Housing & accommodation

House in Canberra

A home is the foundation for your lifestyle in Canberra. Once you’ve narrowed down the areas you want to live in, the next task is to decide what sort of accommodation will suit you and your family.

Canberra has a huge range of housing options to suit your needs, budget and personal taste:

Homestay

Homestay with an accreditated host is a great way to experience life in Canberra. Living with a Canberra family offers a welcoming environment and provides a stable base for your new life in Canberra. You can choose to stay for a short while or for a longer period of time. Unlike other accommodation options you don’t need to sign any long-term contracts, pay a bond, find furniture or search for a property yourself. 

For further information , see Australian Homestay Network 

Temporary

When you first arrive, you may need to live in temporary accommodation before finding a long-term place to live. Luckily Canberra offers a range of temporary accommodation options to suit your needs from self-contained and serviced apartments, hotels, motels, hostels and caravan parks.

Regardless of where you choose to stay, make sure you book your temporary accommodation well before you arrive in Canberra to ensure you can secure a place.

You may also need to find a storage facility for the belongings you have shipped over and select a removalist, once you’re ready to move into long-term accommodation.

Sharing

If you’re an individual or even a couple, share accommodation is a great way to share the cost of living with other people and make new friends. You can either move into a house that is already occupied by other people or find and lease a property with other people. 

The most important factor when sharing a house or apartment with others is communication. Make sure you understand upfront what your living conditions will be, what you will be paying for and what everyone in the household agrees to before paying any money or signing an agreement.

Renting

Renting is a great way to find out about an area before committing to buy. Canberra has a huge range of homes and apartments at varying prices depending on where you want to live and the style of home you’re after.

Most homes for rent are leased through real estate agencies and are advertised through the agency and on various websites, with inspection times or contact details of the landlord or agent. Whilst some homes are available furnished or partly furnished with items such as a fridge and washing machine, the majority of rental homes are unfurnished.

The median rent for a house in Canberra is $566 per week*. The median rent for a apartment/unit/townhouse is $424 per week*.

You are normally required to inspect a property in person before applying for tenancy. When applying, make sure you have landlord references, character references and between 6-8 weeks payment up front.

Buying

Canberra is a fantastic place to call home and there’s no better way to commit to your future here, than by investing in a property.

There is a huge range of housing options to suit most budgets. Do your research to determine current market values, as house prices vary depending on areas and even within individual suburbs. The median house price in Canberra is $670,000*. The median apartment/unit/townhouse price is $450,000*.

* Housing statistics obtained from the Real Estate Institute of Australia (REIA) Market Facts – July 2017.

Before you buy

It is crucial that you have your finance approved, including enough to offer a deposit, before making an offer or bid at an auction. If you haven’t purchased property in Australia before, you may be eligible to receive the Australian Government’s first home owner’s grant to help you get started. The ACT also has a range of financial concessions to help low to moderate income buyers, including the Home Buyer Concession scheme and the ability for eligible buyers to defer stamp duty for five years. To make home ownership easier, the ACT Government has also released more land and ensured new developments include 20 per cent affordable housing.

When you buy property in the ACT, you are provided with a 99-year crown lease over the land. In every practical way, you build your house and own it just as you would anywhere else in Australia. Towards the end of the 99 years, the Territory will grant the lessee a new residential lease, without payment (other than an administrative fee). This gives the lessee continuing security of tenure. To find out more visit the ACT Environment and Planning Directorate website.

Ways to buy

  • Public auctions. Buyers compete with other buyers to bid for a property on a set date. A property cannot be sold unless it reaches the seller’s reserve price.
  • Private sale. A property is offered at a price determined by the seller. If you want to make an offer, the seller’s real estate agent will negotiate on your behalf.
  • Tender Process. A property is advertised with a price range and interested buyers submit offers in writing by a set deadline. The highest and best offer is accepted.

Student Accommodation

There is a large variety of accommodation choices for students in Canberra.

The Australian National University, the University of Canberra and the Canberra Institute Technology all offer a broad range of on-campus student accommodation options to suit your preference and budget.

Alternatively you may choose to live off-campus where you will need to compete for a place with the local rental market.

Another option is Homestay where you will live with a Canberra family. They will help you get settled into your new life in Canberra and assist you with looking at other accommodation options if needed. 

For accommodation options see: 

UC accommodation

ANU accommodation

CIT accommodation

Australian Homestay Network