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Buying Property In Australia: A State-By-State Snapshot

If you’re seriously considering putting down roots and buying a house somewhere in this wonderful continent, it’s a safe bet to assume you’re already hooked on the Aussie lifestyle – laid back, friendly, diverse, bordering on the sports obsessed, and offering all services and amenities you need.

Australia is home to major cities – Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth and Darwin – but there are also hundreds more large regional cities and even more smaller towns to choose from. Selecting the right state for you is not straightforward. It depends on your lifestyle aspirations, what you are interested in, whether you are working or retired, and whether you have a family or partner to consider.

All the states in this country have much to offer their residents and attraction is definitely in the eye of the beholder. Choosing where to buy is an entirely personal decision.

Here’s our State-By-State Snapshot For Buying Property In Australia, which is by no means complete, but at least it’s a start.

Showing products in Canstar’s database with links to lenders’ websites. The display is sorted by comparison rate (lowest to highest), based on residential 1-year fixed rate home loans available for a loan amount of $300,000 at 80% LVR, and available for Principal and Interest repayments.

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NEW SOUTH WALES

Sydney, the state’s capital, is the largest city in Australia. It is best known for its harbour-front Opera House with a distinctive sail-like design. Massive Darling Harbour and Circular Quay are hubs of waterside life, with the towering, arched Harbour Bridge and the beautiful Royal Botanic Gardens nearby.

Sydney does insomnia very well. It’s a city that’s constantly buzzing and alive around the clock, with things to do and see, no matter what your passion.

It’s that very energy that people either love or hate. “Too crowded, too congested, too much pressure, too expensive” – Sydney’s not for everyone – but it is a mecca for entertainment and business.

Add the temperate climate and gorgeous beaches like Bondi, Coogee, and Manly and it’s easy to see why so many fall in love with our most populated capital city.

Drive out of Sydney in any direction and you’ll experience the brilliance of regional New South Wales with its diverse range of attractions – Hunter Valley wines, stunning Blue Mountains scenery, rolling farmland and wildlife that’s the envy of the world. Many choose the best of both worlds – living  a more relaxed lifestyle in the regions while being close enough to go the “Big Smoke” for special occasions.

Fast Facts

  • Median house price in Sydney –  $1,151,565
  • Average Home Insurance cost for NSW, according to Canstar – $963.00/year
  • Average wage, New South Wales – $80,132/year
  • Sydney’s population – 5.57 million
  • Median age in Sydney – 36.1 years
  • Regional NSW population – 2.72 million

Source: ABS, REIA, and Canstar’s database

Estimated 2017 school costs for Metropolitan Sydney

(All schooling costs in this report have been sourced from the Australian Scholarships Group.)

  Preschool Primary Secondary
Government Schools $2,470 $3,900 $5,119
Systemic Schools $4,739 $7,296 $14.445
Private Schools $7,154 $18,077 $29,664

Source: ASG Planning for Education Index 2017

Estimated 2017 school costs for Regional NSW

Preschool Primary Secondary
Government Schools $2,470 $2,875 $3,797
Systemic Schools $5,739 $5,846 $9,902
Private Schools $7,154 $10,570 $19,682

Source: ASG Planning for Education Index 2017

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VICTORIA

Melbourne, Victoria’s coastal capital, is a city of stately 19th-century buildings and tree-lined boulevards. Yet at its centre is the strikingly modern Federation Square development, with plazas, bars, restaurants and cultural events along the Yarra River. In Southbank, the Melbourne Arts Precinct is the site of the performing arts complex Arts Centre Melbourne, as well as the National Gallery of Victoria, displaying Australian and Indigenous art.

It’s often said that Melbourne reminds one of Europe and it certainly does have that feel, particularly with its network of laneway bars and restaurants. I love the trams, the layout of the city with its grid-like system, and the diversity of the culture.

Melbourne is also known in horse racing circles worldwide for its rich Melbourne Cup, run in November every year. And it’s home turf for Australian Football League or AFL footy (I did warn you than Australians were verging on the sports obsessed).

As a bonus, the Victorian countryside is a magnet for sightseers. For instance, within an hour’s drive from Melbourne you will be at the start of the Great Ocean Road, a stunning 6-hour oceanfront drive covering some 240 kilometres. It is one of Australia’s biggest attractions.

And the downside? Lousy weather. Melbourne in particular is widely joked about as having very cold winters and four seasons’ weather in one day.

Fast Facts

  • Median house price in Melbourne – $843,674
  • Average Home Insurance cost for Victoria, according to Canstar –  $623/year
  • Average wage, Victoria – $75,634/year
  • Melbourne’s population – 4.67 million
  • Median age in Melbourne – 36.0 years
  • Regional Victorian population – 1.43 million

Source: ABS, REIA, and Canstar’s database

Estimated 2017 school costs for metropolitan Melbourne

  Preschool Primary Secondary
Government Schools $2,470 $3,409 $5,297
Systemic Schools $4,739 $6,641 $13,130
Private Schools $7,154 $15,808 $28,188

Source: ASG Planning for Education Index 2017

Estimated 2017 school costs for regional Victoria

  Preschool Primary Secondary
Government Schools $2,470 $2,652 $3,573
Systemic Schools $4,739 $4,720 $9,524
Private Schools $7,154 $10,003 $20,656

Source: ASG Planning for Education Index 2017

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QUEENSLAND

Brisbane, capital of Queensland, is a big, modern city set on the Brisbane River. Clustered in its South Bank cultural precinct are institutions including Queensland Museum and Sciencentre, with noted interactive exhibitions, and Queensland Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA), among Australia’s major contemporary art museums. Looming over the city is Mt. Coot-tha, site of sprawling Brisbane Botanic Gardens, with panoramic views from its summit.

While still a capital city of note, Brisbane is more laid-back than the other east coast cities. A lot of this has got to do with its sub-tropical weather which seems to engender a relaxed lifestyle. The glorious beaches of the Gold and Sunshine Coasts are not far away with their theme park attractions and hinterland rain forest respites.

Within the state of Queensland are stunning locations like Cairns, the Great Barrier Reef and its islands. Go west and you’ll shake off the crowds and experience the beginning of the vast outback this country is famous for.

The Sunshine State is home to so many places you could quite easily put down roots. As with any state, the regions offer a great lifestyle that is cheaper than the capital cities. However, the downside is that employment opportunities can be limited.

Fast Facts

  • Median house price in Brisbane – $655,000
  • Average Home Insurance cost for Queensland, according to Canstar –  $1,015/year
  • Average wage, Queensland – $75,936/year
  • Brisbane’s population – 2.38 million
  • Median age in Brisbane – 35.2 years
  • Regional Queensland population – 2.5 million

Source: ABS, REIA, and Canstar’s database

Estimated 2017 school costs for metropolitan Brisbane

  Preschool Primary Secondary
Government Schools $2,470 $2,779 $4,195
Systemic Schools $4,739 $7,145 $13,787
Private Schools $7,154 $12,552 $18,920

Source: ASG Planning for Education Index 2017

Estimated 2017 school costs for regional Queensland

  Preschool Primary Secondary
Government Schools $2,470 $2,700 $3,488
Systemic Schools $4,739 $6,929 $10,981
Private Schools $7,154 $12,112 $16,922

Source: ASG Planning for Education Index 2017

Check out the comparison table below that features a snapshot of the current home loans available for first home buyers seeking a loan of $600,000 in NSW, repaying principal and interest, with links direct to the providers website. Please note that this table is sorted by Star Rating (highest first) for an 80% LVR loan:

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SOUTH AUSTRALIA

Adelaide, the capital city of South Australia, jealously guards its reputation as Australia’s arts capital, boasting a multitude of festivals, a vibrant live music scene, galleries, design and fashion, theatre, architecture. It’s also known as the “City of Churches” for its history of religious diversity.

It’s a quiet city – some would say too quiet – but that’s what families love about it. Adelaide is easy to get around, has very little traffic congestion, and is not very expensive compared to other cities. On the downside, some say there’s really nothing to do there.

The average winter temperature is a mild 15-16 degrees Celsius. South Australians enjoy outdoor living almost year round with around 2,500 hours of sunshine a year. South Australia is known as a wine and food centre (the Barossa Valley is right on Adelaide’s doorstep), with 13 wine regions and a higher ratio of cafes and restaurants to residents than any other city in Australia.

South Australia has many contrasts with rugged outback wilderness, scenic mountain ranges, an extensive coastline, offshore islands and the mighty, meandering Murray River. There are also national parks and world heritage listed areas to explore and an outdoor adventure to suit everyone.

Fast Facts

  • Median house price in Adelaide – $501,166
  • Average Home Insurance cost for South Australia, according to Canstar –  $617/year
  • Average wage, South Australia – $73,757/year
  • Adelaide’s population – 34 million
  • Median age in Adelaide – 38.8 years
  • Regional South Australia population – 381 781

Source: ABS, REIA, and Canstar’s database

Estimated 2017 school costs for metropolitan Adelaide

  Preschool Primary Secondary
Government Schools $2,470 $2,594 $4,402
Systemic Schools $4,739 $7,539 $14,789
Private Schools $7,154 $12,389 $20,530

Source: ASG Planning for Education Index 2017

Estimated 2017 school costs for regional South Australia

  Preschool Primary Secondary
Government Schools $2,470 $2,403 $4,084
Systemic Schools $4,739 $6,560 $12,428
Private Schools $7,154 $10,109 $16,130

Source: ASG Planning for Education Index 2017

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WESTERN AUSTRALIA

Perth, capital of Western Australia, sits where the Swan River meets the south-west coast. Its suburbs lie along sandy beaches, and the huge, riverside Kings Park and Botanic Gardens on Mt. Eliza offer sweeping views of the city. The Perth Cultural Centre houses the state ballet and opera companies, and occupies its own central precinct, including a theatre, art galleries, and the Western Australian Museum. Perth is renowned for its abundant parkland, beaches and snorkelling sites. Across the Swan River is Fremantle, a port city noted for its 19th-century architecture.

Western Australia is an expansive state made up mostly of arid outback terrain. Most of its population is concentrated in its fertile southwest corner, home to the Margaret River wine region and popular surfing spots.

There’s no doubt this state has unsurpassed natural attractions but “the West” battles one major hurdle – it’s isolated. So isolated the locals refer to the rest of Australia as “the East”. Perth is about as close to the rest of the populated Australia as London is to Moscow. This bothers some people, but not all.

To residents of WA, in the end, it’s all about wonderful climate and long stretches of beaches.

Fast Facts

  • Median house price in Perth – $578,426
  • Average Home Insurance cost for Western Australia, according to Canstar –  $697/year
  • Average wage, Western Australia – $88,327/year
  • Perth’s population – 2.14 million
  • Median age in Perth – 35.7 years
  • Regional Western Australian population – 550 510

Source: ABS, REIA, and Canstar’s database

Estimated 2017 school costs for metropolitan Perth

  Preschool Primary Secondary
Government Schools $2,470 $2,392 $4,240
Systemic Schools $4,739 $6,288 $13,986
Private Schools $7,154 $12,003 $21,665

Source: ASG Planning for Education Index 2017

Estimated 2017 school costs for regional Western Australia

  Preschool Primary Secondary
Government Schools $2,470 $1,983 $3,247
Systemic Schools $4,739 $5,151 $8,309
Private Schools $7,154 $10,061 $16,724

Source: ASG Planning for Education Index 2017

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TASMANIA

Hobart, capital of Tasmania, sits on the River Derwent off the coast of Australia. At its fashionable Salamanca Place, old sandstone warehouses host galleries and cafes, and a popular market is held on Saturdays. Nearby is Battery Point, a historic district with narrow lanes and colonial-era cottages. The city’s backdrop is 1,270m-high Mt. Wellington, a hiking and cycling destination offering sweeping views.

There’s a lot to like about Tasmania. It has island remoteness, a rich history, and World Heritage wilderness areas, among other things. Things to see and do in “Tassie” include historic Port Arthur, the rugged Tasman Peninsula, Bruny island, the Huon and Derwent Valleys, Cradle Mountain, and Wineglass Bay.

The bad news is the climate. One step away from Antarctica (the supply ship and ice breaker, Aurora Australis actually leaves for the south pole from Hobart wharf), Tassie can be chilly – averaging between 3 & 11 degrees Celsius during the day in winter, warming up to just 17 to 23 degrees in summer. The Hobart waterfront also buzzes with excitement and activity as the world’s best racing yachts arrive at their destination in the Sydney to Hobart yacht race held every Boxing Day.

Fast Facts

  • Median house price in Hobart – $512,809
  • Average Home Insurance cost for Tasmania, according to Canstar –  $618/year
  • Average wage, Tasmania – $69,477/year
  • Hobart’s population – 226,464
  • Median age in Hobart – 39.8 years
  • Regional Tasmanian population – 296 261

Source: ABS, REIA, and Canstar’s database

Estimated 2017 school costs for metropolitan Hobart

  Preschool Primary Secondary
Government Schools $2,470 $2,427 $3,005
Systemic Schools $4,739 $7,688 $10,482
Private Schools $7,154 $12,605 $23,636

Source: ASG Planning for Education Index 2017

Estimated 2017 school costs for regional Tasmania

  Preschool Primary Secondary
Government Schools $2,470 $2,403 $3,233
Systemic Schools $4,739 $6,560 $8,866
Private Schools $7,154 $12,130 $17,585

Source: ASG Planning for Education Index 2017

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