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Thanks for the info.suppose this would be a big plus on the job opportunities side for Many people then
So many factors make this hard to compare. People's perceptions of things like how expensive a place is can get stuck in time, when actually there can be quite a lot that changes in a short space of time. A few years ago, Adelaide wasn't in the top 300 most expensive cities in the world according to all the various reports and studies on this kind of thing (plenty of other Aus cities were in the top 100 of these) and the state government made much of this in its 'Make the Move' advertising to potential migrants. Then it started to appear in the top 200 ... then top 100 ...
In this year's Federal Government report, the State of Australian Cities 2011, Adelaide has made the biggest jump of any city (44 places), to 46th most expensive in the world. It also has the highest proportion of children in jobless families of all the Aus capital cities and, in mental health, the highest 'psychological distress levels' for adults. Of course, someone will be along any minute to point out that stats don't tell the full story, but so many indicators show that Adelaide is becoming an expensive place to live that it's important not to judge how it compares to elsewhere if the 'evidence' is more than a couple of years old because things will likely have changed.
On the plus side for Adelaide, most other Aus capitals are still above it in the expensive places lists (but with a much smaller gap), and it was recently voted the most liveable city in Australia by its residents.
Population-wise, Perth is growing much faster than Adelaide and there's an interesting dynamic happening when it comes to migration: SA struggles to get migrants here and, of those who do come, a bigger percentage then leave than is the case for other states. When they leave it's usually to go to Sydney and Brisbane. When migrants leave Sydney (and more migrants leave Sydney than any other city) their most popular destination is Perth. At current rates of growth, in just over 15 years, Perth will have a million more people than Adelaide. Some will find this a turn off, for others it will be an attraction. Either way, it shows that a lot of people are drawn to Perth.
Real estate in Perth is still more expensive than in Adelaide, but the gap has closed a lot in the last four or five years, and wages are generally higher in Perth ('average weekly cash earnings' for Adelaide is $936.90 = $48,719, while for Perth it's $1,183 = $61,516). Also, three quarters of Perth residents live within 20k of the CBD, and once you go outside of this property prices drop quite a bit (we looked at several very attractive properties about 30 mins drive of the CBD last time we were there – all going for less than we'd paid to have our house built in the Adelaide Hills).
Food and shopping I'd say are pretty much the same (the ABS 'average retail prices of selected items' compares prices of 60+ everyday items in the eight capital cities and this shows that in some cases – bread, potatoes, chocolate, rump steak, beer etc – Perth is cheaper, but in others – butter, chicken, eggs etc – Adelaide is cheaper). Certainly I've not noticed a difference when visiting Perth apart from the pubs are cheaper!
SA has higher utility bills (and electricity rose 17% in Aug), and these are planned to rise significantly higher each year for the next three years at least.
From an employment and revenues angle, whilst Olympic Dam is welcome (environmentally it might be less so if you analyse the impact statement properly!) it needs putting in perspective. If SA had another ten mines of its size on the go we still wouldn't have the mining activity or royalties of WA or Qld, and those states squeeze far more revenue out of the miners than SA has done out of BHP!
In terms of what the cities look like, Perth is a lot newer, shinier and high rise than Adelaide. Some will find it sterile because of this, but equally some will think Adelaide old and scruffy in comparison.
Weatherwise, Perth is similar - I'd suggest that in summer not quite as hot as Adelaide's hottest days, but generally you wouldn't notice the difference. Beachside suburbs probably get more consistent wind than most of ours. The beaches are great in Perth and I've found the sea much warmer than Adelaide, particularly spring/autumn.
I hope this helps!
I agree with everything that Jim has written above. I have lived many years in both Adelaide & Perth.
Not too sure that the pubs are any cheaper!
Better climate in Perth & certainly less to pay for utility bills.