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Expats Guide To Securing Accommodation in Sydney + Top 8 Suburbs For Expats in Sydney

June 05 , 2021 by: Victoria Anderson

You may be dreaming about basking amongst the fit and iconic lifeguards of Sydney on those piercing blue waters of Bondi or perhaps the prestige of taking in a show at the iconic Sydney opera house. Or merely its the laid-back lifestyle, high-income jobs on offer and generally high quality of life igniting fire within. Being amongst the Sydneysiders and their envious lifestyle has you planning your escape to this world-class city. Whatever your reasoning, we are here to prepare you as an expat and make this a seamless transition.

Often compared to the top global cities of the world including New York, London, and Paris, sitting at a population of approximately 5.4 million, alike these global cities, Sydney is a very expensive city to reside in. So, if you are not prepared to pay a premium for housing, Sydney may not be for you.

However, there are numerous factors trumping housing costs, including Sydney bringing together a diversity of cultures, vibrancy, entertainment, food, and more.

With so many from around the world and within Australia looking to spread roots here, it comes as no surprise securing accommodation can be fiercely competitive. But, by using these strategies and tips, this will greatly improve your outcome in securing your first place in Sydney.

As this will be your first move to Sydney, we are assuming you are renting first. Plus, renting provides you more flexibility and novelty to test out multiple areas and find one that resonates with you.

For a general rule in terms of pricing, anything inner city will be the most expensive, and likely be well connected in terms of transport. Further out, you may be able to secure a place at a preferable rate, but in return it will cost you more in travel time and transportation cost, so you will need to prioritize which is most important for you.

Here are our top 8 picks of Sydney suburbs for expats to consider with a diversity of options, so it is likely you will find something which appeals to you!

Top 8 Picks For Expats in Sydney

NEWTON- The Inner-West

What is the suburb’s appeal?

How far to the CBD (Central Business District)?

Approximately 5.6 km to the CBD

What type of transport is accessible?

What type of housing can you find here?

Mostly known for its terrace homes, some apartments and very few free-standing homes.

Average weekly rent?

Units- average $450 per week

Houses- average $750 per week

Surry Hills, Sydney by Yang Xia on Unsplash

SURRY HILLS- Near CBD

What is the suburb’s appeal?

How far to the CBD?

Approximately 2.1 km to the CBD

What type of transport is accessible?

What type of housing can you find here?

Mostly known for its beautiful terrace homes.

Average weekly rent?

Units- average $533 per week

Houses- average $850 per week

Bondi beach by Vincent Rivaud on Pexels

BONDI JUNCTION – Eastern Suburbs

What is the suburb’s appeal?

How far to the CBD?

Approximately 6.3 km to the CBD

What type of transport is accessible?

What type of housing can you find here?

Mostly known for new apartments.

Average weekly rent?

Units- average $645 per week

Houses- average $950 per week

Manly beach, Sydney by Adrian Rem on Unsplash

MANLY- Northern Beaches

What is the suburb’s appeal?

How far to the CBD?

Approximately 16 km to the CBD

What type of transport is accessible?

What type of housing can you find here?

Mostly known for its beautiful art deco homes and lower density apartment blocks.

Average weekly rent?

Units- average $730 per week

Houses- average $1,400 per week

Chatswood, Sydney by Patty Jansen on Pixabay

CHATSWOOD- The North Shore

What is the suburb’s appeal?

How far to the CBD?

Approximately 12 km to the CBD

What type of transport is accessible?

What type of housing can you find here?

Mostly known for a variety of housing options including 1970’s style apartments.

Average weekly rent?

Units- average $540 per week

Houses- average $900 per week

Parramatta By Cement4802 – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=88957428

PARRAMATTA

What is the suburb’s appeal?

How far to the CBD?

Approximately 27 km to the CBD

What type of transport is accessible?

What type of housing can you find here?

Mostly known for being a high growth area, this area has a large number of apartments

Average weekly rent?

Units- average $430 per week

Houses- average $470 per week

CRONULLA- South Sydney

What is the suburb’s appeal?

How far to the CBD?

Approximately 31 km to the CBD

What type of transport is accessible?

What type of housing can you find here?

Mostly known for apartments with a mixture of more premium and affordable housing options.

Average weekly rent?

Units- average $500 per week

Houses- average $900 per week

Bankstown CBD By Adam.J.W.C. – Own work, CC BY-SA 2.5, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=12714587

BANKSTOWN- South West

What is the suburb’s appeal?

How far to the CBD?

Approximately 23 km to the CBD

What type of transport is accessible here?

What type of housing can you find here?

Mostly known for apartments, some duplexes, and a limited number of free-standing homes.

Average weekly rent?

Units- average $400 per week

Houses- average $500 per week

Now you have given some further consideration to which areas might appeal to you, the next step is to get organize and prepare for securing your dream rental in Sydney.

13 Tips For Expats Securing Accommodation In Sydney

1. Start With Short Term Accommodation

To guarantee you have shelter upon arrival, book in an Airbnb or serviced rental for a suggested two-week period. This will allow you time to recover from your jet lag, get a feel for the city, and allow you to explore a variety of areas around the city.

While train, buses and ferries will be essential for jumping from suburb to suburb, we suggest spending a considerable amount of time walking the various suburbs, looking out for nearby parks or amenities which are important to you, stopping into their local cafes, restaurants, or delis to get a feel of what areas may resonate with you.

2.Rental Hub Websites

The two biggest forces in real estate in Australia are Domain.com.au and Realestate.com.au. Both will advertise a number of ads with property agencies. Are you looking for a rental off an independent or mum and pop? We suggest then scouring through Gumtree or Facebook pages.

3.Find A Roommate or Partner to Share a Rental With

With weekly apartment rentals fetching a premium in Sydney, Property Managers and owners alike are looking to mitigate their risk. Therefore, we suggest finding a partner or roommate to share with. This de-risk an owner as if one tenant loses their job or is unable to keep up with their payments they can rely on a secondary tenant.

4.Prepare Evidence/Support Ahead Of Inspections

Start right away collecting bank statements, past rental reference letters, proof of past rental payments and/or bill payments on time, gather 2-4 references in mind with their full details, a minimum of two types of identification to vet you are who you say you are including a passport, and evidence of employment in Australia if possible. If you have been unsuccessful in securing employment or are awaiting steady accommodation to commence your job search, we suggest open a bank in Australia with a few months’ worth of living expenses plus bond funds.

At inspections we suggest dressing smart casual. Throughout the process you want to communicate to the property manager you are trustworthy and reliable.

5.Save or Secure Employment ASAP!

Rents are owed weekly in Sydney but can be payable fort nightly. Please be advised to secure a rental property, the owner or agent will require immediately upon successful application the first two weeks of rent plus bond (this is equal to 4 weeks of your weekly rental amount).

6.Set Your Maximum Budget

Be prepared pre-inspection what your walk away weekly rental amount is. While the price might be advertised for $450 per week, to increase your chances amongst the competition in securing this property, you can offer more. For example, this may range from an additional $50 per week up to $100 per week depending on how strong the market is.

7.Hop Onto Google Maps

This might sound obvious, but it will save you time. Before attending an inspection, hop onto Google Maps and type out the address (this might not be accessible until you are approved for an inspection time or upon request). Think about the lifestyle you are looking to achieve. i.e., if you are not planning on owning a car while in Sydney, make sure you are within walking distance to your everyday needs or at least well connected to easily access them. Go to Street View- Google Maps. Do you like the feel of the streetscape and can you imagine yourself living here?

8.Sydneysiders Stick to Their Suburb

Unlike some global cities where one day you are in the CBD, the next 10km south and the next 10km east, Sydneysiders tend to stay within their suburb for their social and everyday needs. This could be a result of traffic always being bad or having all their lifestyle needs within their suburb area. Regardless, you want to find somewhere you will like sticking close to.

9.Attend Mid-Week And Day Time Inspections

Sydney inspections will be busy especially in high in demand suburbs. Go to a both weekday and daytime inspections as there is a better chance of there being less competition and standing out to the property manager versus a nighttime inspection or during the weekend.

10.Be Prepare for Brief Inspections

While in the past you may have leisurely sauntered through a property, please keep in mind inspections in Sydney are brief and more likely than not to stick to their 15-minute windows.

11.Build Rapport with The Property Manager

Building rapport during inspections with the property manager is key in giving you the best chance at securing the property of your choice. It is important they find you pleasant and trustworthy during the inspection. Chances are they will find you an easier tenant to deal with versus someone is demanding and asks a lot of questions during the inspection. Stand out in a positive manner, be kind, and pleasant mannered.

12.Be Prepare To Act Quickly

Rentals get snapped up quickly in Sydney, especially for well maintain houses or units (units in Australia may include villas, apartments or housing that shares adjoining wall(s) or a common driveway), ideally situated and with great access to a train line, ferry, or major bus route. To provide you the best chance in securing your dream property, we suggest filling out a tenancy application pre-inspection. Most frequently you will see the 1form. This application form is great because once completed, you can use the same application form for multiple inspections if you don’t get the first property of your choice. If not, ask ahead what application will be used, if you can be provided a copy, so its completed and ready to provide to the property manager post inspection.

This means submitting your application promptly after inspecting a place of your liking and making sure the property manager you met at the inspection knows you have submitted the application.

13.Last Resort Option

If you are feeling a bit overwhelmed about the thought of moving across the world or even across the ocean to Sydney, this is understandable. Moving consistently rates amongst the most stressful events we undergo in our lives. To damper the stress, we suggest speaking to a trusted relocation advisor a few months out from arrival. We recommend reaching out to Expat International.

Moving to Sydney can feel daunting and can bring upon anxiety, but in providing you an outline of the suggested suburbs of Sydney to consider, then walking you through what you need to prepare for securing your first rental in Sydney, this will ensure this transition is seamless and exciting.

Sydney continues to rank amongst the most livable cities in the world, and for a good reason! Start preparing for the big move ahead! Once you spend some time in this world class city, you may never want to leave.

It is not when are you taking the leap, but when are you starting the momentum to create a better life for yourself in Sydney?

 

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