Comparing the cost of living: UK v Australia.

With the prevailing economic uncertainty post Brexit, could a move to Australia provide a more stable future? With its great weather, cosmopolitan cities, diverse natural landscapes and relaxed lifestyle, Australia remains a top global destination for those seeking the relocation dream…but what is the financial impact of migrating to Australia?
Cost of living: 

Australia currently has the 12th highest cost of living in the world, however the overall cost of living in Australia is an incredible 10% cheaper than London. While the cost of living in Australia remains relatively high, Mercer’s most recent Cost of Living Survey shows that Australian cities remain very competitive.


Sydney and Melbourne remain popular relocation destinations but many people are now choosing to explore the benefits of other locations throughout Australia. While Sydney is Australia’s most expensive city, The Economist Intelligence Unit gave it perfect scores for healthcare, education and infrastructure. Ranked as seventh in a list of the world’s most liveable cities, Sydney has excellent weather, beautiful beaches and an attractive outdoor lifestyle. Melbourne is cosmopolitan with a thriving restaurant and arts scene. Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth are appealing options for many people, as are regional and coastal towns, where the cost of living is considerably lower.


Like all countries, house prices vary greatly across Australia and location is key. Sydney tops the list with an average house price of $782,000, while Adelaide has a more affordable average price of $490,000. For those looking to live outside the major cities, the average house price reduces dramatically. The average cost of a property in New South Wales is $331,000 and you could expect to pay under $300,000 for properties in Victoria and South Australia.

The rental market also reflects location and while a Sydney rental averages at around $650 per week, renting the same sized apartment in scenic Hobart is half the price at $325 per week.

With housing comes utility bills and like in the UK, shopping around for the most competitive supplier will secure you the best deal. On average, basic utility costs for electricity, gas and internet for a standard two bedroom apartment, will cost around $350 a month.

Travel & Commuting:

Australia’s major cities are well served by its reasonably priced public transport system. Sydney boasts rail, bus and ferry options which are all covered by the Opal card; a swipe-on, swipe-off card that can be topped up as needed. Compared to cities like London and New York, Australia’s public transport system delivers significant value for money.

Health & Fitness:

Australia has a world class healthcare system and permanent residents have access to Medicare, thanks to reciprocal health agreements between countries. Like the UK, many Australians also choose to take out private health insurance to cover extras, like dental and specialist care. Comprehensive medical cover can cost around $500 a month.

Fitness is a key feature of the Australian lifestyle and average gym memberships costs around $65 a month. However, many Australians take advantage of the incredible weather, choosing to opt for outdoor personal fitness trainers and group sessions.


Groceries tend to be more expensive in Australia than in many other major cities around the world and an average weekly shop can range from $80 to $300. A dozen eggs will cost around $4.45, a loaf of bread around $2.53 and a 1-litre bottle of milk is $1.41. However, if you are eating out, the cost of a meal for two at a mid-range restaurant in Sydney will be around $70, while in London you would expect to pay more, at around $80.

Is moving to Australia cost effective?

While the cost of living in Australia is generally higher than in the UK (13.71%), earnings are higher too. Salaries in Australia are much higher than in the UK. Current average earnings show Australians earning over 25% more than their UK counterparts. Indeed, Australia’s minimum wage is AU$17.70 per hour, compared to AU$14.66 for the United Kingdom.

With higher salaries, growing career opportunities, an enviable quality of life and incredible weather, it’s easy to see why Australia remains a much favoured relocation destination.


If you want to find out more about how the cost of living in Australia may affect your migration plans, contact Michael Leonard, CEO and Founder of Ark Migration on +44 7904 666 124 or email