The cost of living in Perth is relatively affordable compared to other major cities in Australia. Mercer's 2023 Cost of Living Survey ranks Perth 107th out of 227 expat destinations. This is much lower than Sydney (56th), Melbourne (71st) and Brisbane (82nd), and similar to Adelaide (106th) and Auckland (111th).
Perth offers a unique blend of urban sophistication and stunning natural beauty, and its cost of living reflects this balance, with a variety of options for different budgets. It's important to note that, like in any city, the cost of living can vary greatly depending on one's lifestyle and personal choices. While Perth is more affordable than Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane, it's still considered a vital economic hub in Australia, resulting in a cost of living that can be high in certain areas.
Cost of accommodation in Perth
Accommodation in Perth is typically the most significant expense for most individuals. Properties closer to the city centre and beachfront locations command premium prices, while areas and suburbs further from the city centre tend to be more affordable.
Rental prices vary significantly depending on the type and location of the property. However, compared to cities like Sydney and Melbourne, Perth provides more affordable options, especially for those who live a bit further from the central business district.
Cost of transport in Perth
Transport in Perth is generally efficient and affordable, thanks to a well-integrated public transport system that includes buses, trains, and ferries. Using public transport can be a cost-effective alternative to owning and maintaining a car, which would incur costs such as fuel, parking, insurance and vehicle maintenance.
Those living in suburbs where public transport is less accessible will likely rely more on owning a personal vehicle. Cycling is also a popular and cost-effective mode of transportation, especially in inner-city areas.
Cost of groceries in Perth
The cost of groceries in Perth is comparable to the national average in Australia. Shopping at local markets can often provide fresh produce at competitive prices. Major supermarket chains are widely available and offer a broad range of products at varying prices. Depending on dietary preferences and shopping habits, the cost of groceries can fluctuate, but it's largely in line with other major Australian cities.
Cost of entertainment and eating out in Perth
Perth boasts a vibrant food and entertainment scene. From fine-dining restaurants to budget-friendly eateries, the cost of eating out can suit a range of budgets.
Similarly, entertainment options are diverse, with numerous cultural festivals, live music events, art galleries and sports events occurring throughout the year. Many of Perth's beautiful parks and beaches are free to enjoy. Ticket prices for popular attractions, cinemas and sports events in Perth are comparable to other major Australian cities.
Cost of education in Perth
Perth is home to several high-quality educational institutions, making it an attractive city for families. The cost of education in Perth will vary significantly depending on whether one opts for public or private schooling, however. Public schools are primarily free for Australian citizens and permanent residents, although temporary residents may have to pay a fee.
The cost of private education can be pretty high, on the other hand, with fees varying greatly depending on the school. In return, they tend to offer a wider choice of extracurriculars, a better teacher-student ratio and, in the case of international schools, an alternative curriculum.
Cost of healthcare in Perth
Healthcare in Perth is primarily provided through the public healthcare system, Medicare, which offers many services free or at a reduced cost for eligible individuals. Private health insurance is available for those who do not qualify for Medicare or prefer more comprehensive coverage.
Costs for private healthcare can vary widely, and it's essential to factor in potential out-of-pocket costs even with insurance. Generally, Perth provides a high standard of healthcare, comparable to other major Australian cities.
Cost of living in Perth chart
Prices may vary depending on the product and service provider. The list below shows average prices for June 2023.
|Accommodation (monthly rent)|
|Three-bedroom apartment in the city centre||AUD 3,800|
|Three-bedroom apartment outside the city centre||AUD 2,700|
|One-bedroom apartment in the city centre||AUD 2,500|
|One-bedroom apartment outside the city centre||AUD 1,820|
|Food and drink|
|Dozen eggs||AUD 5.72|
|Milk (1 litre)||AUD 2.02|
|Rice (1kg)||AUD 3.34|
|Loaf of white bread||AUD 3.30|
|Chicken breasts (1kg)||AUD 6|
|Pack of cigarettes (Marlboro)||AUD 41|
|Three-course meal for two at a mid-range restaurant||AUD 140|
|Big Mac meal||AUD 14|
|Coca-Cola (330ml)||AUD 4.29|
|Bottle of beer (local)||AUD 5.99|
|Mobile call rate (per minute – mobile to mobile)||AUD 0.38|
|Internet (uncapped ADSL or cable – average per month)||AUD 60|
|Basic utilities (average per month for a standard household)||AUD 260|
|Taxi rate/km||AUD 2.50|
|City-centre public transport fare||AUD 4.50|
|Gasoline (per litre)||AUD 1.86|
►For more on expat money matters read Banking, Money and Taxes in Australia
What do expats say about the cost of living in Perth?
"Perth as a general rule is very expensive... Particularly expensive things are: Food (both grocery and restaurants), housing, cars, fuel, clothing and utilities, and don’t underestimate the amount you'll be expected to pay in Australian taxes. Mobile phone plans, golf courses, technology items and sporting items are very reasonable in price here." Canadian expat Mike weighs in on his experience of living in Perth.
"Australia is more expensive than Portugal, but then people also earn a lot more here. But strangely enough, cars and petrol are cheaper here, and the houses in some of Perth’s suburbs can be cheaper than in some of the most popular cities in Portugal too." Portuguese expat Sami shares her thoughts on living in Perth.
Are you an expat living in Perth?
Expat Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and answer forum questions from others planning their move to Perth. Please contact us if you'd like to contribute.
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