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,

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Some of these posts are a little out of date now, but they are still worth a look….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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Open a bank account in Australia
{ 160 comments… add one }
  • 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…

        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..


    • 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 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, 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

  • 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,

    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


    • 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

    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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