Sky-rocketing property prices and rising household debt has made many ponder whether Australia could still be termed the lucky country? Well, as expensive as it might be to live in Australia’s most popular capitals – Sydney and Melbourne – would you be surprised to know none of the Australian capitals rank in the top ten most expensive cities across the world?

Singapore city, most expensive cities

The Economist Intelligence Unit’s worldwide cost of living survey, which gauged the relative costs of living across 133 cities, was topped by Singapore in 2017 for the fourth year in a row. Following closely on its heels was the bustling city of Hong Kong with remarkably high property prices and cost of living. The survey compared the prices of over 150 goods and services including utilities, food and accommodation prices.

Have a look at the ten most expensive capital cities below:
Chart of the most expensive cities

Interestingly, four European cities, Zurich, Geneva, Paris and Copenhagen made it to the top 10, while only New York represented the United States in the final list. You would also note that all but one of the top five spots are held by Asian capitals.

In case you are still wondering, Sydney and Melbourne ranked 14th and 15th in the survey, jumping six positions up from the previous year’s report. However, five years back, both the cities were part of the top 10 club.

Cost of living in Australian capital cities

According to experts, rapid population growth, good living standards and booming property prices in Sydney and Melbourne are responsible for the upward jump in their rankings on the survey.

According to the survey, Sydney ranks as the most expensive, followed by Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth, within the country. Considering that housing constitutes a major chunk of household expenditure, it isn’t surprising that Sydney leads the pack in terms of cost of living. According to another report, “Sydney remains the least affordable of the state’s capital cities for housing, and ranks as the second most unaffordable housing market internationally after Hong Kong.”

Considering the slow growth in wages and the rapidly rising property costs, many consider it to be the end of the Australian property buying dream, with several home buyers experiencing mortgage stress and first home buyers complaining about hefty deposits they cannot amass. But, is that true?

Fortunately, the answer to that is NO. Property investment continues to remain a top priority for Australians with brisk first home buyer activity reported in the past couple of months, thanks to several concessions and grants offered by the Federal and State Governments. According to data from the ABS, first time buyers comprised 17.6 percent of all owner occupier mortgages in October 2017, which represents the highest percentage of first home buyers since November 2012. Compared to the same time the previous year, the loans given to first home buyers were up by 37.8 percent.

“It is possible to buy your dream home in Australia if you plan it well,” says Susan, a mortgage broker who has helped many first home buyers and property investors find their feet in the Australian real estate. “Before you even start enquiring for home loans or begin comparing home loan rates online, it is essential to determine your borrowing capacity as well as how much loan you can comfortably service, keeping your present financial condition in view.”

Susan adds it is lucrative to borrow the full amount lenders are willing to advance to you but it is best to work out what amount of monthly repayments you can comfortably make without compromising on basics to avoid mortgage stress and truly enjoy your new home. Of course, you could always contact a mortgage broker to understand your situation better, apart from finding the best-fit home loans for your situation that can save you thousands of dollars over the years.

At HashChing, Australia’s first borrow-friendly mortgage marketplace, we offer a technology-enabled platform that allows you to compare broker pre-negotiated home loan deals from over 60 lenders across Australia. You can also find a verified broker in your area or get in touch with an expert, free of cost, from the comfort of your favourite screen, here.


By Vidhu Bajaj,
HashChing Content Writer



HashChing is helping Australians by providing access to the pre-negotiated home loan deals. Obligation free consultation with one of our partner brokers might save you time, hassle and money.

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