The view from Mt Ainslie lookout over Canberra. Photo: Karleen Minney
Canberra has been named as the 26th most expensive city in the world, but one of the cheapest major cities in Australia to live in, by a website that crowdsources living expenses from around the globe.
Sydney was the most expensive of the Australian cities and the 11th-priciest city in the world and 25 per cent cheaper than first-placed London, based on groceries, electronics, rent and other everyday items, according to expatistan.com.
Canberra came in as 15 per cent cheaper to live in than Sydney, and ranked as the sixth most-expensive Australian city in the list, behind Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth and Adelaide. There were no other Australian cities included.
Living in Canberra was also 35 per cent cheaper than London, the most expensive city on the list.
The website sources information from almost 200,000 users to calculate the average price of drinks, food and accommodation, claiming to cover 1600 cities around the world. While the data is, by definition, movable and the website FAQs leave it to users to fix figures that are wrong - it relies on daily input from its users - the founder of the site, Gerardo Robledillo, claims a degree of fidelity.
''The index is updated every time that a user enters a new price for any city,'' he said. ''As a reference, we get between 500 and 1000 new prices every day.''
Included in the index for Canberra were food items, like the “daily menu in the business district” ($17) and a bottle of good quality red table wine ($17), housing costs like monthly rent for “85m2 furnished accommodation in EXPENSIVE area” ($2410) and hourly rate for cleaning help ($28), and entertainment costs like a cocktail in a “downtown club” ($15), and a pub dinner for two ($54).
Entertainment was generally seen as more expensive in Canberra than in Sydney and Melbourne, while Canberra fared well against all the other Australian cities in food and transport costs.
with Charmaine Wong