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Cost of living in Adelaide: What to expect in 2024

Moving interstate

Are you considering moving to Adelaide? Whether you're relocating for a new job, school, or just a change of scenery, understanding the cost of living in Adelaide is crucial. Adelaide is one of the most vibrant and attractive cities in our great land. This guide will provide you with an overview of what you can expect in terms of expenses in this charming city.

First, let’s talk climate 

South Australia is the driest state in Australia. Its greatest climatic influence comes from the Great Australian Bight which in turn receives its influence from the Southern Ocean. This translates to quite mild wet winters at 15-16 deg. C and quite hot dry summer temps averaging 29 deg. C but it can get up into the 40s. Its climate is best described as Mediterranean. Annual mean rainfall is 540 mm.  

What this means for cost of living: you’ll want both heating and air conditioning throughout the year.

Housing costs in Adelaide

Housing is typically one of the most significant components of the cost of living. Adelaide is often seen as more affordable compared to other major Australian cities like Sydney or Melbourne. You can find a range of housing options from city apartments to suburban homes. 

Renting costs

The cost of renting a two-bedroom apartment or unit in Adelaide averages around $470 per week, while similar accommodations outside the city centre are about $1,400 per month. House rentals in Adelaide on average are approx $640 per week and about $620 for a 3 bedroom home. All figures are as of May 2024.  

Renting carries with it the disadvantage of a very low vacancy rate at just 0.6% but may be a good option until you find your feet and establish yourselves in your new location. It also allows you the freedom to explore where you might like to focus your long-term vision. Renting in Adelaide, by the way, works out to be about 35% cheaper than in Sydney. 


If you're looking to buy, the median house price in Adelaide is approximately $900,000 and about $810,000 for a 3-bedroom home which is quite reasonable by Australian standards. Especially in comparison to the East Coast capitals.

Owning, of course, has a much more sense of permanency and is best researched thoroughly before leaping into the market. It does of course attract growth in your investment as the value of properties increases but it is worth taking time to make a good appraisal of both your own needs as a family and your aspirations both educationally and career-wise.  

Utilities and connectivity

When moving to a new city, setting up utilities and internet is a top priority. In Adelaide, the monthly utility bill for a standard 4-person household (including electricity, heating, cooling, water, and garbage) averages about $400. 

Internet services are well-established, with various providers offering competitive packages around $60-70 per month for high-speed connections.

Transportation costs

Adelaide offers an efficient public transport system, including buses, trains, and trams, making it convenient to navigate the city without a car. A monthly public transport pass called a Metro card makes access to the system far more convenient for you the traveller. 

If you prefer driving, you should consider the cost of fuel and parking, which can add significantly to your monthly expenses. Adelaide is a large enough city that if you work on one side and live on the other, you may be spending a good bit on petrol.

Fuel costs

As of May 2024, diesel fuel was about $1.94 and unleaded $1.75 per litre which is comparable to the east coast of Australia, especially considering the transport costs associated.

Groceries and eating out

Adelaide Central Market Stall

The cost of groceries in Adelaide is comparable to other Australian cities though some items work out at an average of 5-6% dearer probably due to transport costs as most produce comes from the east. Expect to spend around AUD 300-400 per month on groceries for a single person. 

Family costs are naturally dependent on the size of your family but budget $1000 per month at the least for a two child two adult family.

Food Glorious Food

Central Markets in Adelaide city centre is a foodies' cultural extravaganza where every conceivable delicacy can be savoured. It is but one of the many foodies delights in this thriving city and you will be seduced by the variety and the ambience that the culinary artisans have created throughout Adelaide and its environs. 

Dining out is a popular option with so much to choose from. For the more frugal of us, meals at inexpensive restaurants average around $20, and a three-course meal for two at a mid-range restaurant costs about $80.

School & uni costs

Flinders University, University of South Australia and the University of Adelaide are the three foremost universities in Adelaide. All have a very solid reputation and one has world-renowned status. 

The best high schools rated are Glenunga and Pembroke Colleges but Adelaide boasts some of the top educational institutions in Australia so do your research before committing. Costs vary considerably of course so do your homework.

Using furniture removalist services in Adelaide

When relocating to Adelaide, using furniture removalist services can greatly ease the transition. Professional movers not only handle your belongings with care but also help streamline the entire moving process, allowing you to focus on settling into your new home with a minimum of fuss. It’s advisable to get quotes from several furniture removalist services to find the best deal that fits your budget and needs while being reliable and trustworthy with your treasured possessions.

Summary: Is Adelaide affordable?

Overall, the cost of living in Adelaide offers a compelling argument for those seeking a balance between urban convenience and affordable living. With its lower housing costs, comprehensive public transport, expanding employment opportunities and vibrant lifestyle, Adelaide remains an attractive destination for families, students, and professionals alike. 

In summary:

Renting: $470-640 per week

Utilities, etc: $200-400 per week 

Groceries: $400-1000 per month

Fuel may be $50 - $100 per week depending on your car and how often you drive. 

If you're planning your move, remember to consider professional furniture removalist services with longstanding experience in the furniture removalist industry to make your transition as smooth as possible.

Happy Moving!

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