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Canberra, located within the Australian Capital Territory (ACT), is the capital of Australia, and offers a range of accommodation options to suit all budgets. The city, which is home to many government employees, offers great culture, history, and easy access to the beautiful countryside. It is important to note that public transportation in Canberra is limited, with most residents preferring the convenience of owning their own vehicles.

To find housing in Canberra, you need to determine in advance the type of accommodation you prefer and what your budget will allow. As in all Australian cities, rents are advertised by weekly rates, rather than monthly, which is different than in other countries. Generally, the rent will then be paid to the landlord or rental agencies either fortnightly or monthly.

Canberra's neighbourhoods

Rental prices vary depending on the geographic location of the property, the area and number of rooms. The most popular areas in terms of accommodation in Canberra are Forest, Griffith, Redhill, Manuka, Kingston and Barton. These neighbourhoods are popular with expats, and offer ease of access to the city, retail and dining options, and have a range of housing options available.

The surrounding districts of Woden, Belconnen, and Tuggeranong are also popular. These areas offer shopping and dining, as well as schools, hospitals, parks. The living environment is pleasant although the cost of living can be high.

Rental market

In Canberra, rent is paid every two or four weeks by bank transfer or deposit. Generally, when signing a contract, or lease, to let the property, you will also need to pay one month’s bond as a security deposit, as well as two or four weeks of rent up-front. Rental periods are most commonly for six months or one year, but you can sometimes negotiate longer or shorter durations.

Flats can be found both furnished or unfurnished, and may or may not include appliances such as a washing machine, dryer, or refrigerator, so it is always good to double check this before signing a contract. It is also good to check if pets are allowed, as many landlords do not allow cats and dogs.

Landlords tend to include the water costs as part of your rent, but tenants are responsible for electricity, gas, and internet/cable. Canberra can get very cold in the winter months, and very hot in the summer, so the climate may impact your heating and electricity bills. If any damages are done to the property, the tenant may be responsible, so it is important to let your rental agency or landlord know if anything goes wrong.

Rental properties in Canberra can be in high demand, due to a large number of residents employed by the government, so it is helpful to begin your search before you move. Most vacancies are advertised online, so that is the best place to start.


Rental prices can vary greatly, depending on factors such as location and size. It is best to consult online rental sites or a real estate agent to get a feel for what current rental prices are like. Flat shares, or renting a room within a house or flat, can work out to be a lower cost per week. Flat sharing is also a good option for students and backpackers, or those who do not wish to be tied into a long rental contract.

Buying a house in Canberra

If you want to buy a house, some restrictions may apply if you are not a permanent resident in Australia. Generally, temporary residents can purchase one property for their sole residential use, but are not allowed to purchase an investment property. However, this may depend on your visa type. After permanent residency is obtained, this creates more possibilities in terms of investment properties. To know more about the regulations regarding the purchase of real estate, please visit the Foreign Investment Review Board website.

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