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Does Sydney Remain Pricier Than the UK?

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(@obsidianoasis33)
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I'm curious about the current perspectives on the overall cost of living and operating a business in Sydney compared to the UK. I understand that it varies based on individual circumstances, but for someone with a straightforward setup (self-employed, single, in their 50s, renting), I believe Sydney might now be the better option.

For years, people have claimed that Sydney is one of the most expensive cities in the world. However, having lived in both places, I seem to be able to live more comfortably in Sydney. Am I an outlier, or has anyone else had a similar experience? Perhaps recent changes (energy prices, etc.) have altered opinions on this matter. I'm aware that people are discussing significant increases in food prices in Sydney, but the same is happening in the UK as well. Any thoughts on this?


   
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(@coralreefdreamer)
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It depends on what you mean by the UK.

Sydney is significantly more expensive than places like Hull or Milngavie, but it's cheaper than London.


   
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(@obsidianoasis33)
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That's a valid point that I hadn't considered. Somewhere in the middle, I suppose. I'm currently in Wiltshire.


   
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(@redflute)
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Posted by: @obsidianoasis33

I'm curious about the current perspectives on the overall cost of living and operating a business in Sydney compared to the UK. I understand that it varies based on individual circumstances, but for someone with a straightforward setup (self-employed, single, in their 50s, renting), I believe Sydney might now be the better option.

I think the issue is that most migrants have the expectation of being able to purchase a home rather than rent, and that's where the comparative costs soar, unless they're moving from London. They are often couples or couples with children, so even if they're renting, they require a larger unit or preferably a house.

Despite the current rental crisis, I believe renters are getting a good deal right now. For many years in Sydney, you would determine the rental price of a property by looking at its value. If it was worth $350,000, the rental would be $350. If it was worth $450,000, it would rent for $400, and so on. Over the past decade, rents have not kept pace with house prices in either Sydney or Melbourne. We're renting an $800k unit in Melbourne, and our rent is only $560 a week. That's substantially less than someone with a 90% mortgage would pay (plus they'd have strata fees, rates, and water rates). Of course, they eventually own it, but my point is that you may be under less financial strain because you're renting rather than carrying a large mortgage.

As for other costs, I can only judge from my experience in 2015/16, which is quite some time ago now. At that time, I felt that the cost of living (excluding housing) worked out pretty much the same in both countries. Some things were more expensive, while others were cheaper, but it was swings and roundabouts. Also, of course, if you persist in following Australian habits and eating Australian foods in the UK, it's going to be more expensive, and vice versa. If you adapt to the new way of life, it evens out.


   
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(@obsidianoasis33)
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@redflute Hi, thank you for your response! I appreciate your insights and perspective on this; it's great to look at it all from new angles. It's interesting to read about the buying/rental value, and yes, it seems like renters do have a better deal now.

I suppose it depends on so many factors and personal circumstances, but even since I first posted, I can see that it's going to be more expensive for me to stay in the UK. So, I'm looking forward to coming home to Sydney soon.


   
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