Feature Article - FACTBase Bulletin 67 - Cost of Living in Greater Perth

Over the last decade, residents have identified the high cost of living as a weakness of Greater Perth. Media reports of price growth in the region were particularly prominent from 2004-2014, with the ABC reporting Perth as the most expensive city in Australia and the southern hemisphere in 2013.

However, by examining Greater Perth’s cost of living using four key indices, the Bulletin demonstrates a gap between perception and reality of high living costs. Moreover, the data reveals that Greater Perth has become a comparatively more affordable place to live since 2014. An estimate of average household expenditure in 2019 indicates that Greater Perth is the second most affordable city in Australia after Adelaide, with the cost gap between these two cities continuing to fall.

The Bulletin notes that the ongoing perceptions that Greater Perth is an expensive place to live can be attributed to rapid price growth prior to 2014, combined with rates of income growth which did not maintain pace with Consumer Price Index (CPI) increases from 2014-2019. Additionally, houses within the lowest income quintile were more likely to experience heightened cost of living pressures.

Looking forward, the Bulletin recommends placing further emphasis on promoting Greater Perth’s affordable living costs and comparatively high median incomes as a benefit of living in the region.

Acknowledgement of Country

The Committee For Perth acknowledges the traditional custodians throughout Western Australia and their continuing connection to the land, waters and community. We pay our respects to all members of the Aboriginal communities and their cultures; and to Elders both past and present.