It’s summer in Australia – a nation already renowned for its fantastic climate and great outdoors lifestyle. As a Briton suffering the gloom of a bleak January and the prospects of an unsettling year economically speaking, doesn’t that just make you sick with jealousy?! Whilst we wallow in the depths of winter, British expats living in Australia are lapping up the summer sunshine.
Last year this irritated 23,000 of us so much that we actually did something about it and emigrated Down Under!
This year, who knows how many more of us will be applying to the Australian government for an entry visa! If you feel that the time has come for you to begin exploring pastures new, here’s a guide to where British expats live in Australia in case you want to make the move yourself – after all, who would blame you!
Believe it or not, Sydney is not the number one choice with British migrants, rather Perth in Western Australia is. It attracted over 7,000 professional Britons last year who went straight into employment in what still is a booming city. Whilst it would be naïve of us to imagine that Australia is weathering the effects of the global credit crunch without so much of a hint of an effect, it is fair to say that Perth is still doing alright! Yes the Australian housing market as a whole has taken a hammering with median prices in some cities receding fast, but in a city like Perth, there are underlying fundamentals supporting ongoing advancement.
The land around the city is rich in the likes of gold, oil and iron – and mining is in serious operation. This has led to an influx of workers to directly serve the mining industry, which in turn has had a knock on effect on population numbers and swelled the need for and numbers of everything from doctors to teachers, shop workers to policemen. It is because of this surge in demand for professional people that a high number of work related visas were granted to Britons last year, enabling them to move to Australia and take up a job in Perth.
Despite the fact that house prices in Perth have doubled in less than 6 years thanks to the boom the city has witnessed, prices are now dropping and real estate in Perth remains more affordable than the median in the UK – meaning if you do move to live Down Under, not only could you stand a good chance of finding a job in Perth, but you may very well get far more for your money than if you remained living in the UK.
Brisbane in Queensland was the second most popular location with relocating Britons last year. The city and the Gold Coast were attractive to those seeking employment or a great place to retire. The climate is amazing, the atmosphere and way of life is laid back, there are plenty of expats already living in this neck of the woods, the beaches are brilliant and you’re also not far from stunning countryside. Queensland has also been booming on the back of mining – which in turn has resulted in an increase in job vacancies, which in turn helped to attract around about 6,000 Brits to Brisbane last year. However, as with all things that boom they often go bust! And Brisbane’s booming property market is certainly showing effects of a serious decline – but then again, look on the bright side, if you sell up in the UK whilst waiting for your Australian visa to come through, the market may well have hit rock bottom in Brisbane, if you fancy living there, and you will be able to buy a bargain!
And finally, the third most popular place for British expats living in Australia is Sydney. And what’s not to love about this stunning and iconic city? Last year some 4,000 Brits were attracted largely by the affluent lifestyle many in the city enjoy. It’s an unbeatable destination if you want style, sophistication, culture, fantastic restaurants, access to great beaches and the chance to work for some of the leading employers in Australia. However, for some who move there, Sydney is perhaps overrated! It is a city cramped in terms of space, it is a city where an intensification of population density has led to a more impersonal vibe, and where, if you’re not living on the water front or in view of open space, you can feel very hemmed in and lost – as though you’re living in any city in any country in the world. If you are moving to live in Sydney you’d be better off if you can find an attractive apartment or townhouse to buy or rent – but then property prices in Sydney are the highest in the whole of Australia, making it a very expensive place to live.
In our opinion Sydney is a brilliant place for a holiday, a fantastic place to visit and enjoy – but there are a hundred better places to live in Australia. So why not go and explore the nation for yourself?