Soaring Upfront Costs: Another Barrier to Ownership





While the steep rise in Australian house prices has caught many an eye, a less discussed but equally challenging issue is quietly exacerbating the homeownership crisis: the significant increase in upfront costs. A recent investigation by PropertyWiki sheds light on this underreported aspect, revealing an average increase of 18.62% in crucial services like building and pest inspections, conveyancing, and legal fees across Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane from 2022 to 2024.

This data doesn’t come from distant analysts or speculative market watchers. Instead, it’s drawn from the experiences of local service providers in these cities, who anonymously shared historical pricing for services tied to typical 3-bedroom homes in inner-city areas. It’s a ground-level view of the financial hurdles that prelude the actual purchase of a home.

Unpacking the Upfront Cost Dilemma

Why does this matter? These upfront costs are more than just additional expenses; they’re barriers that every prospective buyer faces, directly impacting their pocketbook. Each time someone attempts to buy a home, these costs accumulate, potentially sidelining buyers who might otherwise be ready to take the plunge into homeownership.

Among these expenses, conveyancing and legal fees stand out for their steep climb, particularly in Brisbane, where they’ve surged by 28.15%. These are not optional extras but necessary parts of the home-buying process, making their rising costs a significant concern for anyone looking to buy.

Breakdown of Cost Increases by City


Building and Pest Inspection Costs: Increased from $415 in 2022 to $466 in 2024, marking a 12.29% rise. This indicates a significant cost pressure for prospective buyers to ensure the property’s condition.

Conveyancing and Legal Fees: Saw a substantial increase from $812 in 2022 to $973 in 2024, equating to a 19.83% hike. This considerable growth in legal and conveyancing fees highlights the escalating costs of the legal aspects of purchasing a home.


Building and Pest Inspection Costs: Rose from $392 in 2022 to $451 in 2024, a 15.05% increase. This growth reflects the rising expenses associated with property condition assessments in Melbourne.

Conveyancing and Legal Fees: Increased from $798 in 2022 to $951 in 2024, representing a 19.17% rise. The jump in these costs points to a growing financial burden on Melbourne buyers in the legal transfer of property.


Building and Pest Inspection Costs: Saw an increase from $378 in 2022 to $443 in 2024, which is a 17.20% rise. This significant upturn suggests a higher financial barrier for Brisbane buyers in assessing property conditions.

Conveyancing and Legal Fees: Experienced the most dramatic increase from $753 in 2022 to $965 in 2024, a 28.15% hike. This remarkable rise in Brisbane highlights the particularly steep climb in legal costs associated with buying a home in the city.

The findings from the latest research represent yet another hurdle for Australians striving to secure a spot on the property ladder. As if navigating the already steep climb of high property prices wasn’t challenging enough, prospective homeowners now face the added obstacle of significantly increased upfront costs. This additional financial burden complicates the journey towards homeownership, making it an even more daunting task for many.