Country Road: Why 1 in 5 city dwelling Aussies1 want a slice of regional living

Many of us have romantic notions about leaving the big smoke and ‘heading bush’. It’s no secret that regional living can offer plenty of pluses – from a more relaxed pace of life to a rich sense of community. And right now, a growing number of Australians are turning their dreams into reality.

Article published 26 May 2021

A new survey by the Regional Australia Institute2 (RAI) found one-in-five city residents are looking to move to the regions, with more than half wanting to make the jump within the next 12 months. 

For almost seven out of ten of these city escapees, the key appeal of taking the country road is to reduce their cost of living. 

Amazing regional housing affordability

As home values rise across state capitals, regional areas can offer considerably more affordable property prices.

As Table 1 below shows, at the end of April 2021  buyers could save up to $394,572 by choosing to buy in a regional area rather than a metropolitan location. 

Table 1 City v country home values

State

Capital city median home value

Regional median home value

Price difference city v country

QLD

Brisbane      $558,295

$436,120

$122,175

NSW

Sydney         $950,457

$555,885

$394,572

VIC

Melbourne  $744,679

$457,194

$287,485

TAS

Hobart         $561,254

$379,954

$181,300

SA

Adelaide      $492,285

$264,487

$227,798

WA

Perth            $513,598

$360,455

$153,143

Source: CoreLogic Hedonic Home Index 1 May 2021

Country areas dish up exceptional gains

Country areas are no slouch when it comes to rising home prices. The Real Estate Institute of Australia3 says the pandemic, coupled with the growing trend to work from home, has “amplified the attraction” of regional property markets, and rising demand has seen home values rise dramatically.

Table 2 shows how regional values have skyrocketed over the past year. This seems to support the preference shift away from higher density housing and a rise in flexible  working arrangements.

Australia’s regional housing market has far outpaced value growth across Australia’s capital cities in the last 12 months, rising 13.0% compared with a 6.4% gain in capital city values.

Table 2 Rise in home values: City v country – 12 months to May 2021

City

12-month rise in capital city median home value

Region

12-month rise in regional median home value

Brisbane   

8.3%

QLD

12.6%

Sydney

7.5%

NSW

15.6%

Melbourne

2.2%

VIC

11.3%

Hobart

13.8%

TAS

16.6%

Adelaide  

10.3

SA

13.2%

Perth  

6.7%

WA

-0.6%

Source: CoreLogic Hedonic Home Index 1 May 2021

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Making regional living even more appealing, over the next ten years the Federal Government has committed to invest $110 billion in transport infrastructure across Australia.4 In addition, the $93 million Regional Connectivity Program is supporting improved internet services outside the big cities.5 The upshot is that these days, you’re likely to be able to work just as effectively from Mildura as you are from Melbourne – all while enjoying vastly more affordable home prices.

If you’re looking to make your next move and secure your slice of regional Australia, speak with your local Mortgage Choice broker today and get the ball rolling. They can help you find out what lending solutions could be available to you - so you can start living the ‘tree change’ dream sooner!

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Posted in: Property market


1 https://reia.asn.au/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/Media-Release-24-February-2021-REGIONAL-PREFERENCES-MEANS-REGIONAL-REFORM-FOR-HOUSING-IS-NEEDED.pdf 
2 https://reia.asn.au/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/Media-Release-24-February-2021-REGIONAL-PREFERENCES-MEANS-REGIONAL-REFORM-FOR-HOUSING-IS-NEEDED.pdf 
3 https://reia.asn.au/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/Media-Release-24-February-2021-REGIONAL-PREFERENCES-MEANS-REGIONAL-REFORM-FOR-HOUSING-IS-NEEDED.pdf
4
https://investment.infrastructure.gov.au/#:~:text=The%20Australian%20Government%20is%20investing,under%20the%20Infrastructure%20Investment%20Program
5
 https://www.communications.gov.au/what-we-do/internet/regional-connectivity-program