NZ vs Australia: Who has cheaper cost of living?

NZ vs Australia: Who has cheaper cost of living?

Latest reports say Auckland's skyrocketing house prices have now overtaken Sydney's. But a new survey reveals a lot of other things are more expensive across the ditch.

Higher wages and better job prospects have traditionally motivated Kiwis to make the move to Australia, and for many Kiwis the Aussie dream is still alive. But the reality may not be all that it's cracked up to be.

"It would be nice to have a good lifestyle, and I'm not sure if we can have that in Australia," says New Zealander Francesa Omar.

She has had to tighten her belt.

"The cost of living in Australia has meant we've absolutely scaled back on a number of things," says Ms Omar.

For her, there's no more pricey eating out, and Ms Omar has replaced a car with cheaper, ride-sharing options.

But the main cost difference is real estate.

"Property prices are really central to the cost of most goods and services in Australia," says Dr Rohan Welsh.

In New Zealand, weekly rent is 30 percent cheaper -- down 31 percent -- while utilities like electricity are also cheaper -- down 8 percent.

But Kiwis do pay more for their internet access -- up 7 percent -- and mobile phone bills -- up 25 percent.

Even factoring in New Zealand's 15 percent GST, grocery prices are around 7 percent less -- down 7 percent according to source NUMBEO.

Ecostore dishwashing liquid is almost $1 cheaper in New Zealand. Kellogg's Corn Flakes are 50c cheaper and Dove soap is around $1 less.

"Australians over time have become really immune to being gouged and paying more for a broad range of goods and services," says Dr Welsh.

So is a higher cost of living enough to turn the tides across the Tasman? Last year, for the first time since 1991, more Australians arrived in New Zealand than Kiwis moved across the ditch.

It could be a sign that the tide is starting to turn.