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Sydney real estate and cost of living

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Threads in this forum about cost of dining hinted at the high cost of living in Sydney.

Tourists are used to facing high prices in tourist areas of most cities but it seems the suburbs also have similar prices as the CBD.

An ice cream cone is about $5, which is more than you'd pay in Italy, for instance.

The thing that brought it home was the Waverly walks I did yesterday. Thanks to pointers in this forum, I did the Bondi to Bronte and then the Waverly Cliffs Walk northwards from north of Bondi towards Watsons Bay.

Particularly on the latter, I noticed a lot of well-placed homes off Military Road. These seemed to be good-sized homes, on quiet residential streets, but seemed to be at least 20 years old. There could be views of the city or overlooking the ocean.

I saw some real estate signs and when I got back, I Googled and was floored to find that homes in the area were selling for $2 to $3.5 million AUD.

No doubt it was due to the scenic location (though I wonder about the commute) but as far as I could tell, these homes didn't occupy particularly big lots. The front doors were just a few feet from the sidewalk and they didn't seem to have much in the way of backyards.

Apparently the real estate bubble never did burst in Oz and as far as I could find, median income in NSW is about $70,000AUD? Is it the wealth effect from appreciated real estate that makes it easy for Sydneysiders to spend about $20 for simple meals (burgers, chips and drink)?

I know the Australian economy has fared well with the exports of raw materials to China, resulting in low unemployment -- which makes you wonder why is the incumbent Labour govt. expected to lose in the next elections?

Is there any sense that real estate prices could crash as they have in other countries?

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