Mira Almasri, a 35-year-old single mother, is renting a one-bedroom apartment with her two children aged nine and 14 in Mosman on Sydney’s well-heeled north shore for $600 a week.
‘In Sydney everything is expensive. Even to breathe is expensive,’ she said.
Ms Almasri, who works in a bridal shop in central Sydney, said she had given up all hope of owning a Sydney home.
‘It’s impossible to buy in Sydney,’ she said.
Stephanie Zizer, 35, first got on the property ladder four years ago
‘Even if you earn loads of money it’s still hard. All my friends who have bought houses in the last two years say they are not happy at all because they are paying high interest rates.’
‘I get around $1,000 a week after tax and I’m paying $600 for a one-bedroom apartment. Add on food, petrol, electricity – it’s too much.’
Ms Almasri, who is originally from Lebanon, has not been able to return home or travel anywhere overseas for five years now.
‘I can’t put any money on the side,’ she said.
Ms Almasri, who has been in Australia for 14 years, is looking for a three-bedroom house for herself and her two kids.
In her current unit, she sleeps on a sofa bed in the living room while her children share the sole bedroom containing two single beds.
Santos Tiwari, 35, is an entrepreneur who runs several coffee stands across Sydney and has just opened a dumpling bar in a laneway off George Street in the CBD.
Zoe Janssen (pictured) is working as a paralegal while she studies law
Santos Tiwari (pictured) has just opened the Dumpling & Momo bar in central Sydney
He bought a five-bedroom house in Adelaide in 2015 which he rents out for $550 dollars a week.
But he says property in his home city is absurdly priced.
‘It would be nice to buy one in Sydney but not the amount you have to pay now – it’s just ridiculous,’ he said.
‘I’d probably buy somewhere else in Australia rather than in Sydney.’
Mr Tiwari lives in a two-bedroom house with a harbour view in Gladesville, in Sydney’s lower north shore, which costs $700 a week.
Jacob Burrows, 22, an electrician from Perth, Western Australia, hopes to buy a property within the next 12 months despite interest rates being at their highest since 2012.
He has done a lot of research, including reading a book about a man who owned 30 properties by the age of 30.
‘It’s fairly hard at the moment because everything is so expensive,’ he said.
Mira Almasri (pictured), a single mother-of-two has given up all hope of home ownership in Sydney because the city is ‘too expensive’
Jacob Burrows (pictured), an electrician from Western Australia, has studied the property market and hopes to buy in the next year
‘A couple of years ago I wanted to try and understand the market to appreciate what’s involved in buying a house. I spent a year or so learning the housing market and now I’m going to try to look for cheaper houses instead of buying one big one so that I can have a smaller deposit.’
Mr Burrows, who is visiting his girlfriend in Sydney, said buying property in the NSW capital was out of the question.
‘It’s ridiculous,’ he said. ‘Buying one small place here would probably get you two houses in Perth.’
Mr Burrows, who now earns $100,000 a year, went into his trade as soon as he left school at the age of 17 and is looking at places he could renovate himself.
‘You don’t want to over compromise,’ he said. ‘I took a step back and weighed up the quality of my life and I realised if I rented a smaller house I could have a better style of living, I could travel more etc.’
He hopes to enter the property market without help from his parents.
‘I’d rather do it myself than having to worry about mum and dad,’ he said.
Stephanie Zizer, 35, has lived in Sydney her whole life.
Mrs Zizer, who is a full-time mum to her two children, first got on the property ladder four years ago.
She and her husband, who runs a waste and recycling business, are paying off a four-bedroom house in pricey Vaucluse.
But the recent interest hikes have impacted them.
‘Massively,’ she said. ‘There’s obviously been quite a few increases and it’s affecting everyone at the minute.”
Before she bought with her husband, Mrs Zizer rented in the eastern suburbs.
‘It’s always been expensive to live in the east but it was manageable then,’ she said.
Garth Johnstone, 25, moved to Sydney from the outskirts of London three-and-a-half years ago.
Mr Johnstone works as a roofer and shares a place in Darlinghurst in the city’s inner east.
‘My rent is $450 a week right now but might be going up soon with all the price increases,’ he said.
‘Some of my mates’ have already gone up to $500 a week and I’ve heard of some hostels where you pay $450 for a bed in an eight-man dorm.’
‘It’s a crazy price, especially for travellers trying to set up a life over here.’
Mr Garth, who is is training for his roof plumbing licence, is working towards permanent residency and plans to settle down in Australia.
He is saving towards buying a place within the next five years.
Garth Johnstone (pictured) plans to put down roots in Australia after moving from the UK
‘The market has skyrocketed recently,’ he said.
‘It’s pretty dreadful to live here but I don’t really see myself moving to far out west but obviously there’s a lot cheaper rent and more jobs as well so it might have to be done.’
Zoe Janssen, 21, is working as a paralegal in central Sydney while she completes her law degree and lives with her parents in Roseville on the north shore .
‘I’ve got no immediate plans start renting because everything is paid for at home and I’m saving money,’ she said.
When she is ready to buy, her dream location would be somewhere near the beach in Sydney.
‘Really anywhere you can get at this point,’ she said.