Australian Real Estate

Australian Real Estate

Australian real estate is quite similar to New Zealand but Australia is so much bigger, so the Australian property market is more competitive than NZ for both renting and buying.

Like New Zealand there are positives and negatives to each city and each suburb and it is important to do research before you leave New Zealand, especially before you make any fixed arrangements.

What you will find in this post:

It is highly recommend to give yourself some time to find which city and suburb suits you and your family best before you buy or rent any real estate in Australia and sign into a fixed term agreement, which most leases are.

Editors Note: I recommend living in short term accommodation when you first move to Australia. A lot of the apartments and Motels will give you a good rate for a fixed time, e.g. five weeks or three months. Australian suburbs are a lot bigger than NZ, the distance is quite deceiving on a map.

When we first moved to Australia we moved to the Gold Coast. After moving from Broadbeach to Surfers Central, then to Main Beach, we finally decided that Brisbane would be better for work and us, so we moved up there. Lucky we had family to stay with for three months while we got to know Brisbane.

We ended up living in Bulimba, which had everything we were looking for. The only way we found out about Bulimba was from a Taxi driver after we had been there for six weeks. TALK TO EVERYONE and find out from people who have lived in the city the pros and cons of the different suburbs. It helps to know what type of suburb you like to live in and to give yourself time to do the research.

Short Term Living Options

While you are still deciding which Australian suburb you want to live in and waiting for your furniture to arrive, here are a few short term living options.

Stay with Family or Friends

The best and cheapest option, as not only will you get cheaper board you will also be able to discuss different suburbs with them as you are exploring.


Next cheapest is Airbnb! This wasnt around when we moved, but I wish it was. There are so many renting options. It allows people to lease or rent short-term lodging including holiday cottages, apartments, homestays, hostel beds, or hotel rooms at great rates:

Rent a Hotel, Motel or Hostel

Most short term Australian rental accommodations will give a special rate for a fixed term stay of five weeks or more. You will need to contact each place directly (Google search) but the rate will end up close to what renting will be without having to sign into anything long term. This will give you time to explore your new city and its suburbs.


On Craigslist you can find a lot of different housing options including: apartments / housing, housing swap, housing wanted, office/commercial, parking/storage, real estate for sale, rooms/shared, sublets/temporary and vacation rentals.

Finding an Australian Home to Rent

The Australian rental market is very competitive, especially in the main cities. Most Australian rentals will require you to submit a tenancy application, accompanied with the following documents, so it is best to have all the information ready to go:

  • Your last 3 months bank statements
  • A written reference from your previous landlord
  • Your previous landlords contact information
  • Proof that your last bond was repaid in full (or an explanation as to why it wasnt)
  • Provide and attach photocopies of documents required to meet 100 points of identification as the guide shows below

Document Needed for Rental Application
(100 Points of Identification Check)

Most real estate agencies will require potential tenants to include at least 100 points of ID. To collect these points there are multiple documents that have a value that can add up to 100 points. Most commonly used documents are a passport (50 points), drivers licence (40 points) and bank statement (20 points).

Below lists the type of documents and there points value. Before you gather the documents make sure you check with the property manager as to their criteria because this may vary for different agencies. If you have in possession the application form then it should be clearly outlined the acceptable documents.

How to get 100 Points for a rental application

Documents required for 100 points identification check Per
Passport 50 points
Drivers Licence 40 points
Photo ID 40 points
Bank Statement 20 points
Birth Certificate 20 points
Utility Bills with Current Address 20 points
Current Tenant Rent ledger 20 points
Current Vehicle registration 20 points
Centrelink Statement 20 points
Last 2 Rent Receipts 20 points
Medicare Card 10 points
Written rental reference 10 points

The best place to look for rentals is on the internet. However, all the best properties are snapped up quickly so there isnt much point in seriously looking until you are two weeks away from being ready to move in. Below are some rental websites:

Houses and apartments come furnished or unfurnished and are generally for a fixed term of six months to a year.

Editors Note: We found the best website as it had all the major listings in one place. We didnt have all the documentation ready when we first started applying for rentals and we missed out on a couple. Once we got reference letters from our previous landlords and proof that we were great tenants, we applied for four places and got the option of two.

Apply for anything you might be interested in, as the rental market is very competitive.

Utilities Connection in Australia

Connecting utilities in Australia is not as simple as in New Zealand because all the utility companies want paperwork, e.g. proof of address, bank statements, drivers licence, and you will not have what they want if you have just moved to Australia.

Therefore we highly recommend using a company to arrange the connection of your utilities for you. They do not need proof of address or three months bank statements and will arrange all your connections with one phone call. They offer all current specials run by suppliers, which are normally the cheapest and/or best deal you would get if you were to weight up all offers from all suppliers what I did first!

Bond and Rent in Advance

It is normal for landlords to request between 2-4 weeks rent as bond and 2-4 weeks rent in advance. This means that you will need to be prepared to front up with somewhere between 4 and 8 weeks rent before moving into your new place. Your bond with be lodged with the Residential Tenancies Bond Authority (RTBA) and returned to you minus the cost of any damages when you leave.

Finding Australian Real Estate to Buy

Buying a home (real estate) in Australia is very similar to New Zealand. Below are the main websites for real estate listings in Australia:

You can research median house prices on the Australian Property Monitors (APM) website by following the below link:

If you still have unanswered questions about Australian Real Estate, please ask using the comments field below and we will get back to you asap.

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We are looking at moving from wellington to brisbane around Dec 2021. Few queries.
Do NZ credit history / scores reflect or travel with us to AUS?
Do rental agencys etc run credit reports and if so where do they get this info from if your new to AUS?
Is zoning or getting schooling sorted hard more worried about first year college? How much time in advance do you think this would take to enrol starting fresh year (jan)?
Loving the info on your site Thanks

JJ Smith

Hi Jess,
Thanks for your comment.
Regarding credit ratings travelling with you Australia, it appears to be a bit of luck when it comes to bad credit ratings. Some people get away with it and some people dont after they move to Australia.
Your credit file is maintained by the same entity either side of the Tasman- Veda Advantage (previously Baycorp Advantage/ Baynet).
A ‘good credit rating means that firstly you have one (have applied for credit at some stage in the past), and that nothing ‘bad has happened on it. Therefore, after you have moved make sure you get some good credit rating before you apply for anything major. This is easy with online shopping through Afterpay, used in both NZ and Australia.
For your rental application, I recommend getting as much positive documentation as possible, e.g. old tenancy references, proof of receiving full bond back, character references from people you have worked or lived with to include in your application, bank statements that show money in the bank, etc.
It shouldnt be hard to get into your local government college. Make sure get all the paperwork you need from your school before you leave. Do you know which suburb youre moving to? The sooner you apply the better.
Please feel free to email me back any further questions you have.
Good luck with your move.

Hi, thank you for all your advice, I was wanting to know where to find information on rates on property cant really find clear information ? are they similar to NZ or completely different? thank you

JJ Smith

Hi Ben,
I find Budget Direct a really good website for costs of living comparisons for NZ and Australia, which includes rental costs:
Please feel free to email me back any further questions you have


Youve a great site here, thank you for all your information and insights. Im wanting to move once the borders reopen to either Queensland or NSW. What documentation would you suggest I provide to support property rental? Ive never rented a house only owned my own home. Will this mean Im unlikely to get a rental property?

JJ Smith

Hi Lynda,
Thank you for your comment and sorry for the delay in replying.
I recommend you get some character references from people you work with or have lived with to include in your application.
Make sure you add that being a home owner is a positive, as you respect homes and will treat it as your own etc.
Ask an employer if they would mind being a reference for you.
Make sure you have all your paper work sorted before you leave.
Please feel free to email me back any further questions you have.
Good luck with your move, when you can move.

Samantha Katipa

Very informative site thanks! Question (not really housing related) Kiwi born nz citizen.I formerly lived single in australia from 2005-2010 had utility and water in my name left with a good name. I am now returning in July 2020 will my name still be good to use there? to set up utilities etc? or would i need to start all over again? it will be 10years 3 months when i return. Thanks!

JJ Smith

Hi Samantha,
Thank you for your comment.
Your credit rating (or credit score) is based on the information shown in your credit report at a given time, and according to consumer credit reporting agency Equifax, information can typically stay on your credit report for up to seven years.
Equifax gives the following time frames for different kinds of information:
Two years:
Repayment history information
Five years:
Any credit enquiry
Overdue accounts listed as a payment default
Overdue accounts listed as clearouts (where you can’t be contacted, a lender can immediately list the debt as a clearout and does not need to wait 60 days)
Writs and summons
Court judgments
Seven years:
Overdue accounts listed as a serious credit infringement
Unfortunately there isnt a lot of info on the internet about positive credit rating and mainly about bad credit ratings.
You might find On The Move helpful when you move. They helped me setup my utilities when I first moved to Australia and didnt have all the paper work to go direct to different providers. They also have all the best deals the different providers are currently offering, so you dont have to waste your time shopping around. Read this post:
Please feel free to email me back any further questions you have.
Good luck with your move.


Love your website JJ very helpful. Just wanting to know if you think its best i look for a property to rent before we arrive in sydney. My partner will be there a month before us working but i cant trust him to focus on getting a house lol

JJ Smith

Hi Shivy,
Thanks for your comment.
It depends on the short term accommodation you have managed to arrange. If you can wait until you get there then I would say that is your preferred option.
Rentals are normally listed two weeks before available and the great rentals get snapped up quickly. Here is the best home rental site in Australia:
I recommend you start looking asap so you get to know your rental market and if you see the perfect rental then you can always send your husband to handover the paperwork and make a good impression.
Get your paperwork together and make sure your husband has it ready incase you find something. You would have read above what you need in the Real Estate Australia post.
Please feel free to email me back any further questions you have.
Good luck with your move.


Hi JJ,
Its nice to have someone who offer an arm length to help,
JJ, my family and I (with 2x Child under 10 years) are going to settle in Melbourne in early January 2020. We have friends and family there, however we would like to try to settle and take the challenge as it comes first before asking around for favors.
First question, which i like to ask is: as soon as we arrive in Tullamarine, we do not have a place to stay. I understand to rent a property, the property agent would require regular income? How best to hire a temporary accommodation for a young family (2 adults & 2 kids)? How much on average is a fully furnished apartment/units in around Central Melbourne going to cost? Is Air BnB would work out cheaper than fully furnished apartment/unit for short term rental until we can secure employment then to rent a property?
Thought that my first question, would be anticipating for your response
Thanking you Kindly in advance, JJ

JJ Smith

Hi Alvin,
Thanks for your comment.
The Australian rental market is competitive so it is best to have a regular income or a lot saved.
You can get an AirBnB from $103-$253 per night, so approx $1000 per week (
I have not had to find temporary accommodation in Melbourne. On the Gold Coast we approached a few motels/apartment blocks and negotiated a good weekly rate of $500. Therefore I recommend you do the same for Melbourne.
The average monthly rent for a 45 m2 (480 Sqft) furnished studio in expensive area of Melbourne is AU$1,861 and AU$1,356 in a normal area (
The below links will give you a good span of what is available (GumTree is NZs Trade Me):
Please feel free to email me back any further questions you have.
Good luck with your move.

Nicky Smith

Hi JJ,
Fantastic website. We are looking at moving to Perth. Quick question;
Can we use our kiwisaver as a deposit for buying a house?
Cheers Nicky

JJ Smith

Hi Nicky,
Thank you for your comment.
I have done some research and discovered that you may be able to use your Kiwisaver to buy your first home in Australia. Please read this article:
It explains that first-home withdrawal applications have been approved for purchasing properties in Australia, since it appears such purchases are not prohibited by relevant legislation.
You will need to meet the standard first-home withdrawal criteria and provide all of the necessary documents (for example, sale and purchase agreement) and ensure your solicitor is New Zealand licensed.
In the middle of last year legislation came into effect that allowed New Zealanders moving permanently to Australia to take all their KiwiSaver funds with them and combine those savings with their Australian superannuation savings.
However, its not compulsory for Australian providers to accept KiwiSaver funds and in practice only a handful of smaller players are doing so at this stage.
Please feel free to email me back any further questions you have.
Good luck with your move.

Great website, Lot of useful information, My question is if I own a property in NZ, Sell it and move to Oz. Can I be eligible for First home grant or concession in Australia or not if I own house in nz.

JJ Smith

Hi Aman,
Sorry for the delay in replaying. For some strange reason your enquiry wasnt emailed to me.
The good news is yes you will be eligible for the Australian First Home Buyers Grant because you havent owned a property in Australia!
This article goes through the different amounts you get in the different states:
You will want to make sure you also read the below article on foreign exchange. As you will be moving a lot of moving to Australia from NZ, you will want to make sure you get the best rate with no fees. XE or OFX will save you thousands:
Good luck with your move.

You have a great website, really informative.
We are looking to relocate to Gold Coast to be closer to family. Currently looking at the pros and cons for this. We are looking at buying an existing home and will be freehold. My son advised there is no stamp duty charged on your first home in the Gold Coast, even if you have previously owned homes in NZ, is this correct?

JJ Smith

Hi Heather,
Thank you for your comment.
There a few different Government grants regarding buying your first home in Australia. The first home buyer grant, which doesnt take into account homes youve owned outside NZ and the first home concession, which does.
The first home buyers grant is only for new homes. Buying a new home, having a new home built or building your own home. Depending on the date of your contract, you’ll get $15,000 towards buying or building your new house, unit or townhouse (valued at less than $750,000). You can find more information here:
Ive researched the stamp duty but I cannot find any information that says you will not get charged stamp duty on your first home in QLD. You could get a First Home Concession, but only if you havent ever owned a home anywhere in the world.
The below info is backed up on multiple sites. The below is from:
Stamp Duty QLD
All dutiable transactions of property or land (including gifts) attract stamp duty in Queensland. Unless an exemptions or concession applies, the transaction is charged with duty based on the greater of the market value of the property, or the consideration (price paid) including any GST.
Who is liable to pay stamp duty?
All parties to a transaction are liable to pay transfer duty. In most cases, this duty is paid by the purchaser.
When is stamp duty payable in QLD?
In Queensland you must pay stamp duty within 30 days after the liability arises to pay transfer duty on the transaction.
Stamp Duty QLD exemptions and concessions
There are three major exemptions and concession from duty available in QLD first home concession, first home vacant land and recently re-introduced home concession.
First Home Concession
Currently, a concession is available for the transfer, or agreement for the transfer, of a person’s first home (first home concession). A $8,750 stamp duty concession applies for homes up to $505,000, and a phasing-out rebate applies for values up to $550,000. To qualify, the person must never have previously held an interest in another residence and must satisfy occupancy requirements:
you have never owned property anywhere in the world before; and
you intend to move into the property within 12 months of settlement; and
the property will be your principal place of residence for a minimum of 12 consecutive months after you move in; and
you will not enter into a new lease of the property prior to moving into it.
Something you should definitely do is make sure you get the most from your foreign exchange transfer by using either OFX or XE. To give you an idea of how much you could save, XE have done a recent comparison with three New Zealand major banks for a $1,200,000 NZD / AUD transfer. Depending on which bank you use, XE would have saved you between $9,070 and $25,870. Read this post:
You also may be interested in the post if you havent read it already, which outlines the pros and cons of the Gold Coast and other major cities in Australia:
Good luck with your move.
JJ Smith

My husband and I have decided to sell our Auckland home to relocate (and buy a home) in Perth, for some reason real estate agents stop talking with me once they realize I reside in NZ. This has occurred on six different occasions, all different agents.

Are you able to shed some light on why that may be happening?

JJ Smith

Hi Riki,
Thank you for your comment.
I think this would be because of the enquiries they get from NZ that never happen and to buy a property in Australia you have to physically be in Australia for the sale and have the funds available in OZ.
Have you visited Perth recently? You will need to find a real estate agent that knows your serious about the move and that your financially able to make it happen. This would be easiest to do in person. Or do you know someone who lives there that can help you?
Firstly, I recommend you setup a bank account in Australia ( and setup a FX account with either XE or OFX, both great companies ( The FX company will save you a lot of money compared to transferring through your bank.
Hope the above helps. Please feel free to ask further questions.

Great article. Thanks for the sharing. But if you want to find a house to buy or rent in Australia, ADSCT help you to get it quickly and easily. For more check out ===>


First of all, this web site is doing a great job. Thanks for maintaining that.
We are planing to move to Melbourne on March 2018. Is it ok to get a reference letter from NZ landlord or agent to show in Melbourne or its going to be a AU reference specifically? Appreciate your advise.

JJ Smith

Hi Oluka,
Thank you for your enquiry and compliment.
A landlord or agent reference from NZ is as good as an Australia one. However, the rental market is very competitive in Australia and I recommend getting two or three if possible.
We found that the more paperwork we had the better when looking for a rental. In most instances you’ll need references, the completed application form, pet references if applicable, pay slips or proof of employment, photo ID and a cover letter describing yourself and who will be occupying the home.
I recommend you setup a profile on 1 form. This will save you a lot of time:
This article is very good for first time renters in Australia:
Good luck with your move.

Helen Williams

My family and I are wanting to move over early next year. The only thing Im worried about is not being able to move into a house right away. What are the average waiting times I would love to fly over and have a house within a week. Family and friends recommend moving in with them as the process could be long. Feeling confused

JJ Smith

Hi Helen,
Thank you for your enquiry.
Have you had a look on au for rentals? You will see that the average move in date is two weeks. You could get one shorter but your choices would be limited. The rental market is quite similar to NZ and not many houses are available immediately.
I recommend moving in with your friends as well. You do not want to rush the rental process and end up moving into something that is not really suitable because of time restraints. Most homes are generally for a fixed term of six months to a year. There is a lot of competition and the best properties are snapped up quickly.
Most Australian rentals will require you to submit a tenancy application, accompanied with the following documents, so it is best to have all the information ready to go (NZ is fine):
Your last 3 months bank statements
A written reference from your previous landlord
Your previous landlords contact information
Proof that your last bond was repaid in full (or an explanation as to why it wasnt)
Provide and attach photocopies of documents required to meet 100 points of identification (
Good luck with your move.

JJ Smith

Hi Eve,
Thank you for your comment.
Unfortunately I can not guarantee you anything, but logically if you have enough money in the bank to cover a years worth of rent, then I do not see a prospective rental management company or home owner having a problem with this, especially if you are looking for work.
Just make sure you have as much paper work as you can to show that you are a good tenant and person, and have print outs of your bank statements to prove that you can cover the rent.
I would recommend setting up a bank account ( and transferring money into it (, so that they do not have to go on whats in an NZ bank account, as this might go against you.
Please let me know how you get on.


Hi there,
Firstly, this is such an amazing website that is so very informative and helpful. cuts down countless hours of research online about how it works in Australia. Thank you!Thank you! Thank you!
My question is, that my partner and i are looking at a 3bedroom home in Melbourne, now would we be rejected because we have no kids and its just the two of us?

JJ Smith

Hi Nella,
Thanks for your enquiry and positive feedback regarding the site.
The application process for renting a house is different from NZ. However, the landlords are after the same things good tenants who are trustworthy, pay their rent on time and that will not wreck their property.
Personally I do not see any issue with only you and your partner moving into a three bedroom home, just communicate your reasoning and you shouldnt have any problems.
Good luck with your move.


Hi there,
Im currently in NZ and am looking at information I may need to take with me when I head to rent in Brisbane. I have been told that of a point system. Are you able to enlighten me a bit on this system please and what sort of information will be required to better my chances?
Thank you in advance:-)

JJ Smith

Hi Anamia,
Thank you for your comment. I had forgotten about the points system.
I have added the table into the content on our real estate page:
Good luck with your move.


Hi there,
Im just inquiring, If i were to Rent a place and Ive never done it before. What other references will i need in order to Rent a place?
Sorry i know it may be a blond question but Im just unsure what to do thats all.

JJ Smith

Hi Kristy,
Thank you for your comment.
If you have not rented before all you can do is put together some character witness letters and a couple of referrals for the landlord to call.
If you dont have a previous landlord the next best thing is a referral from an employer as they can determine whether or not you are reliable.
You can also review the questions on the below link, which are the most common questions a landlord will ask you:
Good luck.


Hi there,
What if you have been homeowners for the last 15 years, what references would they require in terms of rental properties in Melbourne?
I look forward to hearing from you soon.

JJ Smith

Hi Lydia,
Thank you for your comment.
The best thing you can do is get together any documents that show you would be a good tenant, e.g. letter from neighbours, your bank manager regarding mortgage payments and character reference letters and contacts.
You should be able to get a property fine. The extra paper work is only taken into consideration when a property is in high demand.
Good Luck.


Using equities in NZ properties to buy a house to live in Australia
Anybody tried this? Is there a way to use NZ equity in Australia? Cheers. Frank

JJ Smith

Good morning Frank,
Thank you for your comment.
I will forward your question onto a representative at Commonwealth Bank and see if they would use the equity in a house in New Zealand to give you a mortgage in Australia.
I will get back to you when I get a response.
Kind Regards,
MTA Team

JJ Smith

Hi Frank,
I apologise for the delay in confirmation to you.
I have finally got an answer from Commonwealth and sadly any property based outside of Australia cannot be used as equity to secure a property within Australia.
Good luck with your move.
Kind Regards,
MTA Team


Hi there,
Me and my partner are moving to Wollongong end of the year and will be looking for a place to rent while we are there. Since we have 2 pets that we are bringing with us, we need a house/address before we move to Wollongong. Am wondering if anyone has any experience being able to rent a house BEFORE actually moving there i.e via emailing documents etc or is it only possible to gain a rental agreement in person.
Any help would be much appreciated thanks.

First off, what a great sight, thanks :-)!
Secondly, my partner and I are looking to move to Newcastle and we own our own property in Auckland, as a result we wont have any up-to-date rental references, do you think this will be a major hurdle for renting in NSW and if so, any ideas about what can we do to improve our chances? I was thinking about applying for a copy of my credit rating to take over so that they can see theres not history of financial defaults/non-paymentany advice would be great.

JJ Smith

Hi Kara,
I dont think being a home owner will hurt your chances at all regarding the rental market, as it is a positive.
I think it is a good idea to take over a copy of your credit rating as it will help improve your chances.
My only advise is take anything you can think of that will show you off as a good tenant. There is no such thing as too much information. The company can determine if it is applicable.
If you are friendly with your neighbours, get them to write you a reference.
Hope this helps. Let me know if there is anything else I can help you with.
Kind Regards,
MTA Team

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I’m the creator and editor of Moving to Australia and have been for 10 years! I know everything there is to know about New Zealanders moving their families and life to Australia. Either from first hand experiences and research or through the questions from visitors to this website and Im here to help!