How much does housing cost?

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, Im talking about the difference in prices between the UK and Australia, so it very much depends which country youre 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 Australias number one real estate portal,

Its 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Some of these posts are a little out of date now, but they are still worth a look.

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Thanks for visiting and I do hope you come back regularly.

Think Facebook Groups seems pretty big also. For finding rentals, items and jobs.

Good suggestion, thank you.

Hi Bob,
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 dont 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 there is any other option do I have in terms I can carry 80 kg of luggage later on to Tassie.

Well, I cant 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 its about an 8 or 10 hour journey across what can be incredibly rough seas. Im 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.

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?
Many thanks.

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 Im 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 dont 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 sellers 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 Id 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 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 dont 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!