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“Is Sydney really that expensive?”

I get asked this question a lot from people all over the world. The high cost of living in Sydney is usually a deal-breaker for expats wanting to make the move to Australia. It was one of the reasons we almost didn’t make the move ourselves back in 2008.

Just doing some basic research on rents in Sydney is enough to change anyone’s mind. Then when you start to add in other daily expenses like groceries, utilities, and things like your mobile phone plan, it gets even scarier.

I’m guessing you have probably already read one of the many articles online that lists the most expensive cities in the world. Sydney is usually at around #10 on those lists. I know because I’ve read them too. It is often rated as more expensive than New York and London when one compares more than rents or mortgages.

Don't worry you won't be out on the street because you can't afford it. Why? Because you’re reading this post and, by the end, you’re going to have an idea about how much your rent in Sydney is going to be. For a breakdown of other expenses like groceries, clothes, and going out to eat, read my post on daily and monthly household expenses in Sydney.

Not only that but I’m also going to share some cost-saving tips to help you out along the way.

Cost of Living in Sydney: Weekly Rents

The bulk of your monthly cost of living is going to be your rent. For a one-bedroom apartment in Sydney plan on spending $450 to $550 a week minimum. Anything less and you're looking at a very small place that might work for you or a place that is bug-infested. Two-bedroom apartments start at about $650 a week minimum.

Below, there are two tables that list the median WEEKLY rents in Sydney from the NSW Family and Community Services Housing research that I’ve put together to help you out.

Yes, these are weekly rents, not monthly so don’t get too excited when you start looking at the tables. Also, be sure to read my tips for finding an apartment in Sydney afterwards.

Before I get to the rent tables, I wanted to cover a few things about renting in Sydney.

Don’t make this mistake when estimating your monthly rent.

Now be sure you don't make the mistake of estimating your monthly rent with this simple equation, $550 x 4 weeks = $2,200 monthly rent, because it is going to be more than that since there are 52 weeks in a year. This means you will need to first calculate your yearly rent, then divide by 12 for the monthly rent. Be sure you are sitting down when calculating your yearly rent.

Then there is your bond, aka rental deposit, for your apartment that is usually equal to one month's rent or more for fully furnished apartments.

That's a lot of money upfront just to move in. If you're working on the budget for your move then take a look at my post about saving up for your move to Sydney as there were a couple of shockers you need to plan for.

How much can you afford?

When we started looking we had our maximum price in mind, but then when we were actually there seeing what was available in our price range, we quickly raise it about $150 a week more. Just letting you know that this will probably happen to you. I have yet to meet an expat that didn't raise that initial max price. And yes, it is painful financially in the beginning, but once you start getting those first couple of paychecks, your finances will start to even out. Be sure to read about all the extra costs that will come up when you first move to Sydney in that post I linked to above.

As with every city, the area is linked to price. Beach or centrally located areas in Sydney are going to be more expensive than some places more out-of-the-way. This is one of the reasons I liked Neutral Bay and the Lower North Shore because it was less expensive (except for Kirribilli) and really not that much farther away from the city. Besides, commuting to work every day by ferry was like taking a Sydney Harbour Cruise on my way to work. Highly recommended.

Before you arrive in Sydney, familiarize yourself with the different suburbs and median weekly rents to see where you and your budget fit in. Doing this before you arrive will cut down on time and heartbreak when you finally start viewing apartments.

If you are single and don't mind living with a roommate then check out Flatmates. There is also Gumtree, an Australian version of Craiglist but not nearly as good.

Just to warn you, I haven't heard any good things about using Gumtree for finding flatmates. In fact just the opposite. I’ve had several girlfriends looking for flatmates with Gumtree and they have all gotten creepy emails from complete strangers. Please be careful Ladies!

Other expenses you need to know about when renting in Sydney.

Most likely you will also need to purchase a refrigerator, a washing machine, and a dryer for your new apartment.

Apartments in Sydney that are not fully furnished do not include a fridge or washer/dryer. So add that to your budgeting for your new apartment. You can find second-hand items on Gumtree but the sellers most likely will not deliver. In that case, you will need to hire someone to pick it up from the seller's location and delivery it to you.

Airtasker is my new favorite love for deliveries of almost anything, not just Gumtree purchases. They are by far the least expensive of all the options out there. In fact, Airtasker has gotten so popular for pickups and deliveries that they now have a dedicated section of their site just for deliveries. Highly recommend checking it out.

Another option is Betta Home Living where you can find everything you would ever need for your new apartment plus they deliver for free for orders $75 and more, easy to do when you're ordering more than one appliance. Not bad just make sure you're home when they deliver. You can also ask about delivery times with their live chat on their website.

Furnishing Your Apartment On A Budget

The best way to furnish your apartment on a budget is Gumtree, the site mentioned above. To make running around the city picking up things you're buying on Gumtree easier sign up for one of the car share sites. Many of the car shares now have vans and trucks available through the city, or you can reserve one to pick up it up in your neighbourhood. Again going long distances with a car share is not the best budget idea because of the cost of petrol but it's great for getting around the city especially if you just want to pick up a few things on Gumtree.

For online shopping for furniture and home decor try Zanui, Brosa (one of my favourites), or LivingStyles. LivingStyles is more bargain shopping similar to Wayfair back in the States, whereas Zanui and Brosa are more expensive.

If you're after kitchenware, cookware, or anything else you'll need to re-stock your kitchen, try Cookware Brands, good quality products from well-known brands and they are always having some sort of sale or promotion going on.

There are also two Ikeas in the city. Or make a trip to the SupaCenta just past Moore Park. There you will find a Freedom (yes, that's the name of a furniture store), Fantastic Furniture (a very cheap furniture store) and Harvey Norman plus many other furniture shops.

Ok, on to weekly median rents in Sydney.

Cost of Living in Sydney: Table of Median Weekly Rents by Local Government Areas

Median weekly rents listed in both tables below are for both apartments and houses combined. I chose not to list rents for apartments and houses separately because it would end up being a very long post. If this is something you are interested in then let me know in the comments and, if there is enough interest, I will break up the weekly rents and add two separate posts, one for apartments and one for houses.

Local Government Areas of Sydney

Aucitypops at the English Wikipedia [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)], from Wikimedia Commons

Local Government Areas Median Weekly Rents in Sydney

Bayside
Blacktown
Burwood
Camden
Campbelltown
Canada Bay
Canterbury-Bankstown
Cumberland
Fairfield
Georges River
Hornsby
Hunters Hill
Inner West
Ku-ring-gai
Lane Cove
Liverpool
Mosman
North Sydney
Northern Beaches
Parramatta
Penrith
Randwick
Ryde
Strathfield
Sutherland Shire
City of Sydney
The Hills Shire
Waverley
Willoughby
Woollahra
1 BD
450
300
400
330
300
433
325
330
250
370
380
400
380
410
435
340
430
440
500
400
300
430
400
380
400
450
410
550
440
450
2 BD
500
370
490
375
360
550
395
400
350
440
450
590
520
560
525
370
595
600
660
450
350
550
470
450
500
620
505
700
550
650
3 BD
690
435
610
480
420
750
540
500
450
550
620
770
800
790
800
490
1138
895
990
540
425
780
640
580
693
830
580
1000
810
1150
4+ BD
900
580
800
550
550
950
710
640
595
750
820
1320
1000
1250
1100
590
2050
1500
1350
720
550
1,200
800
850
920
1050
700
1,550
1,295
1,900

Cost of Living in Sydney: Table of Median Weekly Rents by Sydney Suburb

For the table below of individual suburbs rents in Sydney, I didn't include every suburb. If you want that info or the median rental price of a suburb in Sydney not listed below then leave a comment and I’ll add it to the table. Deal?

I did start the process of adding in more suburbs but, well, there’s a lot of suburbs in Sydney and I want to get this article posted asap.

Sydney Suburb Median Weekly Rents

Central Business District
Pyrmont
Ultimo - Broadway
Woolloomooloo - Elizabeth Bay - Potts Point - Rushcutters Bay
Darlinghurst - Surry Hills
Rose Bay
Double Bay
Dover Heights - Watsons Bay - Vaucluse - Rose Bay North
Moore Park - Centennial Park - Paddington
Woollahra
Bellevue Hill
Queens Park - Bondi Junction
Bondi Beach - North Bondi - Bondi - Tamarama
Bronte - Waverley
Coogee - South Coogee
Maroubra - Pagewood
Randwick - Clovelly
Kingsford - Daceyville
Kensington
Chippendale - Darlington
Redfern
Enmore - Newtown
Marrickville
Glebe
Annandale
Rozelle
Leichhardt - Lilyfield
Balmain - Balmain East - Birchgrove
Drummoyne
Russell Lea - Wareemba - Abbotsford - Chiswick - Five Dock
Alexandria - Beaconsfield - Eveleigh
Zetland - Waterloo
Eastlakes - Rosebery
Banksmeadow - Botany
Mascot
Erskineville
Ashfield
Stanmore
Burwood
Petersham - Petersham North - Lewisham
Camperdown
North Sydney - Mcmahons Point - Lavender Bay - Waverton
Milsons Point - Kirribilli
Cammeray
Northbridge
Artarmon
Crows Nest - Naremburn - Greenwich - Wollstonecraft - St Leonards
Lane Cove
Chatswood
Willoughby
Lindfield
Killara - East Killara
Gordon
Pymble - West Pymble
Turramurra - Warrawee
St Ives
Wahroonga - Normanhurst
Asquith - Hornsby
Mosman - Spit Junction
Kurraba Point - Neutral Bay - Neutral Bay Junction
Cremorne - Cremorne Point
Manly
North Manly - Brookvale - Beacon Hill
Balgowlah - Clontarf - Manly Vale
Fairlight
Curl Curl - Freshwater - Queenscliff
Collaroy
Dee Why - North Curl Curl
Narrabeen
Mona Vale
Newport
Avalon Beach - Bilgola Beach - Whale Beach
Hunters Hill - Woolwich
Ryde
East Ryde - North Ryde
Baulkham Hills
Castle Hill
West Ryde - Melrose Park - Meadowbank - Denistone
Strathfield
Breakfast Point - Concord - Cabarita - Mortlake - North Strathfield
Concord West - Rhodes
Homebush
Blacktown
Parramatta
Berala - Lidcombe - Rookwood
Rosehill - Granville
Auburn
Westmead
Studio
350
328
330
310
325
---
---
---
325
---
---
355
398
---
---
---
295
280
---
482
340
315
---
290
---
---
---
---
---
---
---
---
---
360
---
500
---
---
---
---
350
350
340
---
---
---
350
---
330
---
---
---
---
---
---
---
---
---
---
---
---
---
---
---
---
---
---
---
---
---
---
---
---
---
360
---
---
---
280
---
---
---
---
310
---
---
---
---
1 BD
490
425
430
450
450
450
438
430
400
450
425
630
550
500
500
450
440
300
420
460
449
380
373
430
350
500
400
428
450
450
450
470
450
450
480
490
350
350
420
380
480
450
495
400
---
425
430
430
450
410
430
408
418
420
400
430
---
385
430
400
440
500
450
500
615
520
460
480
500
450
460
425
---
400
420
425
410
390
350
450
440
385
280
380
420
320
290
360
2 BD
670
590
570
725
650
630
650
650
675
625
625
753
695
700
650
550
575
450
500
640
613
560
500
650
650
700
610
650
545
565
600
600
550
560
600
680
420
500
500
550
600
628
730
588
550
500
600
508
580
500
560
590
550
570
530
585
490
450
595
585
598
620
610
620
728
660
655
630
650
650
600
---
583
498
528
500
520
400
480
530
550
450
360
420
470
410
400
400
3 BD
900
893
823
1050
900
850
1400
945
1200
1248
980
1000
1056
950
900
800
800
600
700
838
750
808
750
850
900
900
850
950
825
745
890
800
750
790
730
813
585
780
610
775
890
958
1100
900
---
750
800
770
800
895
855
800
750
780
750
825
680
625
1,138
940
880
950
863
950
1,150
1,250
930
900
850
1,050
1,025
988
920
670
650
570
600
625
600
655
750
550
430
530
530
500
500
490
4 BD
---
---
---
---
1,100
---
---
2700
1475
---
2200
1458
1500
1950
1775
1200
1490
775
1050
1050
850
1100
980
1000
---
---
1150
---
---
1448
1300
---
875
1150
---
---
800
---
720
---
---
1,425
---
---
---
---
1200
1100
1250
1300
1275
1200
1,130
1275
1,150
1300
1025
735
2050
---
---
1,585
1200
1,585
---
---
1,420
1200
1,100
1350
---
1,525
---
883
850
700
780
758
845
900
800
---
535
---
640
625
585
630
Alright, that's a lot of information, but I hope it is helpful.

Happy moving!

International Moving Companies Near You

What are you taking to Australia when you move? Do you know yet?

The truth is you don’t need to know right now, for sure, what’s going with you.

But you do have to get a shipping quote ASAP, especially now.

Why? Because international moving companies need to schedule your move to Australia far in advance, some ask for 6 months in advance. Yes, COVID has changed everything, including international shipping.

When filling out the form below…

  1. You don’t need a street address for where you’re moving to, only the city and country. What they really want to know is the main shipping port.
  2. Moving date is an estimate. You don’t need exact dates right now. Go with your best guess.
  3. Estimate volume is an estimate. Don’t bother with calculating your volume. Use one of the estimates below for your estimated volume.
    • Studio or 1 Bedroom —> 20 m3
    • 2 Bedroom —> 25 m3
    • 3 Bedroom —> 30 m3
    • 4 Bedroom or 3 Bedroom + Car —> 50 m3
  4. Use your “real” contact details for BOTH phone and email. Yes, the form is secure. If you don’t use your real contact details, then they can’t get in touch with you for your quote. Makes sense, right?