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Australia - Maybe China Cost Of Living

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It seems costs in Australia are rocketing, even the Expats are feeling the pinch?

http://britishexpats.com/forum/showthread.php?t=707880

So for all you newbies and prospective migrants, this is what I think so far..To begin with Australia, in terms of finances is def a less attractive place to be than it was 7 yrs ago. House prices when I came were virtually half of those in the UK. Taking into consideration the rate they've gone up here alongside the now stronger Aussie $, and the fact that hse prices in UK have gone down in some places I'd say prices here have caught up and overtaken those of the UK. That was one of the big attractions of coming here. Also fuel has gone from 77c to 135c! Food has gone up massively. Fresh produce is insanely expensive and not great quality. So they are your main expenses, but other things too..a cup of coffee is $3.90! A pint of Stella..? you need to pay by c/c, unless you carry wads of cash. It all adds up. Utilities...well I don't know what it cost in UK these days but my electric cost around $10 p/day. And I don't even have air con. On top of this wages have not gone up either.

http://britishexpats.com/forum/showthread.php?t=708157

The cost of living is escalating here, in Far North QLD more than anywhere. Transport costs have shot through the roof & this has been reflected in prices.

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Where you all going to run from the NWO, and plus, who's going to protect Australia from China when it makes its move.

Edited by Scott Sando

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Where you all going to run from the NWO, and plus, who's going to protect Australia from China when it makes its move.

Wow... it's been a while since the good old days of TFH threads on HPC - how time flies :D

SS, you sound like a good candidate: why don't you list the 20 key things to have when Armageddon finally strikes?

This was pretty much a daily topic back in 2008.

And please, keep PMs out, we know they are top of the list ;)

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I moved back from Sydney 5 months ago having lived there for 5 years. In that time Sydney has gone from expensive to completely ridiculous. A small loaf of bread for $4.68 simply crazy and the housing bubble makes the UK look as cheap as chips. I can say this from the position of working in investment banking and being very highly paid I.e earning a couple of times the Sydney average. In moving back to the UK I took a sizable pay cut (still in banking) but I am vastly better off due to the cheap cost of living here. Anyone thinking of moving over there is basically committing financial suicide in my opinion and certainly won't be living the relaxed beachside lifestyle.

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Some measured and objective words about Australia in response to some of the above comments.

1. First and foremost it depends were one lives in Australia. Selecting the country's most expensive city, Sydney, will not help understand true costs.

2. Cost of living in Australia is slightly cheaper than in the UK across the board. Identical shopping lists come out slightly cheaper and of course council tax and fuel are much cheaper as is rent. And this, bear in mind, is with an historically weak pound.

3. Despite this, Australia is suffering from inflation like Britain and the US and other countries, although it is dealing with this with rate rises rather than a suicidal ZIRP. Long-term outlook for the big low-population high-resources nations like Australia and Canada remains significantly superior to the under-resources high-density population states in EU. It's just maths.

4. China is not going to "make its move" unless the poster refers to a housing bubble collapse. He should read Mearsheimer on strategic politics before commenting further. Although I appreciate he did mention the fictional "NWO" in his post so probably shouldn't be taken overly seriously.

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Wow... it's been a while since the good old days of TFH threads on HPC - how time flies :D

SS, you sound like a good candidate: why don't you list the 20 key things to have when Armageddon finally strikes?

This was pretty much a daily topic back in 2008.

And please, keep PMs out, we know they are top of the list ;)

Price of baked beans has gone up. So has the cost of tin foil.

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.

2. Cost of living in Australia is slightly cheaper than in the UK across the board. Identical shopping lists come out slightly cheaper and of course council tax and fuel are much cheaper as is rent. And this, bear in mind, is with an historically weak pound.

That simply hasn't been my experience at all shopping in the uk even with 20% vat is much cheaper in London than Sydney even on a lower salary I am able to save much more than I could in Sydney.

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Some measured and objective words about Australia in response to some of the above comments.

1. First and foremost it depends were one lives in Australia. Selecting the country's most expensive city, Sydney, will not help understand true costs.

true to an extent, but the population of Australia is extremely concentrated into just a few main cities, Melbourne certainly isn't appreciably cheaper than Sydney these days and other capitals are fast catching up. My experience of rural Aus is that many items cost as much if not more than the regional centres, mostly due to transport costs I guess.

2. Cost of living in Australia is slightly cheaper than in the UK across the board. Identical shopping lists come out slightly cheaper and of course council tax and fuel are much cheaper as is rent. And this, bear in mind, is with an historically weak pound.

I'm with isg on this one - I'd really like to see the figures. I've lived down here on and off since 1999 and gone through the $3 to a pound days when everything seemed ridiculously cheap here, up to now when $8.50 for a pint is the norm in the city (for a half decent beer) and $5 schooners are considered cheap. I don't want to obsess too much on beer (try buying a crate in the bottle shop and compare that to Sainsbury's prices :( ) but with the exception of petrol and perhaps rent, and maybe meat as well (generally lower quality than UK, or at least; harder to find really good stuff), I am really struggling to think of anything that is cheaper down here. Now it's a case of take an empty suitcase back to the UK and fill it with clothes - I was bringing power tools back last year! And don't get me started on books and dvd's etc - you can more than double the cost of UK prices. Amazon are now doing free shipping to Aus for books etc and we are in the same bluray zone as Europe - I wouldn't want to be a retailer down here right now.

3. Despite this, Australia is suffering from inflation like Britain and the US and other countries, although it is dealing with this with rate rises rather than a suicidal ZIRP. Long-term outlook for the big low-population high-resources nations like Australia and Canada remains significantly superior to the under-resources high-density population states in EU. It's just maths.

can't disagree with this - although it remains to be seen how well Aus will weather any significant China slowdown, and manufacturing and tourism amongst other things have been eviscerated by the high $.

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That simply hasn't been my experience at all shopping in the uk even with 20% vat is much cheaper in London than Sydney even on a lower salary I am able to save much more than I could in Sydney.

One thing I would add, aside from Sydney not being the typical Australian experience, is that alcohol is much more expensive in Australia. If you drink even a moderate but regular amount your weekly expenses are much higher in Australia unless you buy bulk from Dan Murphy's etc. It's a serious consideration for many - when they arrive in Australia their two quid gallons of beer and wine are gone.

Over the years I have specifically and painstakingly gone through shopping receipts in paper and online and sometimes even buy identical groceries online in both countries (and others) and not once has Australia ever come out more expensive than the UK - even with collapsed sterling exchange rate. So this is not not my experience but almost objective fact, notwithstanding my groceries might coincidentally happen to be only those that are cheaper in Australia, if you see what I mean, but I doubt this.

Finally, I wouldn't live in Sydney or London under any circumstances now - been there done that etc.

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true to an extent, but the population of Australia is extremely concentrated into just a few main cities, Melbourne certainly isn't appreciably cheaper than Sydney these days and other capitals are fast catching up. My experience of rural Aus is that many items cost as much if not more than the regional centres, mostly due to transport costs I guess.

I'm with isg on this one - I'd really like to see the figures. I've lived down here on and off since 1999 and gone through the $3 to a pound days when everything seemed ridiculously cheap here, up to now when $8.50 for a pint is the norm in the city (for a half decent beer) and $5 schooners are considered cheap. I don't want to obsess too much on beer (try buying a crate in the bottle shop and compare that to Sainsbury's prices :( ) but with the exception of petrol and perhaps rent, and maybe meat as well (generally lower quality than UK, or at least; harder to find really good stuff), I am really struggling to think of anything that is cheaper down here. Now it's a case of take an empty suitcase back to the UK and fill it with clothes - I was bringing power tools back last year! And don't get me started on books and dvd's etc - you can more than double the cost of UK prices. Amazon are now doing free shipping to Aus for books etc and we are in the same bluray zone as Europe - I wouldn't want to be a retailer down here right now.

can't disagree with this - although it remains to be seen how well Aus will weather any significant China slowdown, and manufacturing and tourism amongst other things have been eviscerated by the high $.

The figures are there online. Go shopping at in different online supermarkets in both countries. As for meat - everyone I talk to about all food in Australia must all be terribly unlucky because my experience is that meat and fruit/veggies are considerably superior and cheaper - but not spinach for some reason. Anyone know why Australian spinach wilts while still in the actual shop?

Books - of course - but this is because of government price rigging. All my books are bought on Amazon and shipped at considerably lower price. I go to Aus book shops to browse, work out what I want and then go home and order them. In fact there is a handy iPhone app you can use to scan the ISBN codes of books in bookshops and then use this to order from Amazon.

The big heavy got-to-pay prices - fuel, rent, council tax, are much lower in Australia, and this is what makes it all cheaper. The don't-have-to-buy stuff like beer and fags are more expensive but not necessary. I literally canot believe what rent I paid in England for a one bedroom flat compared with what I have paid in Australia for a three bedroom unit and in an indescribably superior location. Crazy.

So I think the great Aus/UK what-is-cheaper debate depends on personal circumstances - do you rent or own? Do you buy lots of beer or wine or whisky? Do you read lots of books? Where do you buy the boks? Etc. For me, there is no competition. Also we should all remember that the UK is far further along in the economic meltdown and a lot of wages/price cuts are happening there already. Throw in the exchange rate and it looks much cheaper. Comparing salary to expenses and we always come out on top in Australia by a long way.

Edited by Tecumseh

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One thing I would add, aside from Sydney not being the typical Australian experience, is that alcohol is much more expensive in Australia. If you drink even a moderate but regular amount your weekly expenses are much higher in Australia unless you buy bulk from Dan Murphy's etc. It's a serious consideration for many - when they arrive in Australia their two quid gallons of beer and wine are gone.

Over the years I have specifically and painstakingly gone through shopping receipts in paper and online and sometimes even buy identical groceries online in both countries (and others) and not once has Australia ever come out more expensive than the UK - even with collapsed sterling exchange rate. So this is not not my experience but almost objective fact, notwithstanding my groceries might coincidentally happen to be only those that are cheaper in Australia, if you see what I mean, but I doubt this.

Finally, I wouldn't live in Sydney or London under any circumstances now - been there done that etc.

are we just talking about groceries here?

I defy you to find a consumer durable or item of clothing that is cheaper in Aus than the UK!

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are we just talking about groceries here?

I defy you to find a consumer durable or item of clothing that is cheaper in Aus than the UK!

Oh you don't have to defy me because I would agree with you. I don't really buy clothes to be honest but my wife does and she tells me they are more expensive in Australia, and less choice. I believe this is a common whinge of British females in Australia - so common I'm surprised on of them hasn't set up an online store selling them and turned herself into a millionaire.

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So I think the great Aus/UK what-is-cheaper debate depends on personal circumstances - do you rent or own? Do you buy lots of beer or wine or whisky? Do you read lots of books? Where do you buy the boks? Etc. For me, there is no competition. Also we should all remember that the UK is far further along in the economic meltdown and a lot of wages/price cuts are happening there already. Throw in the exchange rate and it looks much cheaper. Comparing salary to expenses and we always come out on top in Australia by a long way.

Yeah absolutely - rent is cheaper, and what you get is a lot nicer. I too am over London, and soon to be over Sydney (pin has been pulled and we are heading up to Hervey Bay in 6 weeks). Buying houses is kind of nuts.

Yes I do buy a lot of beer (home brew coming up after the move - or my own personal micro brewery, depending on how you look at it :) ), I also used to smoke but the cost of the gaspers down here would be enough put anyone off (I think they're over GBP10 a pack now, although that would be for 25).

Food wise I think you're average quality probably is higher, but the top end stuff is much harder to find - eg good 20+ day aged beef can take a lot of hunting down even in Sydney. In the UK Sainsburiy's actually make a decent stab at it. That might be more a function of almost total lack of competition in the supermarket sector.

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Yeah absolutely - rent is cheaper, and what you get is a lot nicer. I too am over London, and soon to be over Sydney (pin has been pulled and we are heading up to Hervey Bay in 6 weeks). Buying houses is kind of nuts.

Yes I do buy a lot of beer (home brew coming up after the move - or my own personal micro brewery, depending on how you look at it :) ), I also used to smoke but the cost of the gaspers down here would be enough put anyone off (I think they're over GBP10 a pack now, although that would be for 25).

Food wise I think you're average quality probably is higher, but the top end stuff is much harder to find - eg good 20+ day aged beef can take a lot of hunting down even in Sydney. In the UK Sainsburiy's actually make a decent stab at it. That might be more a function of almost total lack of competition in the supermarket sector.

Massive lack of competition in supermarkets in Australia +1 - and in other sectors too. Look at the giant song and dance production the retail cartel made when they tried to get the government to tax online purchases under $1000.Rather than get competitive their first thought was to get central government to tax the overseas competition. Aldi in certain states might help the Colesworths Cartel bring down prices too.

Could get into home brewery micro brewery as well - but trying to watch my gut at the moment, sadly and beer is the worst thing for me on that score.

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http://weeklyspecials.woolworths.com.au/getCatalogue.php?locatorID=4136

vs

http://groceries.asda.com/asda-estore/index.jsp?utm_source=homepage&referrer=cookiesDetecting

On 3 examples (very scientific, I know); Tuna, Huggies Nappies and Lynx Shower Gel, the UK was about half the price of Oz.

Mince was about 15% cheaper than in Oz.

As fore rent, depends what you compare. A 2 bed flat in Perth WA for AU$1600 per month like this:

http://www.realestate.com.au/property-unit-wa-south+perth-403234657

Or this in Manchester:

http://www.rightmove.co.uk/property-to-rent/property-32977934.html

Not sure if that is a good comparison.... can't get my head around the difference in weather and resultant quality of life.

Still, you'd want a bigger salary in Perth.

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Hey Al you touched on something there I forgot to mention- nappies! We were gobsmacked in the UK last year at the price of them, probably half of here. Unfortunately not the most practical item to bring back in bulk..

tec - I think the retailers down here are in a kind of rabbit-in-the-headlights kind of state - complete denial. Pre internet (and maybe strong AUD) they could set their own prices and it was pay up or shove off. In the last couple of years I've brought in a boat, sh!t loads of fishing gear, books, DVD's, cameras - you name it - mostly from the States but increasingly from the UK as well. Everyone's at it and when you speak to retailers about it they tell you their wholesale is more than an online retail cost. So the whole supply chain is going to need to need shaking up down here before they get competitive - and I'm guessing that many won't survive the process.

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http://weeklyspecials.woolworths.com.au/getCatalogue.php?locatorID=4136

vs

http://groceries.asda.com/asda-estore/index.jsp?utm_source=homepage&referrer=cookiesDetecting

On 3 examples (very scientific, I know); Tuna, Huggies Nappies and Lynx Shower Gel, the UK was about half the price of Oz.

Mince was about 15% cheaper than in Oz.

As fore rent, depends what you compare. A 2 bed flat in Perth WA for AU$1600 per month like this:

http://www.realestate.com.au/property-unit-wa-south+perth-403234657

Or this in Manchester:

http://www.rightmove.co.uk/property-to-rent/property-32977934.html

Not sure if that is a good comparison.... can't get my head around the difference in weather and resultant quality of life.

Still, you'd want a bigger salary in Perth.

Individual examples are fun but not overly helpful, mainly because of exchange rate issues. In England I paid £800 per month for a one bedroom flat. This was over $2000 AUD in 2008, but today it is $1200.

So how much better value is the Australian unit?

When compared to salary, it is considerably cheaper in Australia, that much I do know.

Also bear in mind different countries will strip you of your salary in different ways. I know a couple of people (real people, not "internet examples", one in Connecticut and one in New Jersey) who pay around $60,000 per year for healthcare, utilities and council taxes. That's 60k off your salary before you go to the shops. Despite some outrageous gougings I think Australia comes out pretty well, actually, and feel this is reflected in th efact it is usually in the top three of UN standard of living countries.

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Hey Al you touched on something there I forgot to mention- nappies! We were gobsmacked in the UK last year at the price of them, probably half of here. Unfortunately not the most practical item to bring back in bulk..

tec - I think the retailers down here are in a kind of rabbit-in-the-headlights kind of state - complete denial. Pre internet (and maybe strong AUD) they could set their own prices and it was pay up or shove off. In the last couple of years I've brought in a boat, sh!t loads of fishing gear, books, DVD's, cameras - you name it - mostly from the States but increasingly from the UK as well. Everyone's at it and when you speak to retailers about it they tell you their wholesale is more than an online retail cost. So the whole supply chain is going to need to need shaking up down here before they get competitive - and I'm guessing that many won't survive the process.

I agree - they don't seem to know how to respond other than go straight to central government and start whining about tax. I buy a lot of books (I literally could not afford to read in Australia if it were not for the internet) and I buy them all online at Amazon. They are sometimes a third of the price, and deliver for free if a certain amount are ordered. They arrive usually in less than 10 days and only twice in many years has stuff had to be sent back because of damage.

The only books I buy in Australia are the $10 Penguin Classics - though I notice they have shuffled up to $11 in the last few months - a nice 10% increase. One book on philosophy I wanted was $50 in Australia but £11 at Amazon.co.uk. With those kind of differences there is no debate about where I shop for books.

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I bet everything was ridiculously expensive in former mining boom towns in the western US.

bodie.jpg

Would be funny to see this magnified 100,000 times after China goes pop.

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Individual examples are fun but not overly helpful, mainly because of exchange rate issues. In England I paid £800 per month for a one bedroom flat. This was over $2000 AUD in 2008, but today it is $1200.

So how much better value is the Australian unit?

When compared to salary, it is considerably cheaper in Australia, that much I do know.

Also bear in mind different countries will strip you of your salary in different ways. I know a couple of people (real people, not "internet examples", one in Connecticut and one in New Jersey) who pay around $60,000 per year for healthcare, utilities and council taxes. That's 60k off your salary before you go to the shops. Despite some outrageous gougings I think Australia comes out pretty well, actually, and feel this is reflected in th efact it is usually in the top three of UN standard of living countries.

Healthcare in Australia is not cheap though is it. I mean what about the I%?tax on salary for high earners if you don't take out medical insurance which has had premiums shoot up. And even if you have insurance there are drugs that are not covered the gap payments and if you need dentistry prices are amazingly high without insurance and practically non existent without.

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Having been in Oz for over four years, I have seen the swing on living expenses so that now the UK is cheaper for clothes and books. Exchange rate is behind a lot of that.

However - some things are still very cheap:

entertainment: AFL game $19 cheap seats; cinema $10, concerts/gigs - varies, but I've seen some great bands for $50-$100 a pop

public transport: all day tram around Melbourne: $7, coach to airport $15 (same distance as heathrow)

coffee: $3 a pop

restaurent food: meal for two (sans wine) $20. wine (cleanskin) $10 for a random quality bottle, which could be excellent

however, the main value add for me comparing UK and Oz right now is that you can control your outgoings massively. the sheer volume of mini taxes you get in the UK just isn't visible here (putting health insurance aside, which even then you can choose the level you want). free festivals are all over the place, at least in the cities. Getting to/from beaches and nature parks is easy, and once there carparks tend to be free.

I earn the same here as I did in the UK. I can save $3000 per month more. if my partner and I want a cheap weekend, we can spend all day at the beach spending nowt.

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Been in Brisbane for 2 weeks now, the vast majority of things are far more expensive.

Civil engineers get paid twice as much mind you so it doesn't matter. laugh.gif

Note, I've been looking at rental properties since arriving and have had an offer accepted on a house that is costing me in dollars a week what my 3 bedroom terraced sandstone house in a good street in Glasgow was going to rent out at in pounds per month.

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House prices worse value

Rent about the same

Car prices worse value

Booze worse value

Supermarket food worse value

Wages (for me) the same

Weather better

Drivers worse (sms-ing, changing lanes without warning) from motorcyclist point of view

Less wendyball on TV, more cricket, rugby (both codes) and AFL, all of which I like

Motorhead playing Sydney at the end of the month

In summary; it's pretty good really.

And it'll be as cheap as chips once China decides to punish their speculators to keep people who need luxuries like food happy.

Edited by Paddles

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you can compare the costs between London, United Kingdom and Sydney, Australia here:

http://www.numbeo.com/cost-of-living/compare_cities.jsp?country1=United+Kingdom&city1=London&country2=Australia&city2=Sydney&displayCurrency=GBP

Indexes Difference

Consumer Prices in Sydney are 7.64% higher than in London

Consumer Prices Including Rent in Sydney are 2.81% higher than in London

Rent Prices in Sydney are 7.83% lower than in London

Restaurant Prices in Sydney are 10.17% lower than in London

Groceries Prices in Sydney are 35.46% higher than in London

Local Purchasing Power in Sydney is 19.31% higher than in London

but check the link for more

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And it'll be as cheap as chips once China decides to punish their speculators to keep people who need luxuries like food happy.

Yep, i agree, but will it be this year, next or five years when by that time locals will be so stretched, well many are now. Talking to my friends in Oz, things are tight now, it seems China has impacted masively on Oz.............

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