a look on realestate,com.au put in the town your looking at or area say Katherine as an example and you can see what you can rent. Houses will likely be bigger here than UK.
Kelli, this may help…
Thank you bob 🙂 x
Hi Kelli, we are in Cannberra ,renting a 3 bed one bath with a large garden and a shed and ‘ granny’ flat in the garden. we pay $ 590 a week which takes up a huge chunk of one of our wages. To rent in Canberra is very expensive and competative ! We attended the rental inspection with 5 other couples, had to provide a lot of personal info above and beyond wages,job reference etc ,also had to bid above the asking rental price to get it …. Crazy ! But we live in a very nice area 5 mins from the CBD and are happy for now. I am from London so though Canberra might seem expensive it certainly is much better than London where the equivelent house in a similar ‘prime’ area would be much much more expensive. At the moment it is cheaper for us to rent short term than pay of the huge mortgage we would have to take out to buy an equivelent house in the same area. Lovely area but the houses are nothing special and an old ‘workers’ cottage needing renovation is about 1.3 million dollars, for us just not worth it. The outer suburbs are just about affordable to buy and many have big blocks,though the rent across the board in Canberra is expensive and competative everywhere. Melbourne actually has cheaper rents than Canberra but of course hugely expensive to buy. Sydney,gorgeous but you would spend your whole wage on rent. A friend of mine is renting a room in a shared house for $400 a week … Ouch ! Adelaide rent is on a par with Canberra and Brissie seems fairly reasonable. If you can get a job in Tasmania then that would be the cheapest but of course though lovely is isolated from the life and opportunities on the ‘mainland’ we migrated in 2013 and it hasn’t been easy and Brexit or no Brexit Oz is not the cheap land of opportunity it once was,with pressure on jobs,no wage increases,horrendous house prices and very expensive to live… But it is not all gloom,it is a beautiful place and if you can get good jobs and be prepared to go to where the work is Ozzie still has much to offer,good luck !
I rent in Richmond NSW near Sydney, and have found the price in nearby suburbs can be extremely variable depending on proximity to the trainline etc. We pay $465/week for a 3 bed on a 500m2 block. Go to http://www.realestate.com.au and have a look at some of the suburbs that are close to where you are looking to relocate, that will give you a good idea
Hi, thinking of buying a place for my single daughter near the Gold Coast University Hospital
Where would you suggest? We are worried about safety and convenience of travel
The Sphere was on our mind but it’s corporate body tax is so expensive
Any advice or is it better to get a townhouse? Thank you
This is one I will have to leave to the locals, I’d be guessing being based up here in Brisbane. Anyone got any thoughts on this?
We have recently got PR for South Australia (Adelaide). I and my husband are migrating from India with a 3 1/2 year old kid; my concern is which place in Adelaide would be good to settle.
I need your assistance for the below queries:
Any particular job sites for me and my husband?
Which area would have a reasonable cost of living(house rent, grocery,schooling)
I would wish to enrol my kid to a playgroup, I have heard goverment schools are free of cost, can u guide in regards to the best public school, the age of enrollment etc?
Kindly help me
You should have a read of the comments on my page about Adelaide, will find a link to it underneath the main navigation menu above for Australian Cities. There’s lots of talk about the suburbs and jobs in the area. Good luck, Bob
Hi, My family and I are looking to move to Brisbane early next year. I am finding school information for our daughters (10 and 8 years old, Grade 5 and Grade 3).
Appreciate if you can give some advises/information about schools and best places to live in Brisbane. Best for me mean, close to schools, family oriented neighborhood, close to my daughters activities( sports, arts classes), etc.
Thanks for your help…
Gus, please check out my main page about Brisbane and in particular have a good read through the comments, there are many discussions about suburbs and in particular ones that are good for families and schools.
You can also get additional information when researching schools from my page called Which school?
Good luck, Bob
Is that your house Ruth? 🙂
im 18 and i am looking for a place to live with other students , im going to adelide for college
thank you so much
Your best bet would be to search for some kind of house or room share close to the college, there will almost certainly be shared houses specifically for students in the area.
Check out gumtree, trading post and even perhaps Airbnb, you will find all of them online.
It might also be worth enquiring if they have any availability on campus for new students, you never know you luck.
Hope that helps, Bob
Natalia I hope tum abhi Australia ma ho. ma bhi india sa hu from northeast. what’s the living nd room expenses there can u help me as I m moving there next year. firstname.lastname@example.org my mail address and 7399904953 mera whatsapp no