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You have finally decided to cross the ditch into Canberra. Who wouldn’t? Being a Kiwi, you don’t need any special permit to purchase property, and the city itself is the capital and a cultural hub of Australia. Add to that minimal traffic, some fantastic people, and you have hit a jackpot. What more could you ask for?

However, before you start dreaming about relaxing by Lake Burley Griffin, you need to decide where to live. A lot depends on whether you are moving alone or with family, as you will need to be close to schools if you have kids. Or maybe you don’t want to buy a place just yet. Maybe you want to rent for a while and get a feel of a neighbourhood before investing. This gives rise to more questions. Which neighbourhoods are perfect for renting? Will the commute to work take long? What does the real estate market in Canberra look like?

Although you might have already begun your research and have a few places in mind, this guide will help you hone in on the perfect place for you or your family.

Commuting and scouting good suburbs

One of the advantages of Canberra is the fact that the city was designed around the centre. That means wherever you choose to live, you will always be close to all the action as well as the vast nature reserves that are so famous worldwide. There are several beautiful quiet suburbs spread across the city that are unique in their own way.

Commuting also isn’t an issue as Canberra has a highly efficient road network that connects all the major points in the city. Public transport is easily available, so you best purchase a MyWay card for yourself. It costs a few dollars and totally worth it as it knocks off a few dollars from the normal ticket price. Light rail services are also available but in select few neighbourhoods. Most people just drive or travel by buses or bicycles.

The public bus service operates from the Canberra City Centre (Canberrans call this “Civic” so don’t get confused), Belconnen, Tuggeranong, and Woden and has several routes to other city centres. Bicycles are another quick way of getting around in the city. If you have a bike but still need to take a bus, then look out for the Blue Rapid or Red Rapid bus services that have an extra carry rack.

Some good suburbs to explore include Barton, Forrest, Yarralumla, Red Hill, Lyons, and Deakin.  Barton is located just adjacent to the Capital Hill, and south to the centre of the city making it a prime destination for homeowners and renters alike. One of the reasons why it’s so coveted is its proximity to all the action while being tucked away from sight. If you are travelling by car then it will take you around six minutes to get to the city centre, and about twenty minutes by public transport. Barton is also home to many department buildings belonging to the government and sits very close to education facilities and parks. Great news if you have kids in the family.

If Barton fails to impress, Yarralumla is another option to look at. It is situated right on the banks of Lake Burley Griffin and is only a couple of minutes' drive to the city. If you are using public transport then it’s a twenty-minute journey. The suburb is amidst several parks that make evenings pleasant and quiet.

Another affluent suburb near to Capital Hill is Forrest. Similar to Barton and Yarralumla, it has some beautiful properties albeit at slightly higher rates. Some good schools are nearby so you won’t face problems searching for public facilities like libraries and shops. All these suburbs are either located around the Inner North or Inner South region which are fantastic areas to live.

More affordable neighbourhoods in the city

If you are looking for cheaper neighbourhoods, then a few places that might appeal to you include Tuggeranong, Gungahlin, and Weston Creek. They have modern housing available at very affordable rates while being well connected to major roads.

Belconnen has ample access to public facilities and amenities that will make your life very easy. If you are going to be working in Woden or the Parliamentary Triangle, then ensure that you pick up a place south of the lake as the commute will be shorter. You can try searching in Gungahlin too as its affordable and is connected with light rail service to the main city.

All these neighbourhoods lie in close vicinity to good schools like Trinity Christian, Caroline Chisholm, and Wanniassa so you needn’t worry about schooling options too much, you are spoiled for choice.

Buying property in Canberra

Buying property in Australia isn’t a problem as most of the red tape is done away with due to the fact you are from New Zealand. You don’t need any special permits from the FIRB or any government body so you can jump straight to the buying. You will need to be aware of possible taxes such as stamp duty, and also the Brightline Test in NZ if you own property there.

The median house prices in Canberra differ across suburbs and neighbourhoods, but apartments may be an pocket-friendly option. They are the most affordable in the market right now and their median price is around $472,000. If you want to purchase a house, the price shoots up to $753,000. Almost all suburbs and neighbourhoods have nice family-friendly apartments and are very safe. You can also easily get a mortgage as the rules are similar to New Zealand. The deposit will most likely be 10 to 20 percent of the property’s total value and you may need to pay additional stamp duty. Also, if you own any property overseas, you will also need to pay the Capital Gains Tax (CGT) but this delves into complex tax laws and exemptions may apply.

Renting property in Canberra

Surprisingly, some mortgage owners pay less on their weekly instalments as compared to weekly rents. Analysis has shown that the average weekly rent in Canberra is around $580 while weekly mortgages may be as low as $479.

A few neighbourhoods and suburbs that you can investigate include Barton, Coombs, Dickson, Ngunnwal, Kingston, and Wright. All of these areas have rental payments $50 or less than what you pay as a weekly mortgage. They are well connected to the city centre and you can cycle, drive or take the bus to almost anywhere in a relatively short amount of time.

Rental laws in Canberra are similar to those in NZ, and you’ll need a bond payment and enough cash in hand to pay several weeks’ rent in advance too.

Canberra is a great option for Kiwis

With all this in mind, it’ll be easy to find a nice place to settle down in. Don’t forget to ask potential neighbours about the available facilities in the area, and ensure that you visit the place at least once before making a decision. Once you have done all that, it will only be a matter of time before you become a true Canberran. Contact Ausmove to help with the logistics of the move- we store and ship your possessions for you, and can even help you move Fluffy and Fido across the ditch too.

Our Fixed Price Guarantee:

Our Fixed Price Guarantee:

Unlike many other movers, we will provide you with a fixed quote based on your specific list of items.

Should you wish to add or remove any items, we will adjust our fixed quote accordingly. Hence, no nasty surprises at the end of the move process.

Our Service Promise:

Our Service Promise:

  • We will listen to your individual needs and requirements.
  • We will provide a prompt, competitive quote with in one working day.
  • We will provide you with the highest level of service.
Free In-Home Consultation:

Free In-Home Consultation:

If you are moving the majority of your household items from New Zealand to Australia, one of Ausmoves experienced relocation consultants will visit your home to establish your specific packing requirements and any unique moving needs. Learn more about moving to Australia from NZ.

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