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Should I move to Canberra?

By SydneySider 30 March 2015 70

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I own my own villa in Oxley Park suburb of Sydney and currently living there with a 7-year-old and my wife who stays at home. We are on PR right now and I will be getting my citizenship likely in December this year. I am an experienced Oracle DBA and currently employed and work from home.  But I might need to search for a job in near future, though not sure when.

I am always fascinated by the 20-minute image of Canberra and kinda like small city aura around it. I don’t want to spend 90 minutes in my car or train to work one way and I want a quiet, laid-back, decent living. What I read about Canberra tells me that it matches my preferences.

Now I am at crossroads. Should I sell my Sydney villa and buy something in Gungahlin area (or any other decent area, suggest plz)? My max limit to buy is 460K including all expenses. Would I be able to get a newish 3 bed room house with bit of a backyard?

The real confusion comes when its employment. Would I be able to get a job in Canberra? It’s not big as Sydney and its not economic hub like Sydney as I understand. What if I sell my house in Sydney, buy in Canberra and then I don’t find a job there?

Please be nice and suggest what should I do? One thing is for sure that Canberra is my type of city and I really like it. It doesn’t mean that I abhor Sydney, but its too crowded and expensive in terms of real estate I guess. Thanks.

What’s Your opinion?


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Should I move to Canberra?
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vintage123 12:31 am 02 May 15

dungfungus said :

vintage123 said :

arescarti42 said :

vintage123 said :

First thing to explain the term “price fall” it has not actually been a reduction in price, it has just been a fall in the expected growth, and as that growth falls below inflation it is categorised by many as a price fall. When in fact it is not its just a reduction in growth rate. There are no properties in the ACT selling for 2009 prices. Far from it.

Nominal prices have fallen substantially. SQM’s data shows around an 11% fall in nominal prices (i.e. not inflation adjusted) over the last 3 years.

There are plenty of houses in the ACT selling for 2009 prices, e.g:

http://www.allhomes.com.au/ah/act/property-research/12-milari-street-ngunnawal-act-2913/20464014311
http://www.allhomes.com.au/ah/act/property-research/15-levine-street-evatt-act-2617/20201584111
http://www.allhomes.com.au/ah/act/property-research/30-gluyas-street-farrer-act-2607/20453412011
http://www.allhomes.com.au/ah/act/property-research/6-36-frencham-street-downer-act-2602/201316981711

Nice work. Problem is, for each of yours I have fifty of mine.
http://www.allhomes.com.au/ah/act/property-research/10-frew-close-nicholls-act-2913/20928402311

Good one!
But the difference in price is of course the house that has been built on the block.

The point I was making is that for each home in the ACT which has not risen in value since 2009 at least fifty have and for some of those that have they have risen by a considerable amount.

vintage123 2:28 pm 27 Apr 15

Shevy85 said :

Hi Sydney Sider,

I work in the property industry, Id be more than happy to give you some advise on real estate in Canberra and as a local (born and breed in Canberra) I’ve got fairly good knowledge of Canberra. Feel free to email me shevy85@live.com and if I can assist I will 🙂

I love it here in Canberra and enjoy helping people settle into our great City.

Hi shevy85,

Grateful on your thoughts about why the real estate industry is allowed to skew sales figures with land rent and also why it is so expensive to build in canberra. Here is a prime example;
http://www.allhomes.com.au/ah/act/sale-residential/no-street-name-provided-moncrieff-canberra/1316988548611

rosscoact 9:56 am 07 Apr 15

rubaiyat said :

Does anyone know what has happened to the first blocks from over 100 years ago, that surely have exceeded their 99 year lease now?

They just get renewed, nobody is interested in taking back Crown leases.

rubaiyat 8:50 am 07 Apr 15

Does anyone know what has happened to the first blocks from over 100 years ago, that surely have exceeded their 99 year lease now?

abcde 12:04 am 07 Apr 15

Need to add to this comment that NO LAND in ACT is owned by the mortgagee. All you get is a 99 year lease from the Crown.

vintage123 said :

Be careful not to be misled by some of the advertising on allhomes, particularly regarding house and land packages using the land rent option. In bonner and moncreif for example there are a tonne of listings for house and land packages for say 399k or 449k. THIS PRICE DOES NOT Include the land, it is just the build cost. The land rent scheme is only used in the ACT, so you would not have heard of it in Sydney. For example the place on allhomes at bonner 137 Ida west west is the land rent price, this is the build only cost, you pay that price but you don’t own the land, you have to then pay rent for the land. To buy this place outright would be around $750k to $800k. The problem with the land rent scheme is it is skewing the data on canberra home prices, making them look cheaper than what they really are.

abcde 11:51 pm 06 Apr 15

Given you live in Oxley Park, ANY suburb in Canberra will be better.
I lived in Sydney most of my life and Canberra for 6 years and have lived in Balconnen, West Balconnen and Tuggeranong. I don’t have a problem with living in any of these areas.
In Canberra you are much more likely to have your car stolen than to be mugged, murdered etc, and that’s if you park your park outside which is what most of Canberra do.
No house in Gunghalin will fit your budget and the criteria of new with a decent backyard. New certainly, but do you really want to see 6 neighbours shower?

Chrissie333 10:45 pm 06 Apr 15

I used to live in Sydney and I moved to Canberra 7 years ago. I’d never live in Sydney again. It’s just too busy all the time and there’s always a queue everywhere you go. I got myself a recruitment agency and found a very good job within 2 weeks. Work in Canberra is not scarce, whoever said that mustn’t be very good at finding work 🙂

If you’re from Sydney, you’ll probably like Gungahlin. Gungahlin is only 20 minutes to the City…. but then again, so is almost everywhere in Canberra. I live in Tuggeranong and even that is only 20 minutes to the City. Have you thought about looking at those new developments out near Weston and the Cotter Road? That’s already looking like it’s going to be much better than Gungahlin and you could buy off the plan.

Canberra is very easy to get around (if you have a car). The roads are wide and generally free of traffic congestion. Our “peak hour” is really only an extra 10 minutes of drive time and there’s always a car park wherever you go. We have trees and birds everywhere and even though our Winter temperatures get down below zero at night, we still have beautiful blue skies and clean, crisp air (unlike polluted Sydney air).

Honestly, if I were you, i’d rent out my Sydney home for 12 months, come down to Canberra for 1 year and rent a property somewhere in the Inner North or Belconnen area so you can get a “feel” for the place. After 1 year, you’ll know much more about the lifestyle and which suburb you like the best.

breda 12:26 pm 06 Apr 15

Hi, Sydneysider, good on you for doing some proper research before taking the plunge.

As an IT person, you could end up working in any part of the Y axis, or in the centre. If you are a contractor, most likely you will be based in more than one of them, over time. So, you can’t really predict what your commuting times will be in advance. Even if you get a “permanent” job, it is quite common for employers to change addresses in the medium term.

So, your best bet is to find somewhere to live that is not too far out on the edges, which suits you. I agree with PPs who suggested renting for a while while you suss things out – not only the property market, but also the total experience of living here. As an ex-Sydneysider, I can attest that it is different, and doesn’t suit everyone.

In particular, if your wife is a SAHM, she may find it lonely for a while, especially if she doesn’t have a car. And, the first winter is a real shocker for those who come from warmer climates (although I note that you live a fair way inland in Sydney, so not so bad for you). You need to get the right clothes and super-duper home heating to survive the first year without feeling perpetually cold. The good news is, your body does acclimatise, but it takes time.

As for “good” and “bad” suburbs, don’t be put off by the occasional anecdote from people here. I lived in the inner city in Sydney for many years, in expensive suburbs, and crime was much more of a problem there. What you need to look out for are large public housing complexes close to where you live. There aren’t that many of them. For the rest, the lowlifes don’t travel far, and the odd public housing property scattered among private housing is no big deal in my 20+ years of living here.

Best of luck, and let us know how you get on.

dungfungus 8:00 am 06 Apr 15

vintage123 said :

arescarti42 said :

vintage123 said :

First thing to explain the term “price fall” it has not actually been a reduction in price, it has just been a fall in the expected growth, and as that growth falls below inflation it is categorised by many as a price fall. When in fact it is not its just a reduction in growth rate. There are no properties in the ACT selling for 2009 prices. Far from it.

Nominal prices have fallen substantially. SQM’s data shows around an 11% fall in nominal prices (i.e. not inflation adjusted) over the last 3 years.

There are plenty of houses in the ACT selling for 2009 prices, e.g:

http://www.allhomes.com.au/ah/act/property-research/12-milari-street-ngunnawal-act-2913/20464014311
http://www.allhomes.com.au/ah/act/property-research/15-levine-street-evatt-act-2617/20201584111
http://www.allhomes.com.au/ah/act/property-research/30-gluyas-street-farrer-act-2607/20453412011
http://www.allhomes.com.au/ah/act/property-research/6-36-frencham-street-downer-act-2602/201316981711

Nice work. Problem is, for each of yours I have fifty of mine.
http://www.allhomes.com.au/ah/act/property-research/10-frew-close-nicholls-act-2913/20928402311

Good one!
But the difference in price is of course the house that has been built on the block.

vintage123 10:05 pm 05 Apr 15

arescarti42 said :

vintage123 said :

First thing to explain the term “price fall” it has not actually been a reduction in price, it has just been a fall in the expected growth, and as that growth falls below inflation it is categorised by many as a price fall. When in fact it is not its just a reduction in growth rate. There are no properties in the ACT selling for 2009 prices. Far from it.

Nominal prices have fallen substantially. SQM’s data shows around an 11% fall in nominal prices (i.e. not inflation adjusted) over the last 3 years.

There are plenty of houses in the ACT selling for 2009 prices, e.g:

http://www.allhomes.com.au/ah/act/property-research/12-milari-street-ngunnawal-act-2913/20464014311
http://www.allhomes.com.au/ah/act/property-research/15-levine-street-evatt-act-2617/20201584111
http://www.allhomes.com.au/ah/act/property-research/30-gluyas-street-farrer-act-2607/20453412011
http://www.allhomes.com.au/ah/act/property-research/6-36-frencham-street-downer-act-2602/201316981711

Nice work. Problem is, for each of yours I have fifty of mine.
http://www.allhomes.com.au/ah/act/property-research/10-frew-close-nicholls-act-2913/20928402311

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