Australia vs England at House Prices

About a month ago the fifth annual Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey (I must have missed the first four) claimed that Australia has some of the worlds most expensive housing, quoting the Gold Coast and the Sunshine Coast as being in the top five of the least affordable areas in the world.

I don’t get it!

But, on closer inspection, they only looked at Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, the UK and the US. Now it starts to make sense. I can’t imagine Canada, Ireland or New Zealand being that dear. As for the US, I remember visiting someone in about 2000. He had a house in L.A. on Mulholland Drive, high up on the hillside overlooking, well, hills I think. It was a long time ago!

Yes, It Was Hills, I Found a Picture.

Yes, It Was Hills, I Found a Picture.

He loved living there but said that it was a really expensive, but we were just about to buy a place in Essex that was far more expensive. It was nothing flash…

Our Old House in England

Our Old House in England

So, out of the six countries this survey looked at, we can forget four of them. So now it’s down to the UK vs Australia.

Now, my old house was considered large in the UK. It was on a plot about 10 metres wide and about 50 metres deep. So around 500 square metres.  My house in Australia is on a plot 40 metres wide and about 80 m deep, roughly speaking. Either way the full size of the plot is 3,300 square metres.

As for the actual living space within the house, in the UK that was around 115 square metres. Here it’s 240 square metres. As you can see my English house was an upstairs downstairs (high set as they say here) arrangement whereas here my house is all on one level.

My house in Australia cost almost exactly two thirds the price I sold my English house for. So financially I have dropped down the housing ladder but I’m really happy about that. I know which house I prefer to live in.

I know house prices have dropped substantially since I left the UK, but I don’t know the exact percentage. I have heard that it’s around 12% so far and US prices have fallen from their highs by around 20% . Here, the official index says house prices fell by 3.3% during 2008 and this year it is predicted to fall 10%.

So if Australia holds up better than the other countries over the next 12 months, what might we see in the sixth annual Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey? Could Australia become the most expensive country in the (very small according to them) world?

The people over at might think so, but look at the deals, metre per square metre. What would you think?

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{ 16 comments… add one }
  • Melanie February 12, 2014, 11:51 pm |

    Hi Bob,

    I accidently came across your blogs, and I must say they are great, thanks just what we needed, my husband is 40 and I am 44 and we are looking at our options with moving to Oz. He has a business degree and we have a 6 year old son, our daughter will be a qualified nhs nurse by the time we move, and me a HCA in the local hospital, we are looking at Brisbane and the Gold Coast areas, I think we should rent at first on a temporary visa, to make sure we can make a go of it properly, whilst renting out house out in the UK. I believe the age for emigrating has gone up to 50, so I think we have the time to do our research properly. Anyway keep up the good work with the writing, it has really helped us and made us chuckle at some of your descriptions of places. All the best 🙂

    • BobinOz February 13, 2014, 10:02 pm |

      Hi Melanie

      Good to hear from you, and good luck with your plans, hope to see you and your family here in Brisbane or the Gold Coast sometime soon.

      Yes, at the moment the age limit is 50, but you would be well advised to get your application in before the main applicant is 45, you’ll get more points if you do. Your daughter, by the sounds of it, will have to apply separately as she is an adult.

      Thanks for the kind words about my website, much appreciated, Bob.

  • Pete January 12, 2014, 3:42 pm |

    Most overvalued real-estate in the world.
    Expensive, ugly houses lacking infrastructure.
    Australia is set to be the next Spain.

  • Javier December 10, 2013, 12:47 am |

    I think the housing bubble is near to explode. Now in december 2013 australian houses are expensive.

    • BobinOz December 10, 2013, 10:07 pm |

      If you are suggesting that you think Australian house prices are about to fall, then I can’t agree. Prices have been falling gently for a few years, I think they are more likely to start to go up again in 2014. But I’m only guessing, we all are 🙂

  • moom March 25, 2013, 3:47 pm |

    3300 square metres is a huge block size for an urban location.

    • BobinOz March 25, 2013, 9:21 pm |

      It is huge, but it’s not typical. I live in what is known as a low density dwelling area, you could almost say I live in the countryside. Plots are a bit bigger here, but not usually this big.

      You should see me mowing the lawn!

      I think houses are usually built on 600 m² blocks around here these days, I think the smallest plot size allowed is 450 m². Each area though will be different.

  • Jamie September 22, 2012, 6:33 am |

    Hi Bob, thanks for a really great website, im a nurse hoping to emigrate with my family to the Brisbane area, i know the nurse wage is 59,500 AUD , it seems a bit scary when im looking into local house prices. Just hope i can get something like a 3 bedroom whithin driving distance of the local hospital!

  • Carolyn Cooper July 19, 2009, 6:32 pm |

    Excellent! Thanks Bob. We are hoping to move to Brisbane, yes. Our friends are there and it just seem like such a great place. I have two wonderful kids and we are doing this for their future and i just hope and pray everything comes together.

    I can’t wait for your free copy of reasons to live in Aus. I looked at the suburbs you mentioned and it’s just lovely to have somebody on that side to give us this info.

    Keep well and chat soon.

  • Carolyn July 17, 2009, 6:55 am |

    Hi Bob, what a great find! Love your blog… it was exactly what i was looking for. Thanks for sharing all of this with us. Love reading about your family and the whole process of getting to Aus.

    We are trying to get all our papers together and everything just take so long. But i’m hoping to be in Aus VERY soon. Fingers crossed.

    As a matter of interest, which suburb were you house hunting in? (pic in this post) It just look like such a great area and would love to get a feel for the different suburbs. More pics please!

    Chat soon, Carolyn

    • BobinOz July 17, 2009, 4:24 pm |

      Hi Carolyn
      So glad you like my blog, I love writing it. Hope you get all your papers through soon. Yes, it does take time but it is so worth it. If you haven’t already done so, may I suggest you sign up over at to the membership area, it’s free, because that is where I’ll be writing about places to live. That goes live in September with plenty of pics.

      Meanwhile, if you mean the pictures on then they were taken in Brisbane’s western suburbs, about 35 mins drive from the city. It’s where I live and I love it, it’s like living in the countryside. Checkout Brookfield, Pullenvale, Anstead, Bellbowrie and Moggil at any online Real estate agents. Are you hoping to come to Brisbane?


  • Phil February 27, 2009, 7:41 pm |

    Thanks for your reply Bob, Im not sure how much time he has though. I have seen conflicting information about the entry limit based on career, one said it was 45 another 55. Also a news report that Australia is going to reduce immigration, any info on that?
    By the way Im 61 and mum is 85 and if we could emmigrate to Australia we would leave tomorrow. Winning the lottery would be the only way, I have attempted to adapt the Parking Space Trick but it hasnt worked yet.
    Keep it up mate, all good stuff you dont get anywhere else.

    • BobinOz February 28, 2009, 3:59 pm |

      Well, there are all sorts of visas with different criteria and age limits, it’s difficult for me to comment with accuracy, you really should be speaking to a MARA migration agent.
      Yes, I think Rudd did say he wanted to cut down on immigration. But, if your boy has a skill they need along with the correct qualifications, passes the police check and medical, he’ll have a chance. You can find out all the latest information at and you can calculate your points on my page Points Calculator

      Good Luck.

  • BobinOz February 27, 2009, 4:17 pm |

    A very wise suggestion, even though it may hurt. 9 years ago my wife was devastated when her brother emigrated here taking her precious nieces with him. On our first holiday here, we immediately knew why he did it. It’s a fantastic place for kids. (And me too!)

    Thanks for your kind comments Phil

  • Phil February 26, 2009, 6:53 pm |

    Just read the latest update to your blog, keep it up as I find it very interesting, real world stuff with humour. I just spoke to my son on the phone and recommended your blog, in fact (and I have very mixed feeling about this) I advised him to think about emigrating there. He has just got his degree in Social Work and he is 40, has 2 great kids and is a really good bloke. I would miss him but want what’s best for him.

    Looking forward to the next post on your blog


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