Plan Ahead to Line Up Housing in Australia

Australia By Elizabeth Rozas February 3, 2023

Australia continues to be a popular destination for immigrants all around the world. Excellent job opportunities with good wages means you can expect a high standard of living. Good schools and universities also makes Australia an excellent place to bring up a family. However, finding affordable accommodation can be tricky, so it’s vital to plan ahead.

Finding housing in Australia

If you are planning to move to Australia, one of the most important things you’ll need to do in advance is find somewhere to live. In the past, Australia has suffered from a lack of rental housing stock which has affected many of the larger cities. With demand for rental properties outstripping supply, this has led to a rental crisis pushing monthly costs ever higher [1].

Finding temporary accommodation

Housing for immigrants in Australia is likely to be on a temporary basis for the first few weeks while you find your way around. It can be tricky to secure permanent housing before you arrive because you need to be able to attend property viewings at fairly short notice. There are a few websites you can use to locate your temporary accommodation including AirBnB, and you could always stay in budget hotels for a few weeks until you can find a more permanent place to live. If you already have a job lined up, check with your employer to see if they offer any help finding temporary or permanent housing.

Finding permanent accommodation

Most immigrants to Australia rent properties, although buying is, of course, an option. It may take you a few months to work out exactly where you want to settle permanently, so short term rentals are very popular. Renting a property is straightforward enough if you can find the right place at the right price and you can move quickly to make a decision. To make this process easier:

  • Register with the real estate agents in the areas you are interested in.
  • Speak to the agents a couple of times a week so you are top of their minds when a new property comes on the market.
  • Have all your documentation ready in advance so you can make a quick decision when you see the right place.

Short term rentals can be found on popular websites such as and, and it’s worth checking out local Facebook groups or other property related communities.

Documents required for rental agreements

The Australian rental market operates on a points system for verifying identification (ID). Most rental agreements will require 100 points of ID, but the points value assigned to each form of ID may vary across the country and different real estate agencies. For example, your passport may give you 30-50 points depending on the agent. Other documentation includes a driver’s license (10-30 points), a Medicare card (10-30 points), a bank statement or credit card statement (10-15 points) and proof of income (20-30 points) [2]. You may also be required to show proof of employment such as a job offer letter or employment contract.

Rental agencies often also want information about your rental history. If you are immigrating to Australia, you won’t have a rental history in Australia so you should explain your accommodation history in your cover letter and provide contact details for an agent or landlord in your home country.

For a detailed Australian Migration Checklist and timeline on how to plan to move to Australia, check out the Thinking Australia website.

Preparing your finances for moving to Australia

When moving to Australia, you’ll need to open a bank account and you’ll need to convert your money into Australian dollars; although there’s no minimum balance that you are required to have unless you are moving on a retirement visa [3].

Consider cost of living in Australia

The cost of living in Australia can be higher than many other countries. However, generally wages are also higher than the country you’re emigrating from, so the standard of living is typically good. Sydney and Melbourne are the most expensive cities to live in so if you aren’t constrained by your employment and there are suitable job opportunities in other places, it’s worth considering the smaller, more affordable cities.

Sending money to and from Australia

Sending money ahead of your arrival in Australia means you won’t have to worry about finding competitive exchange facilities when you land. The Western Union money transfer app enables you to make easy currency exchanges or you can go online at our website. Alternatively, you can also make or receive in-person money transfers from one of our agent locations across Australia, including many Australia Post locations.

If you require further help to make cross-border payments, check out our FAQs.