Moving to Sydney? It’s going to cost you

These days, there is a high likelihood that at some point in your life, you and your family will choose to live and work in a new city. Real estate agents and property managers likely deal with this very scenario on a daily basis.

Given that expats are generally drawn to the leading global cities around the world including Sydney and Melbourne in Australia, it can at times turn into an expensive exercise.

Relocation experts Movinga have released a study determining how much it would cost both individuals and families to move abroad and it turns out that Sydney is still one of the more expensive places you can choose to move to.

For an average family, it is likely going to cost you around $25,000 to land and get set up in Sydney for the first three months.

If that sounds high, bear in mind that Sydney ranks at number 11 out of the 85 leading cities in the world. Melbourne came in at position 29 where it will cost a family $19,750 on average to relocate.

Tech-centric San Francisco in the USA is the most expensive city to move to, at a cost of $19,330 for an individual and a whopping $34,285 for a family, followed by New York City and Geneva, Switzerland.

The study examined the most in-demand cities from around the world due to their popularity with highly skilled workers, and those searching for education, lifestyle or economic opportunities.

The research then broke down the costs for an individual to move versus as a family. The essential costs associated with day-to-day living as well as rental prices were determined, which covered transportation, food and drink, as well as the price of a new phone plan.

The numbers also include the cost of rent in temporary accommodation, as well as the storage fee for keeping belongings safe while searching for a permanent residence.

Once a final home has been found, the deposit can often come as a hidden and large unforeseen expense, so one month’s deposit, in addition to the monthly rent and the cost of setting up an internet connection was calculated.

Managing Director of Movinga, Finn Age Hänsel, believes despite some headwinds to the global economy in recent times there is still strong demand for skilled workers around the globe.

“Despite the rise in anti-globalisation sentiment in recent years, there’s no sign of high skilled migration slowing down anytime soon.

“With a clear demand for certain skills, global companies are now competing with each other for top talent, which means that there are more opportunities across borders than ever before.

“With our mission to help people to relocate, we see that often individuals say yes to job opportunities because of the attractive offer, but don’t give as much thought to the realities of moving to a different city in terms of the real estate market and the true cost of living,” Mr Hänsel said.

“We hope that this price index can help movers to better prepare for the realities and difficulties involved with relocating to some of the most in-demand cities in the world, while also inspiring those looking to make the leap to choose the best location based on their budget.

“The costs in this price index are designed to be an indicator of the kind of expenses a person may incur by moving to a new city. In many cases, an individual moving abroad may be sponsored by a new employer to do so and will receive financial help or pre-paid temporary accommodation.

“However, for those trying to calculate how much money they would need to save to move abroad both for themselves and potentially their family, this price index offers a great benchmark estimate.”

An interesting outlier in the results is Dublin, Ireland, which is more expensive to move to than Singapore, Los Angeles or Sydney, due to the high rental prices.

“Dublin, which stands at the seventh most expensive location to relocate to, offers a very interesting case study about the impacts of having huge conglomerates like Google and Facebook setting up offices in a city,” Mr Hänsel said.

“While the development of Silicon Docks has no doubt increased employment in Ireland, Dublin’s rapidly rising rental prices have been impacted by an influx of top talent flocking to the business opportunities there.

“Now compare Dublin in this price index to Berlin, which ranks as the 26th least expensive city to move to overall. Berlin locals actively campaigned against new Google offices in Kreuzberg due to worries about gentrification affecting, among other things, rental prices. The difference in cost of living between these two major European hubs goes a long way to illustrate the local impact that these huge businesses can have.”

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Rowan Crosby

Rowan Crosby is a freelance journalist specialising in finance and real estate.