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the feasibility of renting in melbourne or sydney?

Travel Forums Australia / New Zealand & The Pacific the feasibility of renting in melbourne or sydney?

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1. Posted by cheezmo (Budding Member 14 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

so i've been looking into going to australia on a working holiday visa. i want to stay for at least 6 months, hopefully the entire year. that depends on a. finding work, and b. accomodation. the bigger question to me seems to be finding an affordable place to live. It seems like living in a hostel will get expensive after a while, so I was wondering if anyone has ever rented an apartment? So far, my preliminary plan is to live in Melbourne for 6 months and work, and then travel the rest of Australia, Syndey, etc. during the remaining time. Of course living in Melbourne for 6 months would make it seem like an apartment is a good idea. Any one have any clue how hard it is to find an affordable place? Maybe shared? And roughly how much they would cost, based on the distance from the city-centre I guess.
Thanks for the help!

2. Posted by Peter (Admin 6418 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

The rental market in Melbourne is currently quite tough unfortunately with a general shortage of properties. I've heard stories of people searching for months trying to find a place :( Of course, if you're willing to pay a little more, then there are always short term apartment rentals available, but it is an expensive option. Shared accommodation might be the best bet, though again, with the current tight rental market, these are also not necessarily easy to find. I hope I'm not discouraging you, because there are of course always options available. It's just not an easy time for renters at the moment.

From my understanding Sydney isn't really much better, probably worse.

3. Posted by cheezmo (Budding Member 14 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

if that's so.. how do people stay in australia for so long? finding a job is one thing, but where do people live?

4. Posted by Peter (Admin 6418 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

From my understanding most stay in hostels. That's not to say that there aren't people who stay in shared accommodation, etc.. it just might not be as easy as you hope. These things always involve a little luck in finding the right thing at the right time. For instance, it is more likely that you will find shared accommodation openings around Nov/Dec, because university finishes then, which leaves a lot of openings.

Have a look at if you want to check the rental market a bit more. The main problem with your situation is that most leases are a minimum of 1 year and are rarely furnished. Finding a furnished apartment for a few months rules you out of a LOT of the options.

And it's just been in the last few months that the rental market has become as tight as it is now, for whatever reason. It's possible that by the time you get here things might be easier.

5. Posted by cheezmo (Budding Member 14 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

ok, how about job opportunities? i'll work anywhere really, but it is easy enough to find a job within the city? or should i just forget the whole idea of living in one city and go wherever the jobs are? (which seems like along the coast)

6. Posted by Peter (Admin 6418 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

I'm not really sure about that I'm afraid. Probably better to let someone else answer that, though I would suggest having a look at websites like seek or my career for a basic idea. Generally, I think if you're not too picky about the type of job, you won't find it that difficult.

7. Posted by Aussie42 (Budding Member 18 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

I agree with all the advice Peter has given you. The rental market in Sydney is definitely very tight. I looked at a couple of budget accommodation sites and checked out one which is about 15mins by train from the CBD, 1 bedroom self-contained apartment with private bathroom for 1 person costs: $A330 pw (for 2 pers - $A420), with shared bathroom for 1 person $A275 pw (for 2 pers - $A330). I do not know if there is a reduction for longer term. As far as jobs go, I believe the hospitality sector would be the easiest to find, but not well paid and tips vary with the type of place. If you have barista or bar skills, all the better. If you are a health professional, in particular, a nurse, you will be welcomed with open arms. There are quite a number of agencies offering to find temp work - perhaps if you dropped some of them a line, enquiring about possibilities with your background and time of year you will get a more accurate picture.

8. Posted by hels82 (Full Member 96 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

Heya, im in Melbourne at the moment and like you I plan on been here just over 6 months. I managed to find a house share pretty easily and the rent is less than I was paying for a house share back home. Im living in a really nice house in the suburbs with 2 other people and payin 110 dollars a week! Have a look on gumtree and other sites for whats out there. I used flatmatefinders who were great-but u have to pay 20 dollars if u find somewhere through them-but it was so easy i didnt mind. It may be a different story tho if you want to live on your own-I have heard the rental market is not great at the moment!
Good luck!!
P.S one other thing from my experience rooms generally arent furnished over here-once i stopped looking for a room containing a bed it was so much easier-it just doesnt sem to be a done thing here to leave a bed in the room when u leave-when I told a local that that happens at home they were horrified-i guess theyre more hygenic here lol

[ Edit: Edited on Mar 23, 2007, at 11:29 PM by hels82 ]

9. Posted by cheezmo (Budding Member 14 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

thanks for all the advice guys!
hels82, thanks for the tips, your story sounds hopeful :)
i'm not really looking to live on my own, just finding a place is good enough for me!
as for the pay at a job.. i thought australia has a really high minimum wage, doesn't it?

10. Posted by Emmalineau (Full Member 94 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

Hey Cheezmo -

It's true - there is a rental shortage in Melbourne at the moment and there has been a practice emerging: that of rental-auctions, where potential tenants are encouraged to offer $20 or $50 more a week to secure a property. My sister and her partner (both with good jobs, excellent references and an absurdly well-behaved little girl!) looked for a place for eight months!

That said, it is quite easy to get a room in a share house and this is probably your best option on a whole range of levels. Renting a furnished apartment can be really expensive and renting an unfurnished one costs money to furnish. In a share house, it should be pretty well kitted out (bar the room you'd be renting). Plus you have the advantage of housemates who (hopefully) will have a finger on the pulse and be able to introduce you to a whole other side of Melbourne.

Both the Herald Sun and Age newspapers list share house details in the Property papers on the weekend. There is also a great board of ads for share-housemates at Readings Bookstore in Lygon Street, Carlton and boards of ads in the student union buildings at RMIT and Melbourne University.

Good luck!