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Australian Property Prices

For a number of reasons, Australian house prices are some of the highest in the world, but they vary greatly depending on where you buy. This is a guide to what you should expect to pay, and what you get for your money.


Australian property prices are some of the highest in the world. There are a few reasons for this:
  • There is a great shortage of property in Australia. It has been estimated that by 2014 there will be a shortfall of 308,000 dwellings in Sydney alone.
  • Australia has been less affected by the Global Financial Crisis than any other industrialised nation.
  • For foreigners coming into the country and importing their currency with them to buy a property, the exchange rate is not favourable. House prices are, in practical terms much higher. For example, in 2001 a migrant from the UK who brought their capital into Australia could achieve 2.90 Australian dollars to the British pound. As of July 2011, the exchange rate is 1.50 Australian dollars to the British pound. This effectively makes the purchase of a home twice the price it was in 2001 before taking inflation or house price booms into account.

Variations Across the Country

Although the national median house price is approximately $450,000, prices vary enormously depending on two things:

  • Location
  • Size of property

The most sought after, and therefore the most expensive property in Australia is found around the coast. As a rule of thumb, the closer the property is to the ocean, the more you can expect to pay for it. As a consequence, most rural locations are less expensive than urban areas.

Sydney is the most expensive city for buying property. Hobart is the cheapest. The resources boom in Western Australia and Queensland are driving property prices up in major cities in those states.

League Table for house prices across Australia

These figures are from September 2010 - the latest available from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
 

Ranking City Median House Price
1 Sydney $595,000
2 Canberra $540,000
3 Darwin $535,000
4 Perth $500,000
5 Melbourne $490,000
6 Brisbane $460,000
7 Adelaide $400,000
8 Hobart $345,000


Australian cities are divided into many suburbs. Perth, one of the smaller capital cities of Australia with a population of approximately 1.7 million, has no fewer than 345 suburbs. These suburbs range from the poorest and least desirable to the most highly-prized. The same may be said for any city in the nation.

Taking Perth as an example, the most desirable suburbs are in the West (close to the ocean), the least desirable are in the North. As an illustration, the median house price for Peppermint Grove in the Western Suburbs is $4,537,000, while in Balga located in the Northern Suburbs it is $350,000.

The Future

Obviously, no one has a crystal ball, and so trying to predict the future is a dangerous business. Economic forecasters and trend analysts attempt to make intelligent guesses about how the property market will change in the future. The problem is it’s too complex to be predictable. It’s influenced not only by domestic issues, but global economic factors. Australia may have weathered the GFC so far, but there is no telling what may happen in the future.

The best advice is probably just to say that the wise person should only venture into the unpredictable world of buying and selling property as far as they can comfortably afford, or simply to buy a suitable house that fits their needs.

It is also essential to obtain as much information on the subject as you can before diving in. An organization called Aussie Move has a very useful website offering a great range of information for new arrivals in Australia. It is especially useful in providing information about the many different suburbs, house prices and demographics across the country.

The government body, the Australian Bureau of Statistics offers a wealth of information about all aspects of life in Australia including property statistics.

Visit our Life in Australia section for more articles related to the subject Moving to Australia.

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