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australia real estate market
What is the property market like in Australia?

As an overseas doctor exploring a move to Australia, it is important to understand the Australian property market.

Australian property has enjoyed quite the ride in recent years.

A combination of low interest rates, low unemployment and supply shortages fuelled a national housing boom in the aftermath of the pandemic.

Auctions attracted bumper crowds producing record prices around the country.

There was a slight correction after the Reserve Bank of Australia doused the flames of inflation with 12 consecutive interest rate rises.

But the market has already shown strong signs of recovery and ongoing stability.

Similarly, rental prices have skyrocketed off the back of low vacancy rates and a supply shortage.

Booming net migration numbers which reached 454,000 people in the 12 months to March 2023 also had a big impact.

That supply shortage has been exacerbated by a growing number of landlords turning to the short-term rental market through platforms such as Airbnb.

While there is a growing feeling rental prices are reaching a plateau, there is little hope of seeing a significant reversal.

Hence, if you are a doctor looking to move to Australia, it’s important to research the cost of renting or buying in the region where you wish to work.

Housing costs, and the cost of living associated with your area, will have a big impact on just how far your GP pay packet will go and whether you’ll be able to achieve your desired lifestyle.

It’s also important to understand significant price differences exist not just within cities but between cities.

Traditionally, Sydney has always been the most expensive city to rent or buy and that remains the case.

But there remains some interesting movement in markets around Australia with some cities clearly offering excellent value as places to live. 

The Australian rental market

Rental prices in Australia have been on a runaway train since the pandemic.

They recorded a 35th consecutive national monthly increase in July 2023 as both Australia’s median house and unit cost reached $580/week.

But there is optimism that costs will finally begin to slow or even halt, if not reverse.

A softening of interest rates and a reduction in income growth are expected to put the brakes on rising rental prices in 2024.

There is also the likelihood that further increases are unsustainable as renters explore share arrangements to reduce costs, eventually cooling demand.

Rental prices have risen nearly 30 per cent nationally since August, 2020 – that’s $134/week!

So finding value for money is absolutely crucial.

Where to rent in Australia

Sydney remains the most expensive city to rent a house ($700/wk) or unit ($670/wk) as of June 2023 according to the latest median figures published by Domain.

But it will surprise many to learn Canberra and Darwin lie close behind.

The nation’s capital suffers from an extreme supply shortage, pushing rentals to $675/wk for a house and $550/wk for a unit.

Darwin has a large transient population and as Australia’s northernmost capital it is the closest port to the rest of the world.

It has pushed rental prices in Darwin to $650/wk for a house and $515/wk for a unit.

Brisbane ($580/wk for a house, $530/wk for a unit) and Perth ($580/wk for a house and $480/wk for a unit) are the next most expensive cities.

But there is some real value in the southern cities of Melbourne and Adelaide.

Melbourne is expected to overtake Sydney as Australia’s most populous city in the next decade.

It prides itself on being the country’s home of sport, art, culture and coffee.

A lot of people moved out of Melbourne during or after the pandemic.

But they are beginning to return so prices may not stay low for long.

The rental market also remains incredibly tight in Melbourne with a dearth of properties available.

It leaves Adelaide as not just one of the world’s most liveable cities but the bargain of the nation’s rental market.

Median house rentals in Adelaide are $540/week and units $430/week.

It compares similarly with Hobart ($530/week for a house and $450/week for a unit).

The Australian property market

Fears of a significant slump in Australia’s property market after the post-pandemic boom have been well and truly put to bed.

All Australian capitals experienced corrections of some degree after the tightening of monetary policy pushed interest rates north.

But anyone who sold their house for a bomb, hoping to pick up a bargain down the track has badly misread the room.

A sixth consecutive month of growth in August saw the median price of a house in Australia reach $882,006 and the median price of a unit $804,152.

Prices are significantly cheaper in rural areas with the combined median price outside the capital cities being $588,841.

It remains unlikely the housing market will experience another boom similar to 2021 any time soon.

But prices are expected to steadily rise with appreciation in the order of 7 per cent forecast.

Where to buy property in Australia

Like the rental market, Sydney is the undisputed king of the property market.

According to Domain, the median price of a house in Sydney in June 2023 was $1.54m and for a unit $770k.

It is nearly 50 per cent more than Canberra ($1.03m and $545k) and Melbourne ($1.02m and $553k).

But all three of those markets saw falls in value in the order of 10 per cent after the peak of the housing boom.

That trend was bucked in Adelaide and Perth which have been historically underpriced compared to the eastern capitals.

Adelaide enjoyed the nation’s biggest rise of 44.7 per cent from the beginning of the post-Covid boom to its peak in July, 2022.

And while prices shed 2.4 per cent over the next eight months, they have since grown an additional 4.6 per cent to a median value of $813,842.

Perth’s market fell just 0.9 per cent from its peak and has since added a further 5.3 per cent.

In addition, sunny Perth remains the second cheapest capital city in the country with a median house price of just $690k and $356k for a unit.

Comparatively, Brisbane’s median prices are $823k for a house and $478k for a unit.

Hobart is $709k for a house and $523k for a unit.

In contrast to its rental market, Darwin is the cheapest capital city to buy, with median prices of $642k for a house and $361k for a unit.

Contact Health Recruitment Australia today

Australia is a vast and diverse land with many different property markets affected by multiple economic forces.

Remember, the above figures are median prices and there can be enormous differences within cities.

Factors such as proximity to CBDs, beaches and other amenities as well as the individual size of land and quality of lodging also play significant factors in prices.

Medicare rebates are also the same across Australia (the co-payments are not) and this should be a consideration when deciding affordability.

All in all, it can be enough to make your head spin.

But you don’t have to do it alone.

Let Health Recruitment Australia lend a hand.

HRA is a recruitment agency focussed specifically on matching overseas doctors with top medical clinics in Australia, based on a GP’s lifestyle and professional goals.

We’ll help find you the best fit opportunity, in the city or region you desire.

A significant GP shortage in Australia has opened up multiple opportunities for doctors interested in making the move so there’s no time like the present.

Start with an informal, no-obligation discussion with the experienced team at Health Recruitment Australia.

Contact us or view available opportunities.

Enquire now, and we’ll be
in touch shortly!


Enquire now, and we’ll be
in touch shortly!