So the couple made a drastic decision to leave their family behind in Sydney and move to Brisbane, escaping just before the city was plunged into its latest lockdown.
Ms Cairns’ husband was able to relocate with his job at NRMA, while she has taken on the role of general manager at her sister’s US-based loungewear and bedding company called Oddbird, which grew 800 per cent during the pandemic.
The couple are looking to buy a property in Brisbane for less money, more room and closer to the city compared to Sydney. Picture: SuppliedSource:Instagram
The couple are looking at four to five bedroom houses 10 minutes from Brisbane city in suburbs like Camp Hill, Cannon Hill and Morningside and can’t believe the difference compared to their Sydney search.
“These houses are gorgeous. They are big and roomy and have kitchens with walk in pantries and kitchen islands and we are looking at $1.1 million to $1.3 million. So it’s significantly more affordable and offers a greater quality of life, especially if we are going to work from home. We want to be comfortable and create a space that is a working space away from the living space and we don’t have that option in Sydney,” she explained.
“Where would you buy in that price range in Sydney that allows you to have those separate facets of life, to have some calm and stability and a bit of break between the two worlds that now have merged at home.”
Even renting while they look for their forever home is a huge difference to the tiny apartment with a mould problem they had in Sydney before moving in with her parents.
They are paying $735 a week in Brisbane for a property with a backyard the size of some people’s homes in Sydney, as well as three bedrooms and two bathrooms, said Ms Cairns.
“We don’t need to take the dog to the park we just throw ball up and down in the backyard, there’s a two storey garage and that has a mezzanine area, and it's so big we don’t have enough furniture to fill it,” she said.
“For $735 you just would never get that in Sydney and it’s 10 minutes from the city, so it’s significantly different.”
The family are excited for a fresh start. Picture: SuppliedSource:Instagram
Despite missing friends and family, Ms Cairns said the family is excited about the fresh start and the potential for a better quality of life with a bigger house and more space.
“I’m quite bitter about Sydney and feel quite jaded … It shouldn’t allowed to be that expensive and (the government) are pretty much knowingly saying that first home buyers can’t get into market and I don’t understand what’s supposed to happen – it seems like a real joke,” she added.
With plans to launch Oddbird in Australia, including a retail store and warehouse space, this has also been a financial win, with prices much more affordable in Brisbane, she said.
Sydney’s housing affordability has definitely become worse and it’s a continuing trend, according to Dr Shane Geha, managing director at property group EG Advisory.
“Real estate prices have outstripped wage growth by a very long way in the last decade. If you look at housing, I’m 52 but when I was a child of 13 or 15, it was three times the average wage earnings and today it’s close to 12 or 13 times,” he noted.
“In Sydney, the average house is around $1.3 million, the average apartment is at $800,000, and there are a multiplicity of fees and charges charged by local and state governments. Fees and charges account for around 30 per cent of the price of a new dwelling and it increases the price of new dwellings and lifts the price of alternatives, such as an existing dwelling.”
Dr Shane Geha, managing director at property group EG Advisory said housing affordability was getting increasingly worse in Sydney. Picture: SuppliedSource:Supplied
Taxes in particular are an enormous cost, he added, giving the example of an $800,000 brand new apartment in Epping attracting $240,000 in fees and charges.
He argued that land taxes and stamp duty bring no immediate benefit to home buyers and should be abolished.
Dr Geha predicted that housing will continue to climb in value by 10 to 15 per cent and that federal grants like the First Home Buyers scheme should be doubled to at least $50,000 to reflect the reality of prices.
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