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Surprise, Surprise, Australia’s Biggest Cities Are Among The World’s Least Affordable

Surprise, Surprise, Australia’s Biggest Cities Are Among The World’s Least Affordable

world's most expensive cities sydney and melbourne

In news that will shock precisely no one who lives in either city, Sydney and Melbourne have both been ranked among the world’s most expensive cities for 2020, in a newly released report by Demographia.


Sydney was rated the most expensive city for residents in the whole Southern Hemisphere, coming in third in the total rankings. They may both be among the most liveable cities in the world, but Melbourne was only pipped by Sydney by a slim margin – Victoria’s capital came in at number four in the most expensive cities ranking.

The Demographia ranking takes housing affordability as its main measure of whether a city is expensive to live in or not so, again, no surprises that Australia’s cities are right at the bottom of the affordability list. Australia’s Sunshine Coast, Gold Coast (both in Queensland), Geelong (Victoria), Hobart (Tasmania) and Adelaide (South Australia) were also towards the bottom of the rankings.


The two Australian cities were only outranked by famously expensive Hong Kong, and Vancouver in Canada, and followed by Los Angeles, Auckland, San Jose and San Francisco in the United States.


If you’re after Australia’s least expensive places to live, you’ll have to look to smaller towns. Gladstone and Rockhampton in Queensland were the most affordable in Australia, followed by Darwin and Alice Springs in the Northern Territory and Townsville, again in Queensland. Australia’s regional cities did best in the ranking, which means maybe we should all don Akubras and flannos and go and work in the country. Sure, I fancy myself as a cattle drover.

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It may bring a glimmer of hope to some to know that Australia’s cities were only the second-least-affordable as a whole – with New Zealand beating Australia on that ranking.

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