Cost of living in Australia – Affordable places to live near Perth
Moving to Australia
Maybe you’ve been on holiday or travelling down under and fell in love, but you need to consider what it is actually like to live in Australia. Can you afford to have the lifestyle you’re dreaming of? In this blog series, we will explore the most affordable places to live in each state so you can live your Aussie dream. We are starting in Perth, Western Australia; often overlooked by expats but you can’t ignore those sunsets and it’s laidback lifestyle.
The average wage in Perth is higher than the national average and the rent prices are comparably lower meaning you can potentially have more money to play with. Perth is known for being expensive but let’s explore exactly where in Perth your money will stretch the furthest, and whether you’re a North or South of the river kind of person!
Perth CBD isn’t the cheapest place to live
So you have decided you want to be in the thick of it. The centre of Perth is a great place to live, it has an extensive range of city parks, waterfront bars and restaurants and a real friendly buzz in the air. You will be able to walk along the Swan River after work with friends watching the black swans and pelicans fly by.
However, you will get less living space for your money, as with any inner-city choice. The average rental cost of a 1 bedroom flat in Perth CBD is $360pw.
In Perth CBD, the average price for your morning cappuccino is a whopping $4.63. One of the highest in the country! So, after work you want to be able to go out for drinks or a meal? An average meal in Perth CBD will cost around $20, and the beer around $10. Which is actually cheaper than Sydney and Melbourne!
Cheaper living options are found in Perth suburbs
You’ve established you want to live near Perth but the city centre life isn’t for you. If you would rather live in a suburb then you can get a lot more space for your money, you can now look at 2-3 bedroom houses rather than 1 bedroom apartments! While the food and drink prices do not vary much, the average rental price drops.
Some of the most affordable of Perth’s suburbs are Westminster, Osborne Park and Balcatta but as so many expats move to this city for the beaches we thought we’d focus on the cheapest places to live in Perth that are close to a beach.
Affordable coastal suburbs
The great thing about living in Western Australia is that you can actually afford to live on the coast! If you pick the right suburb you can have those world-famous sunsets from just $250pw. Whereas, on the Gold Coast you could be looking at $450pw. Some of the cheapest beachside suburbs are Shoalwater, Mandurah, and Two Rocks. Popular and pricier places a bit closer to the city also include North Beach, Scarborough Beach, Fremantle, and Hamilton Hill.
Living south of the river
Shoalwater, near Rockingham, about 50km south of Perth City boasts some of the cheapest average rental prices of $250pw. A huge perk about living here is that you have access to so many different beaches. Rockingham beach for swimming, nice cafes and fish & chips! Warnbro beach for long, flat, white sandy walks. Cape Peron for hiking trails, snorkelling spots and panoramic sunset views. Work-wise, Rockingham is quieter than some suburbs so you may be looking at a 1-1.5 hour drive to the CBD. The cost of the 40-minute train journey from Rockingham is usually around $8.
Mandurah is worth considering
Mandurah is about 77km south of the centre of Perth and is a beautiful beachside city which is growing in popularity. It has all of the perks of the bigger city such as zoos, national parks, museums, and of course the beaches, but with a much lower cost of living. The average prices for food, drink and groceries are similar, if not a bit lower than Perth’s. Your morning coffee may only cost you $4 here! The average rental cost for a 1 bed apartment in Mandurah is $240pw. It’s a popular vacation location which is bringing more and more business opportunities there, meaning more job opportunities for you! However, if you are commuting to Perth CBD a 50minute train will cost you around $10.
Suburban socialising in Freemantle
Vibrant southside beachy suburbs include Fremantle (Freo) and Hamilton Hill. The average rental cost in Fremantle is a steep $520pw but if you live down the road in Hamilton Hill you can grab a bargain for $350pw. Although you can get your morning coffee from the famed ‘cappuccino strip’ before your short commute to the CBD, groceries and socialising tend to be more expensive in these sought after locations.
Living north of the river
Two Rocks is a quiet town of around 3000 people about 60 km North of Perth. It’s not far from stunning Yanchep National Park where you can find black cockatoos, koalas and kangaroos. The average rental price here is $310pw but you can find 2 bed houses for as little as $290pw. This town usually attracts families and is just over an hour commute to Perth CBD with no direct train links. All things to consider when choosing your new hometown.
Pricey Scarborough and North beach
Whilst they are generally more expensive, the popular northside beachy suburbs of Scarborough Beach and North Beach are easier to commute from and known to be more sort after. Their average rental price hits $500pw. However, if you search around the area and don’t mind being away from the beachfront you can find 2 bedroom houses for $360 and $460pw, respectively. There’s a relaxed, fun-loving vibe in these suburbs. Remember to pack your surfboard!
Always do your research
Do your research before you commit, because that amazing quality of life is achievable if you’re savvy with your spending!