More buyers seeking trees over sea as exodus to lifestyle regions continues

December 1, 2023 BY

Hotspotting Director Terry Ryder said in a period where Australia has just recorded its highest population growth in two decades, many are opting for the bush rather than the beach for affordability and lifestyle reasons

The days of interstate migrants packing up and heading to the beach appear to have flatlined, with more and more buyers seeking out inland affordable regions to call home, according to new research and analysis.

The Hotspotting Exodus to Lifestyle – National Top 10 report for the next six months identified the top affordable lifestyle locations with the best upside potential.

The latest research has found a mix of affordable locations in every major state where buyers can purchase their next homes in the months ahead.

The report considered the combined power of the following property metrics:

  • Rising sales activity, with potential for capital growth
  • Plenty of houses at affordable prices
  • Strong infrastructure, both existing and planned, and
  • Proximity to major jobs nodes.

Hotspotting Director Terry Ryder said in a period where Australia had just recorded its highest population growth in two decades, many were opting for the bush rather than the beach for affordability and lifestyle reasons.

“Western Australia and Queensland continue to be national leaders in price growth, while the two biggest states on population – NSW and Victoria – continue to lose population through internal migration.

“The biggest part of that trend is people leaving our two biggest cities and moving to smaller cities or to regional areas.

That’s been happening in significant numbers for the past decade and was not caused by the COVID19 lockdowns, as some media reports have suggested.”

Hotspotting general manager Tim Graham said those cities were still growing because of overseas migrants coming into Australia and focusing on Sydney and Melbourne, but their growth rates are dragged down because of the number of residents leaving to move to other parts of the country.

“Queensland and WA are the biggest recipients of this internal migration and it’s why these two states have such consistently strong population growth rates,” Mr Graham said.

“And the latest population figures from the ABS show that the trend is continuing.

“Australians are on the move in search of a different lifestyle at an affordable price, enabled in large part by technology which has allowed more and more people to work remotely.”

Mr Ryder said population data showed all of the biggest growth areas in Australia over the past five years had been in the regions.

“That data showed that the fastest-growing locations among the 50 biggest cities in Australia in the past five years were the Warragul-Drouin region in Victoria, the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, Geelong in Victoria, Victor Harbor in South Australia, Busselton in Western Australia, Hervey Bay in Queensland, and Ballarat in Victoria – and the Gold Coast in Queensland.

“The common feature among most of these strong population growth areas is that they are regional cities within striking distance of a state capital city.

“The core message is that the ‘Exodus to Affordable Lifestyle’ trend continues and is likely to do so for the foreseeable future, as more and more Australians seek to escape the big, conges ted, expensive cities and find a better lifestyle in more affordable and more relaxed locations.”

Mr Graham said a standout was Shepparton, located two hours north of Melbourne and a thriving city at the heart of Australia’s food bowl.

“With its prime location near major rivers and highways, it serves as the commercial and manufacturing hub of the Goulburn Valley region, he said.

“The city’s strong agricultural industry – with 25 per cent of Victoria’s agricultural products being produced – is supported by efficient transportation links.

“Currently, Shepparton is investing $2 billion in transport upgrades and a major freight logistics centre and also focusing on renewable energy, with plans for a Renewable Energy Zone and multiple solar farms.”

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