Aussies rushing for homes in the bush

More Australians are looking to move out of the city than ever before, according to new findings.

The survey, released by the Regional Australia Institute, found that 20 per cent of city dwellers would like to relocate to the country, and more than half want to do so within the next 12 months.

Real Estate Institute of Australia (REIA) President Adrian Kelly says that affordability, space, and the work/life balance are the driving factors behind the shift.

“Affordability is a key factor in the regions being seen as better environments in which to raise a family and live a healthier, happier lifestyle,” Adrian says.

“The pandemic and ability to work from home have amplified the attraction.”

The five-bedroom house at 489 Tinderbox Road, Tinderbox, Tasmania sold for $1.2 million in December last year.

It’s not all good news though. There are concerns that rural and regional areas don’t have the housing supply or infrastructure in place to support a concerted shift ‘out bush’.

Adrian says this deficit is increasing the cost of buying and renting in rural areas, and it’s affecting investors and locals alike.

“This will cause issues for long term locals who have been used to lower rents and availability of choice which are both now on the decline,” he says. “More work needs to be done about supply and this obviously includes building more homes.”

The old church at 1042 Middle Arm Road, Middle Arm, NSW sold at auction for $350,000 this month and will be converted into a family home.

Belle Property Daylesford Director Will Walton says these numbers are backed up by what he’s seeing in the market. 

Located an hour and a half north of Melbourne, Daylesford has historically relied on tourism as its primary industry, and now that’s driving a property boom.

“Buyers are often tourists first and once they experience the area they come back and decide this is the place they want to move to,” Will says.

“Previously most buyers we interacted with were 50 and over, but now, especially with the increase in work from home arrangements, we have a much broader mix of younger people and families.”

311 Camerons Lane, Beremboke, Victoria has just been listed with a price guide of $1.35 – $1.45 million.

Will agrees with the REIA that modern workplace arrangements have had a positive impact on the market.

Where the region’s biggest demographic would have once been investment buyers or weekender properties, Will says first home buyers and young families are moving to Daylesford in droves.

“Out here properties are generally larger,” he says. “In Melbourne you might only be able to rent a small house or buy an apartment, but here you get a whole garden and more room in the house, so it’s a better life – and a better work environment if you’re working from home.

“We’ve got a whole sector of people moving here and buying a home and loving it.”

This 98-acre property in North Maleny, Queensland, has been listed for $5.5 million.

While Daylesford’s property market is seeing some healthy growth, Will says the community is facing the same shortage in real estate and services seen nationwide.

“Our tourism industry runs all year round which is one of the biggest benefits for property investment, but at the same time we have an extreme shortage of properties for lease.”

“Government amenities and infrastructure aren’t keeping up with the pace of movement, and there’s a lack of skilled tradespeople.”

“That’s not to say people are deterred; you adjust to situations as required, especially in such a beautiful part of the world.”

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