Is now the time to buy a new (bigger) home in Australia?

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Is now the time to buy a new (bigger) home in Australia?

With the most favourable sterling to AUS Dollar exchange rate in years, could be the time for Brits to embark on their Antipodean relocation?

Well we Brits have always loved Australia and it remains one of our top five relocation destinations.

The climate and outdoor lifestyle of Australia, along with the ease of language and cultural similarities means that it ticks many boxes, and the advent of Skype has made contact with friends and family easier than it once was. Sporting rivalry just adds to the fun of Anglo-Aussie relations.

But in recent years the strength of the Aussie dollar has deterred British property hunters, and the high cost of living in cities such as Sydney and Melbourne has forced a few to return to the UK - the so-called "Ping-Pong Poms"

But the good news is that sterling is now stronger against the Australian dollar, so your pound goes further, suggests David Fuller, online editor at foreign exchange brokerage Halo Financial.

"Just under a year ago, transferring £100,000 to Australia would have yielded just AUS$144,000. Now, at the current rate of AUS$1.80, buyers could receive A$180,000, making them a full 25 per cent better off.

"It's not hard to see why Brits who had previously been put off by the unfavourable exchange rates, may now be looking to revisit their emigration plans," he says.

What's more, in terms of property size, the average new free-standing house in Australian is 243 square metres - the largest in the world.

Comparatively, the average size of the UK abode has shrunk by 2 square metres in ten years, now standing at 96.8 square metres.

But which regions give buyers the biggest bang for their buck? Here are a few ideas...


With its warm climate, clean beaches and vibrant economy, it is clear to see why Sydney remains popular with emigrating Brits. The average property price in Sydney is AUS$705,288, around £387,000 - still cheaper than London's average of £400,000.

Sydney homes are amongst the largest in Australia, with the largest average measuring 266.2 square metres. In the UK, the largest average property size can be found in Kent at 146m2.

While average property prices in Sydney are well in excess of the national average of AUS$570,755, it presents a great investment for buyers looking to rent their property out.

Rent yields in Sydney are among the highest in Australia, at an average weekly rate of AUS$500.


Perth in Western Australia is similarly popular with Brits. With a strong existing expat community, property average in Perth is AUS$586,381. While still above the national average, the city is more affordable than Sydney and the east coast. Landlords can expect to fetch AUS$480 a week.

Looking north?

Historically, the more northern states of Australian haven't enjoyed the same popularity as New South Wales (NSW) or Victoria, but this is changing.

In 2012, figures revealed that overseas buyers spent AUS$ 2.18 billion on property in the state of Queensland where the average property price in the state's capital, Brisbane, is AUS$576,000.

For buyers looking further north to Darwin, there is the potential to make a healthy profit from renting out property.

Surprisingly, Darwin yields the highest weekly rents in Australia, at AUS$680. One of the main reasons for this is that house prices in Darwin are well beyond average earnings, meaning buying is unaffordable for most locals who are forced to rent instead.


The capital of south Australia has long been popular with British expats and it offers some of the most affordable property options.

The average three-bedroom property is just AUS$437,254, which is significantly below the national average. Adelaide has previously been included in the Top 10 list of The Economist's World's Most Liveable Cities in Australia, enjoyed for its famous wines and Mediterranean climate.

Australia offers house buyers from the UK a variety of investment opportunities whether they are choosing to relocate or rent out their property. Because of the weaker Australian dollar, today's buyers can get more for their money whichever location they settle on.

Search here for properties for sale in Australia.


A Place In The Sun