Cost of Living in Sydney

An Insider’s Guide to Moving in Syndey

This Sydney relocation guide is designed with the intention of helping prospective Sydney residents and expats to settle into the city. This guide explores all the practical issues that you may face when moving to Sydney, answering questions that many have asked before. The e-book is published one chapter at a time and here you will find the third chapter: Cost of Living.

serviced apartments in sydney

In this chapter, we will outline the cost of living in Sydney,  in addition to offering countless pieces of practical knowledge.

If you’re moving to Sydney, be sure to shop around for the best exchange rate. Additionally, be sure to open a new bank account with a local bank once you have settled in Sydney in order to avoid surplus charges.

Sydney ranks as one of the most expensive cities in the world to live in, so it’s good to be aware of potential costs before moving to Sydney.

3.1 Rent

When arriving in Sydney, one of the first costs you will encounter will be the rent for the property in which you choose to stay. Before you part with money for rent, you’ll have to part with a deposit for the property- typically, the security deposit for the property is around one or two months rent. With serviced apartments, you don’t have to pay hefty sums of money up front for a security deposit.

As with other cities across the globe, the average price of rent is conditioned by the neighbourhood in which the property is located so shop around and look at places in all the districts of Sydney so you get an idea of what you can obtain for your budget.

Most residential leases and rental agreements in Sydney require a security deposit or ‘bond’. Usually, the bond is the total of one month’s rent. However, there is no limit to what landlords can charge.

money transfer for rent in sydney 

In Sydney, you will likely have to pay an agents fee, which varies from agent to agent but you can use  a month or half a month’s rent as a guideline of what you can expect to pay. This will depend on exactly how much you’re paying rent-wise. However this isn’t law in Sydney and common practice may vary across agents. The best thing to do in this instance is be prepared to pay an agency fee on top of your deposit to your landlord and the first month’s rent and ask any agent you deal with in advance. As always, it pays to shop around.

Weekly rents for inner city areas like Ashfield, Botany Bay or Lane Clove for example might range between $520 for a one bedroom flat or studio unit to $660 for a two bedroomed option. Sydney CBD will offer a slightly more expensive range of flats, from $640 for a one bed up to $1350 for a three bed option. The inner west suburbs like Chippendale, Redfern and Alexandria can vary from $400 up to $570 a week for just one bedroom with the Eastern suburbs presenting very similar price brackets. Going north will set you back slightly more as all weekly rents for one bedroom apartments hover at the $500 mark. The beaches too present weekly rental costs for one beds between $400 - $600.

3.2 Utilities

In Sydney, utility bills are typically paid once a month and the average monthly cost of all utilities for one person in a two person apartment apartment is around $268 per month, depending on how much you use. This tends to cover gas, water and electricity.


Standard voltage in Sydney is 230V AC. Costs are based on the number of units consumed by a household, with usage during off-peak hours costing less than usage during peak hours of the day. Sydney uses the Australian 2 pronged power plug for its devices.

It is recommended to instal energy efficient light bulbs and white goods to cut costs in rising energy prices in Sydney.


In Sydney, gas is most commonly used for cooking and heating. Gas is provided to each house via an underground pipe network.


Typically, water utilities are included in utilities prices in Sydney.  

Waste Removal

Waste removal in Hong Kong does include recycling, so remember to separate food waste and plastic. Public Waste Collectors are in charge of removing waste from residential areas in Sydney. Ask your landlord where the local deposit point is and the day of collection, it will always vary according to where you are in the city.


There isn’t much of a discrepancy between internet service providers in Sydney - the average internet bill per month is around $56. Some internet service providers supply satellite TV packages- enquire about them when purchasing your internet package.

Cell Phone

Sydney contains several major cell coverage providers. Rates are dependent on the type of plan you select and the type of device you select. Typically, a 20g data plan for the latest smart phone costs on average $50. Unlimited data is not an option in Australia.

3.3 Food and Drink

food and grocery market sydney

The average cost of food and beverage, including a grocery shop is typically more expensive in Sydney.

In terms of eating out, the average price of a lunchtime meal and a drink in the business district cost around $33 for two people, a combo meal in a fast food restaurant costs around $10 per person and a meal in a mid-range restaurant in central Sydney costs around $50 for one personl.

Domestic beers cost around $5 a pint. In the trendy, central cocktail bars, a cocktail costs up to $30.

3.4 Travel and Transport

Travelling across Sydney is simply once you know how. Remember to get yourself a free Opal Card so you can top up before you travel. The average cost of a monthly unlimited transport pass is $166.

3.5 Entertainment

entertainment places in Sydney


Entry to museums in Sydney can be anywhere from $10 for a child’s ticket and upto $20 for an adult’s ticket, dependent on the museum you have chosen and the exhibition you’re choosing to see there.

Movies and the Theatre

Sydney has a range of leisure activities to take part in, including movie and theatre watching. A standard theatre show will cost over $80 to attend while a movie is a little more economical at the price of around $20.


A monthly pass to a gym costs around $118.

3.6 Healthcare

It is necessary to get health insurance before being treated for any symptoms while you’re in Sydney. Countless companies offer health care insurance, with the price being determined by your own personal circumstance and the amount of cover offered.

Like searching for any insurance, it pays to look around for the best deal before purchasing.