Australia has one of the highest standards of living in the world, but is the price tag to match? How much will you pay for food, home expenses, transport and social activities in Australia? Here is what you can expect in 2018.

The cost of living in London and Sydney are about the same, with consumer prices 3% higher in Sydney, according to Numbeo. Rent is 7% lower in Sydney as are restaurant prices (17% lower), but grocery prices are 32% higher in Sydney. The British pound has declined severely against the Australian Dollar since the Brexit decision – in September 2015 the pound was worth $2.16, now it is around $1.70

The median sales price for a property in Australia is £389,000 with prices as high as £630,500 in Sydney.

The cost of food in Australia

Food is a major expense in Australia. Due to the country’s remote location, the cost to import food ingredients drives up the cost for the end consumer. Transporting food a great distance by truck from farmer to market to retailer is also an added expense which consumers pay for at the grocery store checkout. Restaurant prices are also high as hospitality staff are paid a generous wage (average £10 an hour), and gratuities and taxes are included in the bill. That being said, it is easy to find a dining establishment to suit all budgets in most places in Australia.


When keeping housing costs down, Australia has some natural advantages


Home costs in Australia

Property prices in many parts of Australia are at an all-time high. The median price for a property in Australia is £389,000, with median prices as high as £630,500 in Sydney. Aside from the high cost of rent and accommodation, electricity is a big expense. The majority of power comes from coal – bizarrely in such a hot country surrounded by water – with the average quarter annual power bill costing around £215. Many people do opt for solar power as an alternative to conventional power and though the initial expenditure can be expensive – upwards of £3,000 – once in place it can reduce, eliminate and sometimes generate a profit.

Because of the privatized telecommunications industry, mobile and internet providers offer their services at competitive rates. Australia has free-to-air television, with basic channels available for free; those seeking more extensive channel packages will pay about £22 a month.

There are plenty of ways to entertain yourself in Australia in the wonderful climate, with most outdoor pursuits being free of charge

Transportation costs in Australia

Those owning a car in Australia will need to pay to register it, which includes compulsory insurance costing around £413 a year. Automobile prices are similar to the UK with local manufacturer Holden being slightly more affordable. In most large towns and cities public transportation is a great option for getting around. A monthly train pass in a major city is £71 a month, a taxi is approximately £1 a kilometre and a litre of fuel is about £0.70.

Social costs in Australia

There are plenty of ways to entertain yourself in Australia in the wonderful climate, with most outdoor pursuits being free of charge. Those socializing in a bar or nightclub can expect to pay £6.60 for a glass of wine or £4 for a beer. A cup of coffee costs £2.60 and a three-course meal is about £40. A ticket to the cinema costs £10, while gym membership is about £65 a month.

Prices and exchange rate as at 15th September 2017.

Grocery basket in the average supermarket Cost
Loaf of bread £2.05
12 medium eggs £3.60
2 pints of milk £1.75
1kg of apples £2.34
1kg bananas £1.50
500g tomatoes £1.45
500g cheese £4.62
500g chicken £5.06
500g beef £4.85
500g fresh fish £6.62
1kg potatoes £2.04
500g pasta £1.02
500g standard cornflakes £1.53
40g chocolate bar £1.15
200g Instant coffee £3.90
20 teabags £1.12
Bottle of red wine £12.21
Domestic beer £9.10
1.75l Coca-Cola £1.80
500ml washing up liquid £1.46
100ml toothpaste £4.50
40 wash laundry detergent £11.21
12 x 400g dog food £13.00
Home costs – comparing a two-bedroom apartment (monthly)
Electricity (quarterly) £215.00
Internet £35.63
Mobile phone tariff (per person) £29.00
Council tax (rates) £126.00
TV licence £38.00
Pool maintenance (if appropriate) £31.00
1 litre petrol £0.70
1 litre diesel £0.65
One way train ticket in large town £4.06
Monthly train pass in large town £71.37
Taxi starting tariff £2.77
Taxi km/mile tariff in large town £0.98
Car tax for the average five door hatchback (annual) £380.00
Three course set meal £40.63
Glass of white wine £6.59
Bottle of beer £4.06
Cup of coffee £2.60
Cinema ticket £10.19
Gym membership (monthly) £65.26
Property (for property outlined above) £750.00
Car (for the average five door hatchback) £795.00
Download the Australia Buying Guide today

The Australia Buying Guide takes you through each stage of the property buying process, with practical recommendations from our experts who have been through the process themselves. The guide will help you to:

  Ask the right questions
  Avoid losing money
  Avoid the legal pitfalls
  Move in successfully

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