The Cost of Buying or Renting a House in Australia

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?

housesGo 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:

  1. Click on either the Buy or Rent link below.
  2. 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.
  3. Then select your preferences; number of bedrooms, type of property and a minimum and maximum price.
  4. 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Some of these posts are a little out of date now, but they are still worth a look….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

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{ 166 comments… add one }
  • hayley April 7, 2017, 6:07 am | Link

    hi
    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

    • Mark April 7, 2017, 8:52 am | Link

      Hi Hayley
      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.

      • hayley April 7, 2017, 2:47 pm | Link

        Hi Mark,
        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

        • Mark April 7, 2017, 7:43 pm | Link

          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.

  • toni February 25, 2017, 2:05 am | Link

    Hi Bob,

    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?

    • Mark February 25, 2017, 9:44 am | Link

      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

      • BobinOz February 27, 2017, 11:55 pm | Link

        I’ve just moved house myself Toni, you can read about it here, although it is not quite yet the full story…

        http://www.bobinoz.com/blog/21223/moving-house-in-australia/

        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.

  • Jem January 21, 2017, 5:10 am | Link

    Hi Bob,

    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..

    Jem

    • BobinOz January 22, 2017, 8:43 pm | Link

      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

  • Kelli January 9, 2017, 10:32 pm | Link

    Hi 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.

    Thank you

    Kindest Regards

    Kelli

    • kelli January 9, 2017, 10:40 pm | Link

      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

      • Mark January 10, 2017, 6:49 am | Link

        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.

      • BobinOz January 12, 2017, 12:21 am | Link
        • Kelli January 22, 2017, 1:03 am | Link

          Thank you bob 🙂 x

      • Emily March 30, 2017, 8:07 am | Link

        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 !

      • Chris Mitchell March 30, 2017, 9:46 am | Link

        Hi Kelli,

        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

        Cheers

        Chris

  • Rajalaxmi Rajasingam December 30, 2016, 9:02 am | Link

    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

    • BobinOz January 2, 2017, 5:13 pm | Link

      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?

  • Kiran November 9, 2016, 7:54 pm | Link

    Dear sir,

    Greetings!
    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

    Thanks

    • BobinOz November 10, 2016, 6:50 pm | Link

      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

  • Gus November 1, 2016, 3:35 am | Link

    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…

  • Natalia August 30, 2016, 1:27 am | Link

    Hi
    im 18 and i am looking for a place to live with other students , im going to adelide for college
    thank you so much

    Natalia Heredia

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