Moving to Perth – Are there any downsides?

Relocating to Perth

Perth is one of Australia’s geographically tiny cities in the whole country, but there are still more things to do within and outside the city that they can offer to everyone.

There are many opportunities for potential expatriates in the mining industry, especially if they have experience working there.

There is always competition during the high season for real estate in Perth, from November through March. So if you want to look for apartments or houses during this period, be prepared to face competition.

The Capital of Western Australia

If you move to Perth, you’ll end up living in the capital of Western Australia. It’s the largest state in Australia, and it has the fourth-highest population, behind.

Expats moving to Sydney should know they’re about to settle permanently in one of the most geographically isolated cities worldwide. When traveling abroad, it would be good to know that Sydney is closer to Jakarta than Brisbane, the city on the opposite side of Australia. Geographically, Sydney is mainly bordered by the ocean to the west and the east; thus, it would be tough to travel around the country without taking a plane.

Despite these benefits, Perth is only ideal for some. It has a warm and sunny climate, similar to Cape Town in South Africa.

Some of the main factors behind the growing popularity of moving to Perth include its sunny weather, high-quality life, and jobs. Both the local governments of Perth and the Australian Federal Governments are actively trying to recruit skilled and qualified immigrants to help meet the needs of the booming Western economy.

Regional Hardship Area

Perth has become an easy place for skilled migrants to get permanent residency visas.

Although this job offer is an excellent choice for potential employees, a nomination from a state or territory agency is still required to ensure that you are a needed employee. Also, people who get this job offer must live and work in low-growth regions. In Western Australia, these are places outside of Perth and its surroundings. More information about the skilled regional (provisional) job offer can be found on the Australian Department of Immigration and Citizenship’s site.

The Local Job Market

Recently, the demand for skilled professionals has increased significantly in Western Australia. This can be seen in both the primary and secondary industries. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, in 2015 alone, one in every three employers could not find enough qualified staff to fill vacant positions. However, companies can grow and meet market needs with the correct number of workers. This is mainly why certain areas of the primary and secondary industry are worth considering if you’re considering relocating to Perth or, more broadly speaking, to Western Australia altogether.

There are still plenty of jobs available, but fewer in the industry than in 2011 when the economy was booming. However, the Australian Government predicts that.

Most of Perth’s and Western Australia’s economic success has been based on agriculture, forestry, and fishing. However, according to the Australian Government, these three sectors detract from the Gross State Product (GSP). Although farming generally decreases, Australian farmers still produce 93% of Australia’s food.

As far as the third (tertiary) industry is concerned, professional services like retail, health care, and social assistance are vital for the people of Western Australia. These industries generate almost half of the state’s GDP and employ more than 80% of its workforce. Therefore, these sectors create plenty of job opportunities for qualified foreign workers who want to relocate to Perth.

You might be moving to Perth because you’re starting a new job in the travel industry. With its beautiful climate and sunny beaches, Perth is one of the top listed destinations for tourists in Australia. During the past three years, 9.8 million people visited Western Australia, mainly in Perth. In the near term, Perth plans to increase its number of hotels and restaurants so that more travelers can enjoy the area’s natural beauty.


Diverse Demographics

In recent times, immigration has played an essential and significant role in shaping the cultural landscape of Perth. With a growing number of immigrants settling in the city, the multicultural nature of Perth is becoming increasingly apparent. While most of these new arrivals come from Asia, Africa, and South America, there are also sizable communities of Europeans, Americans, and Canadians.

Over the past few years, Australia has seen a high additional in the number of new people migrating from Asian countries, including China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam. These countries now account for most immigrants who call Perth their home. There are sizeable communities of immigrants or expats born in Europe (Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands), North America (the United States, Canada), and Oceania (Australia).

Today, up to 31 percent of all residents in the city of Perth were either foreign- or non-Australian citizens at birth. There is noticeable religious diversity among the religious population in Perth: after Catholics and Anglicans, Buddhism and Islam now form sizeable religious communities.

Neighborhoods in Perth

Regardless of where you came from, there is a good chance you will meet people who share your background after moving to Perth.

Although the metropolitan area of Perth is only a small part of Western Australia, it extends over an enormous distance. From Two Rocks to Mandurama, the city stretches 140 kilometers in length and from the coast to the shire of Mundaring, which measures around 50 kilometers. Where you settle down depends primarily on your circumstances, such as where you work and how much money you earn. However, we also advise you to consider the location of your home.

Suburbs in Central Perth

Perth is a suburb on the north side of the Swan River, which runs through the city center. It has a central business area, an international airport, and many hotels. However, it could be better to look for residential property.

If you’re younger than 40 years old, single or not married, and don’t have kids, consider moving to Subiaco, northbridge, or Fremantle, which are suburbs in Western Australia (WA). These three suburbs are located near the city center and offer good access to public transport. They are also popular among young people who enjoy their lively atmosphere.


On the south side of Perth, near the waterfront, you’ll find Fremantle (or “Fremo”).

It has many historic buildings from the colonial era, so it draws its fair share of tourists who explore Fremantle’s tourism trail. However, its arts community, live music, dining scenes, and outdoor cafes are additional bonuses for the locals.

If you decide to move to Fremantle, you’ll enjoy its natural beauty and transport links, including the train station for the whole Perth region. In addition, Italians, Irish, Kiwis, Portuguese, and Brits living there will meet many fellow expatriates.

Upper-Class and Middle-Class Residential Areas

If money isn’t an issue, consider buying a house in the inner suburbs of Applecross, Bicton, or City Beach. These neighborhoods are known for their beauty and prestige but are also expensive.

Both Applecross and Bicto­n are located on the banks of the river, and the available housing primarily caters to the wealthy, especially in Applecross, where residents enjoy living near numerous public spaces, including the South of Perth Yachting Club, several nearby private clubs, and several local and international schools. In exchange for a considerable amount of money, people can reside in tree-lined avenues lined with jacarandas, close to various public spaces, including the Swan River, several local and international schools, and several local and private clubs.

Bicton is a Perth, Western Australia a suburb between the Fremantle and Subiaco suburbs. It is considered part of the metropolitan region of Perth.

Expats on a regular salary are more likely to move into an area like Willetton, a broadly middle-to-upper-middle-range suburb in Canning, about fifteen kilometers south of the CBD. There’s a large ethnic mix here with a large Asian community, which means there are plenty of options for expat families. And because there are so many choices, they’re a good option for everyone who wants to live near their kids.

The Outer Metropolitan Area

Further from central Perth lies the suburb of Swan, which contains over 30 different areas. These include the exclusive neighborhoods near the local five-star resort, as well as smaller towns such as Ellenbrook. This planned suburban community is a rapidly expanding residential area that may soon develop into a regional center.

Joondalup, located in the outer metropolitan region, is a good place for families because there are plenty of parks and playgrounds nearby. There are also lots of shops and restaurants, making it easy to get groceries and eat out.

Eastern Shire of Kalamunda is more of a “dormitory suburb” than Joondalup, which has plenty of residents who mainly live there and in the semi-urban area full of orchids, vineyards, and fields of roses. Commuting to work elsewhere is common. If you prefer quiet surroundings and natural beauty, places like Kalamundi are ideal.


Perth: Housing, Visas, Cost of Living

Finding housing in Perth is easier if you know where to find it.

Once you’ve decided on an area of Perth to settle down in, you’ll need to search for suitable rental properties. You can do so online through property portals such as Domain Property Group,, REA Group, LJ Hooker, Ray White, Red Rooster, Raine & Horne, and others. Alternatively, you could also visit local real estate agents who may offer assistance in finding a home.

The last website may be fascinating for expatriates who want to move to Perth, as it features a property rental and purchase service. It also offers lots of helpful information regarding renting or buying houses in the city.

The Perth Real Estate Market and Housing Costs

If you’re looking at buying property in Perth, be aware that the real estate markets move quickly. So make sure to make an offer soon. Provide the owners of potential properties with convincing evidence of your financial situation, your most recent tax returns, bank statements, residency permits or visas, and references from previous landlords.

Despite the current economic climate, rents in Perth remain relatively affordable. According to West Australian, property prices have dropped by around 10% in recent months. However, the outlook for the next 12 months could be more optimistic. The WA government predicts that house prices could fall by another 5%. At present, the average price per square meter is $1,065. This means that a one-bedroom apartment can cost about $500 per month.

If you’re moving to Perth, keep an open mind!

Cost of Living in Perth

In general, the price of living in Perth is higher than average. However, like house prices, living costs are falling. The 2015 Mercer Expat Salary Index ranks 47th out of more than 100 cities surveyed. Regarding Australia, the index notes that currency fluctuation can significantly affect the price of business in an international market. For example, moving to Australia could be advantageous if your company pays salaries in USD. This is because the AUD is weaker than the USD, so it becomes cheaper to hire foreign talent.

Even though Australia is still relatively cheap and affordable compared to other major cities, it’s not as expensive as some might think. For instance, in 2015, a middle-class family of four needed approximately $250-$300 per week to cover their grocery bill. This figure already considers occasional discounts at supermarkets and farmers’ markets.

When planning your move abroad, you need to consider additional expenses such as housing, transportation, and medical care. If you’re not eligible for Medicare, you may want to look into private health plans.

Things to consider before relocating to Perth:

A manageable size.

Perth is a relatively small metropolis with just over two million population. A smaller city fosters a stronger sense of community, respect for open space, and an undeniably relaxed attitude. You won’t experience the frantic pace of the inner city in Perth, nor will you run the risk of accidentally running into people hurrying to work.

Remote City.

On the other hand, Perth’s remote location from the rest of Australia’s capital cities is a natural consequence of all that space. Famously, it is nearer to Indonesia than Brisbane, reflected in the cheap direct flights you can book from Perth to many Asian cities, Johannesburg and London.

The weekday ambiance is quieter.

Because Perth is not a city that operates around the clock, locals tend to keep things simple during the week by staying home with their families or perhaps enjoying a quiet meal with friends. So expect the city to be pretty quiet from Monday through Friday; instead, get used to Perth and use that time to hang out with your new friends.

Save money in advance.

While it’s true that Perth is less expensive than Sydney, foreigners frequently lament how unexpectedly pricey Australia is in general. So make sure you have enough saved up for your stay (or the first few months, if the move is permanent), and do some research before you arrive.

Integrated public transportation.

Perth has an integrated system of trains, buses, and ferries known as Transperth. It is dependable and straightforward, perhaps less frequently than other significant public transportation systems like London’s. Take a SmartRider card, a reusable travel card that you can tap on and off and recharge with credit. There is a one-time fee to get your card, but you will quickly recoup that cost on your travels.

Look into Western Australia.

Spend some time discovering one of the nation’s least-known states. Australia is a quick trip across the east for tourists. The long-distance Bibbulmun Track, a 1000-kilometer route connecting Kalamunda and Albany, the Karijini National Park in the north, and dolphin feeding at Monkey Mia Reserve are just a few of the genuinely incredible experiences waiting in Western Australia.

Warmer temperatures.

Perth’s weather is typically a surprise to visitors from the Northern Hemisphere. Expect a Mediterranean-style climate with hot, dry summers and mild winters. But, on the other hand, a hot Christmas can come as a shock to expats. So it’s essential to give in and enjoy the “Chrissie” Australian style, which means having a lot of seafood, salads, and sparkling wine while dining al fresco. It is equally excellent, in our opinion.


Perth-related Visas

Check that you can obtain a visa before getting overly excited about Perth. Short-term visits are relatively simple for British nationals, but relocating permanently to Perth is more complicated. You can read about a wide variety of different visa types here.

Travel authorization electronically (ETA).

You are eligible for a free Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) visa for Australia if you hold a UK passport. The ETA visa will be valid for a year and enables multiple entries into the country for 90 days. If you decide to stay in Oz because you like it so much, you must obtain a suitable working visa.

Expert immigration visa.

Australians maintain a list of in-demand skills that is constantly updated. Keep an eye on the Australian Short-term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL) and the Australian Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL) and notice if anything jumps out at you. If you’ve got them, they’ll have them. Create an Expression of Interest (EOI) on SkillSelect if you can assist them with their skill shortages. The decision to nominate you after that rests with an Australian state.

Work permit sponsored.

If nothing on the STSOL or MLTSSL seems quite right, this is the one for you. Find employment first because you need an authorized Australian employer to sponsor you. If you’re serious about starting a new life in Australia, this will likely require a lot of online job searching and a few late-night Skype interviews. However, it will all be worth it. For tips on job searching in Perth, see the information below.

Check out the pricing estimator on Australia’s Home Affairs website to get an idea of the costs associated with each type of visa.