Sydney residents feel cost of living squeeze: survey

This was a better result than peer cities, particularly Toronto, where only 15 percent said life was better and 44 percent said life was worse, and satisfaction was significantly lower.


“We’re ahead of the others and that’s wonderful,” said Veiszadeh. “The big outlier is still affordable, decent housing. That really beats this key [lifestyle] quality we have [and] starting to get people thinking about moving out of Sydney.”

This year’s poll showed consistent support for building more homes to combat high housing costs. When asked if they would support denser housing near and above train stations “if it means the government can preserve green and open space in the suburbs,” nearly 60 percent of respondents said yes, and only 14 percent were strongly opposed .

This will be a key consideration for governments, planners and developers as more subway lines open around Sydney in the years to come, offering regular, high-capacity services with the potential for higher density. Formal building permits were granted on Friday for Metro West’s nine stations, including Pyrmont, Five Dock and North Strathfield.

Our commute has returned, but not to pre-pandemic levels. The proportion who do not commute at all fell from 30 percent to 12 percent, while the proportion who commute four or more days a week rose from 42 percent to 53 percent. A third of Sydneysiders commuted five days a week.


The survey of 1,000 Sydney adults was conducted in December and reflected the city’s demographics. 40 percent of respondents said they intend to buy a vehicle within the next five years, and of these, 70 percent said they would be more likely or very likely to buy an electric vehicle.

On the contentious issue of Sydney nightlife – hit by lockout laws and then COVID – the biggest criticism uncovered in the survey was affordability. Only 35 percent of respondents agreed the offer was affordable, while 36 percent disagreed.

Perceptions of safety at night differed significantly with age and location. Almost 70 per cent of people aged 18 to 34 said Sydney’s nightlife was safe, but among those over 50 the figure was 45 per cent. While on the north coast and eastern suburbs more than 60 per cent of people said the city’s nightlife was safe, in western Sydney the proportion fell to 42 per cent.

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Callan Tansill

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